I was recently invited by Caroline from In Love with Macarons, to attend one of her new Macaron Workshops in Weybridge. Having never made a macaron before I was intrigued and had no idea what a precise science there was to the art of macaron making. We started off by making an Italian meringe buy boiling sugar and water to the soft ball stage and at the same time our egg whites were being whisked up. We then whisked the boiling sugar water into our whisked egg whites for form a really dense and glossy meringue which formed the base of our macaron. Next we weighed out the meringue mixture and split it into 2 equal portions (we worked in paris). The table was full of little cups and bottles full of ingredients that Caroline had pre-weighed and labelled for our convenience. Then we added ground almonds, icing sugar, egg white and powdered natural colouring and mixed these in until a ribbon of mixture settled flat in the bowl. Piping was next on the agenda and Caroline had a laminated sheet of us all to use as a stencil (recipe was on the other side). Once our macarons were piped it was a waiting game and we were told that the time for our macarons to become dry to the touch could depend on the weather but usually took a minimum of 30 minutes.
All the way through the workshop Caroline gave us invaluable hints and tips that she’d learned in the 18 months that it took her to come up with the perfect macaron. One tip was that banging the tray after piping was not necessary (it’s supposed to release air) and she also advised us never to use a wetted finger to pat down the macaron mixture. While the macarons were drying out on baking sheets lined with silicone sheets Caroline proceeded to make filings which included: Salted Caramel, Lemon Curd, Buttercream and Raspberry Jam, Coffee Ganache and Chocolate Ganache.
Meanwhile Caroline’s daughter started to put the macarons in the oven as they started to dry out. My macarons were the green ones which came out of the oven last and once they had cooled I set about filling them with the salt caramel. Caroline also sells her macarons and other homemade sweet treats at local farmer’s markets and she told us she always sells out of the salted caramel flavoured ones first – I’m not surprised! I tried some of Carolines home-made marshmallows when we stopped to have a drink and they were fabulous and nothing like ones from a supermarket.
So after a delighful and very informative afternoon spent with other enthusiasti foodies making macarons and trying to take pictures (please excuse the poor quality but the lighting was not great) we were all sent away with a personalised box crammed full of macarons, a laminated recipe/stencil and given the “in love with macarons” apron we’d been wearing. I was literally mauled by the family as I got through the door. The macarons were all totally delicious and chewy and I was very pleased to have learned a new skill!
If you’d like to find out more about Caroline’s workshops or buy her treats then head over to:
Disclaimer: I was invited to attend In Love with Macarons workshop, was not paid and all opinions are my own.