Thursday, 10 May 2012

The art of macarons

Although I am a cupcake queen, I understand that macarons are currently the new black. Gluten free, perfectly delicate and colourful - what's not to love? Tonight, a friend and I attended a macaron making demonstration with Helen from Sky & Helene's Macarons.

Helen explained her trepidation about giving a demonstration like this outside of the controlled conditions of her commercial kitchen. Even the tiniest variation can mean disaster, from an increase in humidity (which needs to be less than 60%, especially while the macarons are resting) to too much baking paper overhanging the oven tray (which must be placed exactly in the middle of the oven). We learned that Helen likes to use 'old' eggs (ones that are almost at their best before date) as fresh eggs are more liquidy when heated and that certain brands are better than others. Gosh!

"Everything is precise," we were told as she executed every move with ease. Hmm. Now, it's no secret that I don't have the patience for things like accounting, but it sounds like the precision required for baking macarons could come a close second.

I picked up some valuable tips to add to my piping skills, such as swirling small circles to avoid air bubbles. Helen also showed us a really simple trick for filling piping bags (something I grapple with): open the bag over a jug and pour the mixture in from the top. I'll definitely give this a try.

I don't know if I'm brave enough to try baking macarons for myself but will need to be prepared to practise, practise and practise again. Still, I suspect it will be a long time before mine turn out like Helen's.

Sky & Helene's Macarons gift pack


Kez said...

I can't believe it but I still haven't ever tried a macaron! One day...I reckon I'd be too intimidated to bake them though. My friend even stuffed up a packet mix batch which scares me haha

Janine said...

Yeah I don't think I am brave enough to try baking those, I much prefer eating them....but I think attending a class by someone who makes them with all the tips etc would certainly help with the confidence level to give it a go.

Donna said...

I love them! I've wanted to try but never have. I can't wait to see how yours turn out!