Look how perfect and pretty EatPlayShop's macarons are. I hoped to replicate these after I attended the macaron class.
And the result...equally impressive macarons if I say so myself.
Here's another shot of the macarons I made as they're super pretty and I'm so proud of them.
The macaron class at Ganache Chocolate is taught by owner and pastry chef Arno Backes. Arno actually has a masters degree in pastry, which is taken very seriously in Europe. You actually need to get a regular teaching degree first even. He's worked through Europe and even cooked for the Queen of England. Throughout the class, you'll get to hear Arno's wonderful story of how he motorcycled around the world for 2 years before settling in Sydney to work. He also helped kick off the Koko Black franchise in Australia.
During the class Arno takes you through each step of making a basic macaron shell and ganache with hands on learning. Obviously you can become more inventive and use the basic recipe and add different flavours.
The macaron recipe uses an Italian method, which uses a sugar syrup poured into stiff egg whites. This forms a more stable shell, which results in shiny smooth macaron shells.
Look how beautiful the shells are. So smooth and with perfect little feet. I must say I'm rather pleased with my own piping as the shells were all fairly equal in size and shape.
We piped a simple raspberry ganache into the shells to form the finished product. The ganache utilised good chocolate and raspberry liqueur and puree and is super fragrant. I loved the taste of the final product.
So, here are the tips I learned at the class that will help you to achieve macaron success.
* Arno leaves his egg whites to age in the fridge for 5 days. He says this gives a stronger batter. He also mixes his almond meal and icing sugar together, sieves it and leaves to age for 5 days as well. There is some prep work involved but he says this gives a better outcome.
* Start whipping the egg whites super slowly before increasing the speed to get stiff peaks. Seriously, this process took way longer than I usually do it. Add a pinch of salt to the whites to help stabilise them further. When the sugar syrup is at 120C, pour the syrup into the whites at a slow speed, slowing increasing the speed to beat the whites until they are cool. You can feel the side of the bowl and it should be near room temperature before you stop whipping. This again takes longer than I expected.
* Use a template to pipe the shells the perfect size. Don't freestyle it unless you're a pro.
* Let the piped shells sit for 20 minutes or so until you can touch them and your finger doesn't stick to the shell. The shell sort of bounces back to the original shape after your touch.
* Bake for 8 minutes and then open the oven door slightly to let the humidity out. You can use a thin stick or something to keep the oven door ajar. Keep baking until the shells don't stick to the baking paper anymore.
If you want more detailed instructions and to see each step of the process in action, I highly recommend you attend a class at Ganache Chocolate. There's nothing that can compare to hands on training.
Ganache Chocolate's Macaron Recipe
240g almond meal (mixed with icing sugar and aged for 5 days)
240g icing sugar (mixed with almond meal and aged for 5 days)
15g corn flour (optional, helps to stabilise it further)
190g caster sugar
110 egg white (aged for 5 days)
50g egg white (aged for 5 days)
6 drops food colouring (optional for colouring the shells)
1. Age egg whites in fridge covered in plastic wrap for 5 days. Sieve icing sugar and almond meal together and leave in pantry to age for 5 days.
2. Make a sugar syrup to 120C.
3. Whisk 110g of egg whites to a stiff peak, starting slowly and increasing speed.
4. Pour in boiling sugar syrup at a low speed and slowly increase mixing speed. Beat until the bowl is cool to the touch.
5. Mix 50g of egg whites with almond meal/icing sugar mixture.
6. Mix egg white/sugar syrup mixture into almond meal mixture.
7. Add food colouring (if you want) and use spatula to mix the mixture until it is a smooth consistency and flows off spatula.
8. Pipe the batter onto baking paper. Use a template to obtain regular sized shells. Leave plenty of room between shells.
9. Tap the underside of the tray to remove air bubbles and flatten the macaron shells slightly. Leave the shells for a while until they form a skin. When touched, your finger should not stick to the shell and it should bounce back.
10. Bake in preheated oven at 150C for 6-8 minutes. Turn the tray 180 degrees around and leave door ajar slightly. Bake at 140C until macarons are easily removed from baking paper. This may take another 8 minutes or more depending on your oven.
11. Remove macaron shells from the hot tray and leave them to cool on a bench.
12. Fill shells with a ganache once they've cooled.
I attended the macaron class courtesy of Ganache Chocolate.