At the Hampton Court’s Food Festival back in May, we came across a stall selling beautiful macarons and mini desserts in a shot glass. I quite like macarons as the there are different textures and they look very dainty. I have made them in the past, first time, they were fine but second time, they were a bit of a disaster! So, it is really a hit and miss with the method! I picked up a flyer and she is actually the owner of On Cafe patisserie and cookery school in South London – Loretta Liu. After tasting her delicious macarons, I wanted to sign up for her class to try to improve my technique! 🙂
On Cookery Class
I went to my class last Thursday, I must say it was a mission to get to, I had to change 3 x tube/train to get to Wandsworth Road overground station and it was hidden in a mew where you wouldn’t expect to find a cookery school! The class started at 6.30pm and finished around 10pm, luckily my hubby picked us up as i didn’t fancy the journey home on public transport and even just walking out from there because it was quite dark and deserted! It was a pretty popular class as there was probably over 20 of us in the class room. At first, Loretta gave a demonstration on how to make macarons using a French Meringue basic recipe and then we were left to do this ourselves.
Egg whites and caster sugar whisked – ready
All the ingredients were measured already so all we needed to do was to sieve the icing sugar and mix everything together! Sounds easy but hard to do! She made each step looks so simple and easy!!! But in fact, it is actually quite difficult, she would show you when to add the caster sugar to the eggs (being whisked by a Kenwood mixer) as you had to get the timing right. She couldn’t say how long but her advice is practice makes perfect and you will get to know this by seeing the texture of the egg whites… It is all about trusting your instincts and testing your recipe!!!
Ready to fold in
I had a hard time folding in the egg whites to the ground almond and icing sugar as it is hard work!!! I have always relied on my kitchen aid but to fold in manually takes awhile and your arm gets quite tired doing the same movement! She mentioned that I have slightly over mixed my mixture as I needed to fold in more quicker! It was good that she was pointing out to people of where they were going wrong and basic tips to look out for.
All mixed up!
All pipped and ready to bake. Unfortunately, i forgot to take the ‘after’ photo!
I was pleased with my pipping skills as you can definitely see that they were round and not running into each other! 🙂
Whilst we waited for the skins to form, she gave us a talk about the choosing the right equipment to use for making macarons and there was opportunities to ask questions about the macaron techniques. Her assistant puts our macarons trays in the oven to bake and she showed us how to make chocolate ganache and caramel chocolat dulcey ganache. I have never made caramel before so it was interesting to see how this was made. We then had time for some light refreshments and a bite to eat as it was an evening class so I was pretty hungry! 🙂
All the trays
Once the macarons were baked, Loretta then gave a critique of each tray to point out what went well and what went wrong! Luckily, my tray turned out pretty good and I recieved positive comments, only drawback was that the mixture was slightly over mixed so some of the macarons stuck to the silpat, but apart from that, I was really happy with my macarons! We then got to take home the fillings as we should leave the macarons in the fridge to firm up as they were still quite soft. Once filled, they were so yummy and moorish to eat!!
I really enjoyed this class, I went with one with of my friend, Dimpy, it was nice to share this experience as sometimes it is quite daunting to go by yourself!!! I feel that I have definitely learnt something and have a greater understanding of the techniques. On the website, the price says £80 but when you come to pay for this, it is only £39 which is a bargain for a 3 hours lesson! 🙂
Start pack included: a long exoglass spatula, pipping bags, round nozzle, silpat and template.
At the end of the lesson, there is a chance to buy things from her display such as a Macaron starter kit, different flavoured oils, macarons etc and if you buy on the day, you will get a 5% discount. I couldn’t resist and brought myself the starter kit and vanilla powder as you can use this to flavour the macarons but also use it for baking other desserts! 🙂 For more information, visit her website – www.oncafe.co.uk. I would highly recommend this class to everybody who loves macarons! 🙂
All baked! 🙂
All filled and ready to eat! Yum! 🙂