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.

The batter is loading into piping bags with a large round tip.
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 :)


  1. You're amazing, Deb for getting this up so quickly. So Glad that you and your sister enjoyed the day. As an organizer, I get the greatest satisfaction when the participants walk away with the courage to try out their newfound skills!


  2. Don't worry... I'll share some photos of my volcano maca-wrongs. You're right, they were super tasty though. hahah. Another fun post and session. (And the mixing is macronage.)

    1. Macronage! I will put an update in the post. Thanks :)
      I'm attempting to make some at home tomorrow... I may end up with maca-wrongs as well.
      Wish me luch!

  3. Connie is a fantastic teacher! I took a longer version of her class with Taste Tripping and it was Moo-awesome!

    If anyone's interested in my Eat Alberta adventures, they can find it here:

  4. LOVED your post and your adventure - and hearing about Connie's issues in her class. She is truly a champ to have to deal with that much and for you and your classmates to still be so positive and supportive is inspirational. I have no doubt she persevered as that is what she does best - and why she is such an incredible teacher - and you can make these, now, can't you! Love wannabefoodie's comment "I'll share some photos of my volcano maca-wrongs."