When you hear about the sweet, chewy meringue-like treat of Macarons, to me even the name sounds fancy and I can guess that they’d be challenging to make. But, after attending a Macaron Making Class in London this week, I’ve been proven wrong and can now proudly say I would be able to recreate these at home. Our lesson could not have taken place in a more charming location than Jenius Socials’ kitchen in Islington, London, or led by a better chef than Andrew.
Our experience started by hopping on the tube to Highbury & Islington, then a short walk from the station to the kitchen which was easily found with the good ol’ help of Google Maps. We were met by the lovely Jennifer, owner of Jenius Social, and welcomed into the seating area at the front of the shop. As we prepared our cameras and the other guests for the class arrived, we were offered complimentary tea and coffee which was warmly welcomed in this horrible November weather! Next, it was time to get our aprons on and get cooking!
Andrew provided a demonstration of the first step and I offered a helping hand as his (not so glamorous) assistant. It was a two man job, as one person whisks the egg whites whilst the other gradually adds caster sugar – then it was our turn to have a go. You know the mixture is ready when you turn it upside down, and the soft peaks stay in the bowl – it’s risky testing it however! You then add a few drops of your desired food colouring and give it a final whizz to mix it all together. Following this, you sieve the ground almonds and icing sugar together to ensure there are no lumps that would ruin the soft texture. We then carefully folded this into our meringue mixture using a method called ‘scratching’ so that we wouldn’t lose any of the worked in air.
Now comes the tricky bit, as warned by Andrew – piping the macarons to be the same size in order to make the perfect, even sandwich shape. The room fell silent as we all focused intently on making sure they were perfectly piped. They then went in the oven and we enjoyed a 10 minute break as Andrew closely watched the oven and our delicious bakes. Once the macarons were out the oven and set out to cool, we made the buttercream filling by whisking butter, icing sugar and our chosen vanilla flavouring. We were then let loose with decorations, with a selection of different items from sprinkles, to chocolate balls and melted chocolate. Our macarons were finally finished and we of course had to try one (or a few!) before packing them away to take home and share with the office.
This Professional Macaron Making Class in London was the perfect taster for a cooking class newbie like myself and I am excited to try making them again at home. Thanks again to Jennifer and Andrew for this expertly run class, we had a great time!