You guys. This was so fun.
Per a great suggestion by my friend Lauren, we took a macaron making class at the newly opened Macaron Bar in OTR on Saturday. The class is offered on the weekends from ten to one, and honestly, the time flies. From the welcome coffee, to the demo, to the hands on part, the whole experience is a blast.
So class begins by watching the master macaron maker make the meringue (god I love alliteration). He adds the ingredients, makes sure the peaks are stiff, and then folds and folds and folds until it ribbons off the spatula. (Obviously if you are not as familiar with the mechanics of macaron making, the previous sentence might read as nonsense. Sorry I’m not sorry. I’m now so in the know.)
After watching from the bench, we were called up to play. Everyone worked in partners, which thank goodness, because this business is not for the weak of arm. The beauty of these treats is that there’s really not that much to them, just two to three ingredients per component, but you have to work.
The easiest portion was mixing the meringue and making sure you get it to the consistency where you have stiff peaks.
Once the peaks have been achieved, it’s all about folding in the flour. This was probably the most rigorous part of the course, but luckily we each had partners to tap in when need be. Lauren and I joked that we definitely failed this part of the class because it definitely took us the longest to get to the consistency that was needed. But…we ultimately got there.
Then we entered my most favorite phase, piping the cookies. There was definitely an art to this stage and I’m not convinced Lauren and I got close to mastering. But our cookies were shaped like cookies so we’ll call it a win.
While the cookies were left to cool then bake, we were treated to macaron samples before gearing up for the ganache (I can’t stop). And I don’t know why I didn’t see this coming, but we made everything from scratch. I’m talking scraping the vanilla bean to melting sugar into caramel. However given my nonexistent affinity for anything in a kitchen, it should be no surprise that I was surprised. But it was cool and all was well and all was made (even though Lauren and I messed up our cinnamon one by over-boiling it…we were bailed out by a pre-made batch so all was not lost).
In the end, there were four pairs of partners, with four different flavor fillings, and we all shared with each other. Most cookies were colored, but that had nothing to do with what they tasted like, which explains why I am still biting into peppermint ones when looking for vanilla. But a good macaron is a good macaron.
The afternoon concluded with each of us filling up two to three boxes of ten or so macarons to take home and share. The instructing, the doing, the tasting, the making, and the many macarons to walk away with made the whole outing to Macaron Bar totally so so fun. I would recommend the day ten times over. Seriously. Round up a group of friends and go…you’ll have a blast.