Wow, I have been M.I.A for almost a month!
I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to bake or blog. First, we went on a surf trip to SoCal for Ahline’s birthday, then the next weekend we spent in Santa Cruz (for more surfing, of course) and then I got sick! Let’s not forget to mention that in that chaos, my website went down and being someone who doesn’t know much about html, etc, I just let it sit until I had time to call customer support. I’m feeling better now and the website is back so let’s get back on track!
Yesterday, I took Juliana to a Sur La Table Cooking Class for her birthday!
I was really excited because it was a macarons making class and I have been dying to make them, but too scared to try it out alone!
As always, Sur La Table prepped many of the ingredients beforehand so we started by making the meringue for the lime macarons which included whipping up the egg whites and adding sugar until stiff foam peaks formed. While that was happening, we sifted the almond flour+confectioner’s sugar mixture four times through a Tamis sieve. There is a specific reason why this type of sieve had to be used… but I can’t remember it. Juliana was a sifting pro 😉
Once it was sifted four times, we added it in thirds to the meringue and gently folded it in. This is called the macaronnage step! For this first batch we added a little bit of green food coloring to match the lime flavor and then transferred the batter into a pastry bag to begin piping the macarons onto the silpat.
Our teacher gave us a good tip about piping: she said that, though tempting, when you’re putting anything into a pastry bag, you should not squeeze it to get it to the bottom. Instead, you should use a narrow spatula and scrape it against the side of bag. Eventually, the weight of the filling will push it down.
This step wasn’t as simple as just piping it out. You have to hold the bag straight up, it can’t lean. You also have to keep the tip just about half an inch up from the silpat and you can’t move it upward even though it’s so tempting.
Once we were done piping, we had to drop the pan with the wet macarons three times. Yes, that’s right. We had to hold the pan 6 inches above the bench and let it fall three times. This takes the air bubbles out!
They then had to be set aside to dry out. With time permitting, this should be for 30-45 minutes but it was less time during this class.
While we were making the meringues, our teacher had made the lime curd and had put it in the fridge to set. Once the lime macarons were placed in the oven, we started the macaronnage again for the orange creamsicle macarons.
When the lime macarons were done, we removed them from the silpat and created an assembly line of them.
We piped the lime curd into pastry bags and then put a dollop of curd onto one half of each macaron pair.
We then rolled the sides of the filled macarons in toasted coconut flakes, and voila!
We did the same process for the orange creamsicle macarons, only their filling was an orange buttercream (which I did not get a picture of)!
Our teacher said that macarons are actually better the second and third day after they’ve been in the fridge. This is because the filling has time to seep through the meringues!
This was yet another great class from Sur La Table and though the macarons still seem daunting, I’m excited to try them out at home!