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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Written by Niamh
Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.