Tuesday, 4 November 2014

L'atelier des Chefs Macaron Class

Hey Guys! So I recently did a macaron course at L'atelier in London. I've been wanting to try macarons for the longest of times. But I'm sure as most people know, macarons can be very intimidating and to be perfectly different it was no different for me!

The L'atelier Kitchen: 

I've watched countless tutorials on YouTube and eaten tons of macarons (for research purposes of course!) but for some reason I had never just bitten the bullet and attempted to whip up a batch. So I came across the L'atelier course online and somehow managed to convince my best friend that it would be a great idea to wake up at 8 in the morning on a Saturday and make some macarons. 

When we arrived we were promptly given aprons to put on and wait for the rest of the class to arrive. In total there were about 12 of us present. I was impressed with the kitchen itself, they were prepared with enough mixers so that it was around 4 of us to each batch of macarons. 

Final Macarons: 

Since the course was only 2 hours, and we were planning on making a total of 4 flavours, ingredients had already been weighed out and were ready for us to just get straight into it. I think the trickiest part about macaron is getting the consistency of them right - not under whipping the meringue and incorporating the almonds and icing sugar correctly. 

I was pleased that there was a lot of focus on demonstrating when the meringue was done and how to properly stir in the almond mixture. We were all given turns on mixing everything in together using the special motion we were taught. 

We then split our mixture and coloured them in a wide range of colours. To be perfectly honest, we didn't really match them to the flavours since we had not made the fillings yet, we just went according to personal preferences. Obviously, for my mix, I went with pink! 

Next was filling the piping bags and piping out the circles onto the baking parchment. One tip they taught us that I found particularly useful is to count in your head when your squeezing your piping bag so that you pipe out the same amount every time without having to draw out a million circles! This way you still achieve relatively equal circles. One all the macaron shells were piped out we left them to crust on top and moved onto fillings. 

Filling Macarons: 

We made a total of four fillings: chocolate ganache, salted butter caramel, a praline cream and a lemon and orange buttercream. Most of these fillings I had made before but I was particularly interested in the salted butter caramel as working with sugar can be very temperamental. Therefore I was glad to see it being made by a professional about how far to let it go in the pan before it starts to burn. 

The praline cream was also interesting to me. We used a praline paste as a base for the cream and I have to admit, it had such a delicious sweet and nutty flavour that I definitely want to get my hands of some of that. I think it would be a great addition to other desserts! 

Filling Macarons:

Once the macarons were out of the oven and all the fillings done, we got to fillings and matching them up. Since there were so many of us, we opted to just spoon the mixture between the macaron shells but for a more professional look I think that using a piping bag would result in a neater finish.

Once all the macarons were matched up and filled, we were given boxes to take our pick! I have to say, my personal favourite was the salted butter caramel macarons. The filling was particular good. Overall I really enjoyed the experience and the instructor was very friendly and definitely made the effort to include everyone in the process.

For a 2 hour class, I walked away with around 15 macarons and more importantly, the knowledge and the recipes needed to recreate them!

For more information on the course click here


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