Sunday, April 15, 2012
Eat Alberta 2012: Session Two, French Macarons
The second stop of my Eat Alberta adventure was French Macaron Making!
Connie Nelson of Mirabelle Macarons was our instructor.
As I'm sure you can tell by now I didn't get a picture of the finished product...
Because they were devoured before I could remember to pull out my camera.
Yes, they were delicious :)
Crisp shell, gooey chew and a creamy vanilla centre.
Anyways, back to the session.
Connie was a fantastic teacher. She had to deal with a couple of setbacks... the class started late, the mixers kept flipping the breaker, there wasn't enough egg white in the mixers so we had to hold the bowls up to the whisk (large mixers, small batches), wasn't too sure if the settings were right on the fancy ovens...
She persevered through it all!
With a smile on her face the whole time :)
We all got our eggs foamed up and then added the cream of tartar & white sugar mixture (pre-measured).
Then, whipped them to stiff peaks.
**It's worth noting that in our take-home recipe the egg whites are aged in the mixing bowl 1-3days at room temp.
Connie is now showing us a fancy folding technique called...
I can't remember. Something with a word that sounds like macaron in it.
Instead of a straight through the middle, under and up fold it's an around the bowl, under than up motion.
** UPDATE: it's called "Macronage"
We added in 3 stages (pre-measured) ground almond and icing sugar to our stiff egg whites.
The trick is to not over work the batter but still get everything incorporated (no lumps).
When the batter is prefect it'll have the consistency of lava and flow off of your rubber scraper in a thick ribbon.
1" circles are made and then you BANG the pan against the table top to help settle the nipples.
Because we don't like nipples.
On our French Macarons that is.
As you can see in the picture the first 4 macarons are already settled. That's because Connie used our batter to demonstrate piping and then pan banging.
Kristy swiftly piped out the rest and then we waited while everyone else filled their bags and piped out their macarons.
** This is when Chef Allan came back and we sneaked 3 feet away to make cheese again.
The macarons have to wait at least 10min before baking. That way they form a thin skin which helps them keep their shape.
After about 15minutes in a 300F oven here they are! Pretty little ruffled feet and all.
Unfortunately, most of the rest of the class weren't able to let theirs rest long enough and there was pan fulls of little volcanos... which I didn't get a picture of.
We all then ran off to lunch while Connie tucked our shells away for filling with a delicious Vanilla Swiss Buttercream.
When I attempt to make these at home I'll be sure to take more pictures.
Please feel free to post links to your own blog posts about your Eat Alberta Adventures in the comment section :)