Last weekend I attended a Macaron class. Not just any Macaron class mind you. A Macaron class taught by Helen of Tartelette. She’s ah-mazing! Have you seen her site? It’s ridiculously beautiful! & well Helen is THE queen of Macarons. So much so I drove all the way to ATLANTA for this class. Yes, I know somewhat crazy but hey, that’s how I roll.
I decided this year that if there was a foodie event/class that I could get to I would. I missed out on so much last year because hey let’s just face it apparently things only happen in LA or NY! Boo, hiss! So I said Atlanta, that’s doable! So I packed up & went. And BOY am I happy I did.
Let me just first say that I have NEVER attempted to make Macarons prior to this class. Nope! First you know I don’t consider myself much of a baker, secondly all my foodie friends on Twitter etc have always said how tempermental & difficult these little beauties were. Well, hello if these girls were talking that way I knew I better steer clear. So when my friend Tami from Running with Tweezers first told me she was organizing this class I hesitated inquiring for about 2 seconds. But then that little annoying voice inside said you know you want to LOL and well ,yeah I did. It was afterall being taught by Helen & if I’m going to learn I might as well learn from the best. So I jumped in!
It was held at the house of the ever so hospitable Patti. I was greeted at the door by Shameeka from The Broke Socialite. Lurve her! She is so incredibly awesome & helped put together our little soiree, I’m still coveting her shoes (you know the ones Shameeka *wink wink*) Then there was Tami Running with Tweezers busy working her styling skills putting our spread out. She has mad skills! And that ORZO SALAD she made… oh my gosh! It was *swoon* that’s it! *swoon*
Slowly all of our other class mates starting arriving. I was happy to finally meet some of my foodie friends in person. And then in comes the tiniest little thing… Helen. I must admit after admiring her oh so snappy hat & jacket my eyes went directly to her camera… oh my GOOD.. did I have camera envy. I’m talking big guns people. This camera, ah okay I’ll stop… *wiping drool from my chin* One day, maybe one day… Seriously on top of making some of the most scrumptious things you have ever seen Helen is an extraordinary photographer. Don’t take my word for it, click on over to her site. Don’t worry I won’t say I told you so. Plan to be there for awhile.
And who was with Helen but Bakerella. So I am by now even wondering how I got to be here with all of these fabulous people. Everyone was so nice! I know you might want to hear someone was beotchy or perhaps a prima donna. But no, sorry, no one was! I LURVED all of these girls.
Helen was amazing. Showing us proper technique, giving us tips, & oh so patient with our questions…She was a great teacher. And the only reason I’m sure that I GOT MY FEET! Yep, woo hoo I got feet! *happy dance* Yes I have pictures to prove it LOL. I was a NERVOUS FOLDER (I mean folding is uber important here, you can’t underfold you can’t overfold!) I was petrified I would be the only one to screw this up. But happy to report that was all in my head!
Helen is going to be teaching more of her Mac Classes throughout the year, if you have a chance to get to one, YOU SHOULD! I’m supah happy I did! I can’t wait to make my next batch of Macarons! I’m going to start aging….No not me, my eggwhites!
Go ahead & get your Mac on! What are you waiting for?
Macaron Recipe courtesy of Helen – Tartelette
What you’ll need:
For the shells:
90 gr egg whites (roughly 3 egg whites)
25 gr to 50gr (2 Tb to 1/4 cup) granulated sugar
200 gr ( 1.5 cups + 2Tb) powdered sugar
110 gr almonds ( 3/4 cup) (slivered, blanched, sliced, whatever you like)
What to do:
Prep the eggs: 48 hrs in advance, separate the whites from the yolks and place the whites in a super clean bowl. Leave at room temp, uncovered or loosely covered with a towel at least 24 hrs. Refrigerate after that if desired. You can use eggs that have been “aging” for up to 5 days.
Prepare the macarons:
Place the powdered sugar and almonds in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Sift a couple of time to remove bits and pieces. Regrind if necessary. You can also use a coffee grinder for the nuts.
Once your nuts and powdered sugar are mixed together, rub them in between your fingertips to break the bigger pieces.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, (think bubble bath foam) gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue (think shaving cream). Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry.
Add the nuts and pwdered sugar to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit.
If using convection: preheat the oven to 280F. If using regular electric or gas, preheat the oven to 300F. When ready, bake for 18 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool.
Here are some other fab posts from the class you can check out!