If you’re anything like me, you’ve lusted over displays of macarons and wondered how something so delicious can be so difficult to make. They always seemed so impossible – the feet have to be perfect, the shells need to be shiny, yet crunchy but when you bite into them they’re filled with just the right amount of air. And that’s just the cookie. Then you have to fill them with perfectly decadent, rich, but smooth and creamy ganache. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Fast forward to Christmastime where I found the perfect gift for Tenley – a macaron baking class at the St. Lawrence Market taught by Mardi Michels, an Australian born, France lived, Canadian self-taught baker, teacher, and soon to be published author. Michel was never a trained pastry chef but has experience cooking and teaching in French patisseries as well as many at home experiments with lots of different macaron recipes. Mardi has done all the hard work and testing and come away with an as perfect as can be macaron recipe that makes them easy for everyone. She teaches the classes (not just macarons, but many other techniques and goodies) about once a month at the St. Lawrence Market and I highly recommend checking out her website for her next class.
A couple of tips I walked away with:
- It’s better to overwhip the eggs a bit than under whip and have a runny batter
- It’s better to under-fold your batter than over mix, making it runny
- Use powdered food colouring (totally a thing!) vs. gel or the waterbased stuff from the grocery store
- Icing sugar with corn starch is okay, too
- Macarons are a three-day process: day one, bake – day two, fill – day three, eat
Again, I highly recommend checking out her class! Once I can master them, I’ll post more about making your own at home.