A few months ago me and a friend of mine signed up for a cooking course – How to make French Macarons.
One of the reasons I really wanted to go to this class in particular was that the chef that teaches it is one of my absolutely favorite Bulgarian food bloggers and artists. Basically I think that everything she does is art and she has the best skills and ideas when it comes to making not only pastries and deserts but actual meals as well.
French macarons are something I don’t as much like to eat, as I like the idea of being able to make them. Why? Because I like preparing flashy food, that makes people wonder how I did it and eat with pleasure and curiosity.
Now, it has been a while since I went to this course, but true to myself, I will tell you what my brightest memories from that day are.
- My friend, who joined me that day, told me she was pregnant (so hey, that is big news! )
- I really wanted to make these macarons fantastic, because I was planning to bring them to my boyfriend afterwards /they were fantastic/.
- The excitement and fun I felt while making good food, with motivated and happy people
So, about the macarons, please see the ingredients below:
- 145 grams of almond flour
- 145 grams of powdered sugar
- 80 grams of egg whites
- 110 grams of crystal sugar
- 25 milliliters of water
When making the shells for the macarons there are three main steps.
Step 1: Making the paste – the paste is made out of the almond flour, the powdered sugar and 40 grams of the egg whites (if you want to make your macarons colorful this is the stage where you add the food coloring – before mixing the paste).
Step 2: Making the Italian Merengue – what I learned not at the course, but from that food blogger I mentioned above is the difference between Italian and French merengue. The french merengue is egg whites whipped with sugar until the form firm peaks. Italian merengue is made with hot sugar syrup which somewhat cooks the egg whites and doesn’t allow the merengue to fall down after it is mixed. And So to make the Italian merengue you need to add the 25 milliliters of water to the 110 grams of crystal sugar in a pan, stir with a spoon until the sugar dissolves and then stop stirring and let it boil until it reaches 125 degrees celsius in the mean time whip your egg whites until the form firm peaks. While mixing the whites, add the hot sugar syrup. What you will get is shiny, firm, amazing merengue.
This is where Step 3 comes in: Mixing the paste with the Italian merengue to form the dough for the macarons, and pipping the mixture into even circles on a cooking sheet in a pan.
After pipping the mixture onto the baking sheet, you would want to let it dry out for about 10 minutes (you need to be able to touch the unbaked shells without them sticking to your fingers).
Bake them at 170 degrees celsius with the oven door cracked for between 8 and 15 minutes.
Let them cool completely before taking them off the baking sheet.
What to pear the shells with? You can make a fancy pastry cream, OR use gam, whipped cream or Nutella. 🙂
And what makes a course complete? A glass of wine of course: