Friday, June 26, 2009

Cours de MACARON

Voilà! The winning MACARONS: flavours left - right: Citron (lemon curd) -Chocolat Caramel (with baileys caramel)- Framboise (raspberry coriander infused)- Fidel Castro (w chili flakes) - and finally Menthe Glaciale (peppermint chocolate filling).

Here it is le cours de macaron that I participated today from 8am-3pm at Savours School in Brunswick today! I had such a wonderful time, the chef or le chocolatier by profession, Paul Kennedy guided us (...did most of it actually..ha ha I was told to stay put...) *cough* I'm accident-prone :O

So there were six Macarons flavors, each made differently according to it's country of origin, ranging from Italy, Spain and France. Surprisingly the most widely-used being the Spanish ones, the sugar doesn't need to be dissolved and less ingredients. However the macarons that I saw in Paris had a very nice gloss, and if you want to create that, then you must follow the French recipe, using more Almond flour.

Squeezing the paste from piping bag is tricky at first, you squirt from the bottom of the surface, be still, don't make a snake out of it, when you get the right size, flick the bag. Flick Flick Flick it! It will raise in the oven and it takes only 12-15min tops, bring it out and leave at room temperature for 20 minutes until it's ready for the filling.

Chef Paul said that Pierre Hermé leave his unfilled macarons for 24 hours until they softened, he is the iconic créme de la créme of French patisserie chef, however even the macarons from Ladurée are very chewy whereas the ones we made today are crunchier.

Of course ideally we would leave them for more than half a day until they softened. It's up to you really whether you'd prefer more of an Italian meringue texture or a gooey bite. I prefer the gooey gooey. To get the colours we wanted, you must experiment, trial and error, the raspberry macaron flavour should be in a rich red colour, but the chef opted for something subtle, which I also liked. In the future, I would really like to use natural colouring...from fruits perhaps or jams...??

This is the French recipe, they are flatter, more chewy and is my favourite because we sprinkle them with expensive metallic powder (70 dollar a pop!). The filling today is changed to blackberry, frozen then mixed with sugar, melted to become a liquidy sorbet. Refrigerated and then glazed on top of the macarons.

Aaaah don't they look so beautiful? he he he, these are done, the top rack holds the raspberry flavor with metallic glaze, and the second rack is caramel macaron with baileys cream filling. Next time I'll use a bit amount of butter for the filling as I don't really like that creamy mousse taste in my mouth. I'd prefer the caramel to be pure melted sugar, dark and clear.

I really enjoyed myself today, I wish I could rewind and go back again. I told my friend who came with me that for a day, I felt I was back in Paris. I didn't feel like I was in Melbourne, sorry, I have this love-hate relationship with this city.

Moreover, I can't wait to practice baking them, it'll be a challenge but I'll let you know how it goes of course. Next time, I'll tackle it using natural coloring perhaps, more classic flavors like vanilla, coffee, and pistachio. If you are interested in the course, go It's worth it! and you'll meet fancy characters while at it!


lady jicky said...

Bravo MasterChef!!!
Emmelyn , they look fantastic. I bet you meet some very interesting people for its not everyone who is fascinated with the macaroon.
Have you seen the blog - parisbreakfast ? That lady did the class in Paris and I tell you, both classes looked very similar.
I understand the "I am in Paris now" feeling. LOL

EMMELYN said...

Hii! yes I follow parisbreakfast in my blog daily. I love her art work too. I felt so alive yesterday, seriously thinking of doing this full time! (baking...not blogging) ha ha

lady jicky said...

Well why not! Hell, those "roonies" looked very Laudree Emmelyn!!!
You go girl.