Making Macarons at Sur La Table
Last Thursday, I attended The Shops at Saddlecreek’s Spring Blogger Meetup with a really cool group of bloggers. One of the highlights of my evening was having the opportunity to take a class at Sur La Table. I have a long desire to take a cooking class especially at Sur La Table for awhile. I really enjoy cooking. Like, I am obsessed with cooking shows and food documentaries. So, one of my goals is to really learn how to cook. I want to master technique, plating and overall learn to cook a more diverse range of meals. During our class, we learned how to make macarons. I was so geeked because I heard making macarons is really hard and extremely tedious. Knowing we had a culinary instructor to guide us was exciting and reassuring. Here’s my experience at Sur La Table…
Helen, a professional chef and culinary instructor, was the most patient and knowledgeable instructor any group of chatty bloggers could ask for lol. When we arrived all of the ingredients were prepped for us. Making macarons requires only three ingredients — almond flour, confectioner’s sugar and egg whites. You would think it would be super simple huh? Sur La Table provided typed instructions to follow along in the case some of us lagged behind or got ahead.
Our first step was making the ganache, chocolate filing, and then we moved onto making the meringue. At this point, we added egg whites and cream of tartar until the mixture was foamy. Gradually adding sugar. Some of us got started rather slow burning pots and mixing the wrong ingredients but hey we were making it through. Here’s the part the bloggers loved, adding food coloring to make cute little pink, purple or yellow macarons.
Next, we moved on to the macaronnage step. Macaroonage is the stage in preparing the French shells or lamens term “the outside”. I know it sounds so Paris chic, right. We added the flour mixture to the meringue and kept folding and folding wit the spatula. This was the most tedious step. I learned that it is super important to get the mixture to correct consistency to prevent hollow centers or very dense or flat macarons. Our group let Cara, the food expert, lead the way with the folding and she was pretty excited about it. I think we all were worried about making sure we got this step right for a couple of reasons. One, we really wanted to enjoy the delectable taste. Two, we needed Instagrammable macarons, I mean come on.
Wooh, we made it through the most difficult part!!! Now on to transferring the batter to a pastry bag. We piped small little dollops of batter into the corners of each backing sheet. How perfect was it to have little pre made circles as guides to fill in the batter on the cooking sheet. Almost there, the macarons from each blogger group were popped into the oven to cook for about 30 minutes. Of course during this time, we shared away on social media, enjoyed hor d’ouerves and wine that was served, and shared how much we all were enjoying the experience.
And, voila, about 15 bloggers successfully managed to make macarons at Sur La Table. It was so great to share this experience with some of my favorite bloggers. Everything was wonderful. The staff at Sur La Table was very pleasant and forthcoming with techniques and instructions. And you know what, I’d have to say the macarons were absolutely delicious.