The Champs Elysées location
So many pretty colors and delicious flavors.
So, when I saw that my local continuing ed program offered a course in The Art of the French Macaron, my heart skipped a beat. I know they're trendy, and I know they are a Parisian cliche, but I love them. That meringue melts in your mouth. What's not to love?
Oui, se il vous plâit.
Our guide for the evening was food writer turned culinary school graduate and chef, Sherry Belotti.
"My food philosophy is simple," Belotti says on her web page. "There is nothing better than fresh food, prepared well and shared with others." And, indeed, these were lovely.
Chef Sherry's samples.
The evening began with a tasting plate for us to sample, and a demonstration of how to make the meringue that would serve as the base for the macaron.
Sherry explains the importance of separating eggs using three bowls to ensure that no yolk fat contaminates the whites and prevents them from forming their critical peaks.
Macaron batter is a simple mixture...egg whites, almond meal/flour, granulated sugar, and powered sugar....and a smidgen of cream of tartar to help with the meringue.
Then it was time to pipe.
Once the macarons were piped onto the parchment paper, thanks to a pre-drawn template, they were set aside to dry.
Tip from Sherry: Draw yourself a template or buy your silicone tray inserts pre-drawn.
And then it was our turn. With Sherry by our side, we separated our eggs, ground our almond meal and mixed our batter.
Tip from Sherry: Ground your almond meal with half of your powdered sugar to avoid turning your almond meal into paste.
I chose an orange macaron that I would later fill with berry butter cream.
Folding the batter, careful not to over mix.
I piped like a champ....well, after the first couple.
Then mine were ready to dry.
It took a while, but finally, my macarons were ready to bake.
Tip from Sherry: Don't bother trying this in humidity. It will amount to little more than an exercise in frustration.
Once the macarons had cooled, I removed them from the parchment and voila!
They were perfect, and ready to fill.
I filled them with butter cream and a reduced berry compote that Sherry had made before class. They were si délicieux! Ladurée, no, but it was a taste of Paris in my own kitchen.
If you're within driving distance of central Massachusetts or southwestern New Hampshire, check out any of Sherry's classes, including this macaron class, cooking with herbs, using your new Himalayan salt block, and Mexican fare for Cinco de Mayo.
This was a lot of fun, informative, and empowering.
I can't wait to see what comes next.
Have you ever made macarons? What is one recipe that is daunting, but you would love to make?