Everyone talks about how difficult they are to master.
There has to be a secret to them and lots of little tricks to perfecting the perfect macaron.
On my quest to find out about all these little tricks, I attended a macaron class at JoJo's Danish Bakery in Edinburgh, accompanied by my lovely cousin Claire (A Kiss of Cookies). I was fizzing up with anticipation and armed with a large tub (after attending an Italian breadmaing class at the bakery, where we made enough bread to feed everyone in the street).
I have to say I am a little disappointed.
Macarons are only meringues with ground almonds folded in. It's one of those secrets, like what really happens during childbirth (don't ask). Well maybe not quite like that, but still......
Couldn't someone have mentioned that before? There is plenty of discussion about them. Surely someone could have mentioned they are just almondy meringues and I am a dab hand at making lovely light meringues that are chewy in the middle.
So, back to the class.
I expected great things from the class, as I had enjoyed the breadmaking class so much, but I have to say I was disappointed. There were just too many people booked into the class for such a small room.
At the breadmaking class there were four of us, this time there were fourteen of us.
A very, very full class!
There were too many of us to sit comfortably around the tables. There were five of us sharing those two little round coffee tables. Everyone had to stand up to let me pipe.
There were too many of us to make our own macarons (we made a batch between five of us).
There were too many of us waiting to use the one set of scales and one electric hand mixer.
And...... there were too few macarons. I tried one in the class and went home with four teeny, tiny macarons.
That being said, it was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon and the other folk at our teeny little table were very nice.
So now for some tips:
- Draw circles before you pipe, so that your macarons are all an even size.
- Pipe from the middle of the circle and keep squeezing until the mixture spreads out to the edge.
- Smooth down any little peaks with a wet finger.
- Bash the tray three times, so any air bubbles will rise to the surface and prevent your macarons from being hollow inside.
- Rest the macarons for half an hour until the top dries slightly. If the room is warm, they will need less time to rest.
- Remove from paper when they have cooled a little. To take the macarons of the greaseproof paper, put your hand under the paper and gently massage each macaron. .
- Never fill with cream, as this will make the macarons soggy. Buttercream is fine.
- Macarons will last for a week, unfilled.
Disclosure: Claire and I paid for this macaron class. It was not sponsored in any way.