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Macaron Classes at L’atelier des Chefs

Rose & Raspberry Macarons
My head is full of things that I’ve yet to blog: my recent trip to Barcelona, a Galler chocolate tasting I recently attended, food and sherry matching with Heston Blumenthal (that was a ridiculously long time ago but it was great and I want to share!) and this macaron class that that I attended last weekend that I will share with you now. So, with all those lovely things, why bump this to the top of the queue? It was great and I want to relive it, I’ve some nice photos of PINK macaroons, and I actually have a recipe to share with you! At last, I hear you cry.

Last Saturday, 15 bloggers gathered at L’atelier des Chefs for a 3 hour macaron class, making 4 types of macarons:

The classic : lightly salt butter caramel macaroon
The original: Porto and foie gras mousse macaroon
Flower power: Raspberry and rose macaroon
Asiatic summer: Lime and fresh ginger macaroon

Now, you won’t have spotted many baking recipes on this site, I love savoury food, and that’s what I spend most of my time cooking. Also, most of my cooking is a little slapdash, adding a little here, and a little there. Baking is very unforgiving of my approach, it’s a science and requires precision, even down to weighing the egg whites, in the case of macarons. Now, my background is in science, I know, so I should enjoy it, but macarons take so much time, and I didn’t want to devote a whole day to them, only for them to be screwed up (by me). When I need to be, I can be focussed and devoted, but a whole day on the weekend for a recipe is a big ask, even if I am only asking it of myself ;-)

So, naturally, the prospect of having a chef lead me through the process was very appealing, also the exciting flavours were attractive. The other bloggers, I know from experience of previous events, are lots of fun, so I was sure it would be a good afternoon, and that if nothing, else, I’d have a feast of macarons at the end.

So, hands up, I wasn’t the star pupil, I am far too clumsy to be, but by the end of the class, I could pipe and slam the tray to remove the air with great gusto! My favourite of the four above were the ones that my team made (really!), for the colour and the gorgeous flavour, and that’s the recipe I will share with you now. The others were delicious too, second favourite was the salted caramel, then the foie gras and porto (would be great for xmas!) and lastly, but still very good, the lime and fresh ginger.

You can read about it on the other bloggers sites too (listed below). View the whole photoset on flickr.

This recipe serves 6 people.

Raspberry and rose macaroon recipe

Ingredients

For the macarons:

350g sugar
250g almond powder
215g egg whites
150g sugar
100g of red fruit jam

For the pastry cream

50g sugar
50g flour
50ml milk
3 egg yolks
20g rose water

Method

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees C.

Whisk up the egg whites with a pinch of salt, add the caster sugar and beat until you have a stiff and glossy meringue mixture. Sieve the almond and icing sugar, introducing air as you go. Mix the dry ingredients and fold into the meringue mixture.

Use a plastic spatula to cut and fold the mixture until it reaches the it is smooth and shiny. When you pull the spatula through the mixture it should stay separate for a few seconds. If it doesn’t, it’s too wet. (This happened us so we compensated by making smaller macarons which would be able to cope with this on the chef’s advice).

Use a piping bag to pipe the macarons onto a baking mat. There’s a technique for this: make sure the tip of the bag is touching the mat, and pipe slowly, squeezing from the top, without moving the tip until you have the size you desire. Life the tip of the icing bag quickly, and they should relax into a perfect macaron.

Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 15 minutes until they are dry to touch then cook for about 15-20 minutes in an oven at 160 degrees C.

Make the pastry cream. Sift the flour. Beat the eggs yolks and sugar with a wooden spoon, until light and thick, then stir in the sifted flour. Bring the milk to the boil slowly and pour over the egg mixture, whisking all the time. Return to the hob and stir over a low-medium heat until it returns to a gentle boil and starts to thicken.) Continue to cook, stirring all the time for 2 minutes or until it has thickened. If it goes lumpy, use a whisk.

Mix the jam, pastry cream and the rose water.

After the macarons have cooled, paste them together with the cream & with a little raspberry jam.

Hide in a corner and eat them all. If you’re a better person than me, maybe you will share.*

* only kidding, of course. I’ve discovered my upper limit for macaron consumption is 6! And, I like to share, really.

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I like food. I like to make food. Eat food. Photograph food. Write about food. Mainly in London but when I am lucky or organised further afield.

12 Comments

  1. Thank goodness I can stay on my diet while reading about all these treats ! Okay, so it’s cyber-torture, but of the most delcious sort….

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  2. Wow! Am very jealous, macarons are my absolute favourite thing to make so a macaron making class seems like heaven! Any tips on how to make the salted caramel type?

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  3. That looks so lovely! I’m sorry it fell on the busiest weekend I had booked in November :( Have macaron withdrawal symptoms!

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  4. Alyson, thanks for your comment. It was great! I will attempt to make the others and post the recipes then :-) Watch this space!

    Ginger, shame you couldn’t make it. Well done team in this case, I was the one bringing down the average ;-)

    farida, give them a try or attend a class, so much fun! Don’t eat 6 in a row though ;-)

    Jeanne, it was great, maybe we should meet for a macaron afternoon tea sometime! A bloggers gathering?? :-)

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  5. Just like Farida, I haven’t tried making these. I love how beautiful they look and am worried that I might spoil the shape!

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  8. Thank you so much for the tip on how to pipe these babies! I’ve got my recipe down pat. I now KNOW what “MAGMA” looks like and they are turning out well with wonderful flavor and texture.

    My problem has been getting them to come out in perfect circles. Clearly, I was piping them wrong (90 degree angle but in swirls. I’ll try the technique you describe with tomorrow’s batch and see if I can get the circles to be as perfect as the rest of the elements.

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  9. Sounds like this was a very fun and informative class. However, I would suggest using a piping template if you plan on making macarons in the future to ensure that your shells turn out the same size and are easier to pair up.

    Macarons are tricky little things, so it always helps to get some instruction from the professionals before having a go on your own… as its difficult to write all their little quirks into a recipe sheet.

    Reply

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