I decided to do a special post today instead of not doing a post at all since this Friday is Christmas and rather than have a blog post go up that day to distract from time that should be spent with family. Last Saturday, as my Christmas present to my sister, I paid for us to take a baking class at our local Sur La Table to learn how to bake french macarons. We created a peppermint macaron and a chocolate orange flavored one. The peppermint was by far the best! We both had a blast together and learned just how much skill and technique goes into making these delicate cookies, I wanted to share with you all the little tips we learned on how not to mess up making macarons.
Tips You May Not Have Known About Baking Macarons:
- Literally every technique I’m about to mention is crucial. They are the keys to making a beautiful macaron.
- Sift. Sift. Sift. Our teacher blended and sifted our powdered sugar and almond flower for us but she let us know that it had to be blended and sifted numerous times in order to ensure that this combination of ingredients were as fine as can be. You want to avoid clumps in your batter.
- After mixing the powdered sugar and almond flower combo with the egg whites, sugar, and other ingredients you want to blend it until it looks like a marshmallow. But the real key to knowing if it is done is if you take a spatula and try flicking it. If the batter does not fling everywhere that is how you know its ready; it needs to have a thick and heavy consistency.
- When mixing in the flavor in a bowel by hand, you do not stir it. You must fold it in otherwise you are going to lose the meringue you just created. Do this by circling the bowel and folding through the middle each time.
- After piping your batter on to the tray you need to drop the pan on the counter before drying. Yes drop the pan. This gets the air bubbles out and then you continue to dry the batter for 30-40 minutes depending on the weather before putting it in the oven.
- Yeah if you caught that, moist weather can affect how these turn out.
- Also I learned a convectional oven is ideal for these. Honestly, before this class I assumed all ovens were convectional, my bad……I clearly was wrong.
Honestly our macarons turned out very well, I was surprised as everyone I have heard who have attempted baking them on their own have messed up so naturally I figured mine would turn out the same. I think it was because since I took this guided class as our first attempt we were able to make sure we were doing everything correctly. Sad to say but one mistake or forgetting a step will mess up your cookie. This was so much fun that I ended up buying a macaron mat and rose extract in order to recreate the beloved rose petal macaron I had at Laduree in New York (you can bet there will be a blog post on that)! Let me know if you’ve tried making macarons and what flavors? I can’t wait to bake more!