Thursday, 31 May 2012

Macaroon making class

These few years in London ,  macaroon shops are  popping up, they seem very popular , so I tried to make from my chocolate book, made chocolate macaroons, but it did not turn out perfect, but still chewy and light ,they were perfect accompany with strong coffee.
I was invited by Squire Kitchen School to take one of their courses, (lucky me!) and decided to have a go this Macaroons Made Easy class. living in south Buckinghamshire means I have to leave 7:30 in the morning to be at 10:00 am class in Farnham Surrey was only minor downside, but it was relatively easy journey in the train , from Waterloo station it takes only 50 minutes.
Luckily the Squires Kitchen School is just cross the road from Farnham station . the tutor . Mark Tilting, take us very well equipped and spacious kitchen by the Smeg ( how lucky!!!) ,with Squires Kitchen Apron,a tea towel and a bundle of recipe leaflet on the table.
Mark ( he is award winning a chocolate maker) showed us how to make French style first and then Italian, my French macaroons slightly over whipped, Italian was under whipped. even I had check with mark. over whipped macaroons are too runny take longer to dry for baking, under whipped ones are slightly grainy look it should be shiny.

I often say, cooking food is art and science but truly making macaroon is art and science!! too many factors can contribute wrong result, such as temperature, humidity in the room ,weather so on. Even experienced pastry chef can make mistakes easily. It is  precise cooking as all cakes and pastries are, but when you made perfect macaroons, they are wonderfully presentable.
Well, at least I have learnt from the expert.

Ingredients:( French ,plain macaroons)
50g egg white, 60g ground almonds, 85g icing sugar, pinch of salt,

Preheat oven 130c, mix almond and icing sugar together and blits them in a foods processor to make a very fine powder. Sieve the almonds and icing powder through a fine sieve ad set aside. Place the egg whites in a mixer and whisk with a pinch of salt until soft peak, gradually add sugar until becomes thick and glossy ( in this point you can add colour or flavour), fold half the almond mix into the White's then in the second half until it is shiny and a good thick paste.  Line one baking trays with paper or baking mat, fill the piping bag with a 1cm nozzle and fill the bag with mix, pipe on to the tray 2cm circles making sure to keep2cm between each one. Leave to crust for 15-45 minutes or until the top is not sticky, bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until  firm on top.  Remove from the tray on to cool surface.

Lemon butter frosting: 2 large egg whites, 100g caster sugar, 170 butter, 1 lemon zest.
combine the egg white and sugar together in a large bowl,place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk the mix until the temperature 37c( warm to the touch), pour in to an electric mixer with a whisk attachment and beat high speed until the mix is thick and has a shiny look, add butter and lemon zest continue mixing, the mixture may split initially but don't worry, it will smooth out the more you mix.
Finally put this mixture on to the dried macaroon, and put the other macaroon on the top, !!

Tip: every single ingredients need to be measured!!

Squires Kitchen international school has many other course, 1 day or longer course for sugar craft.

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