Monday, June 18, 2012

Dessert Day: The supersized edition. Also titled: Macarons Take 2.

For mother's day, I suggested that Inspector Climate go get his mother some chocolates from one of her favourite chocolate shops Ganache - she loves the little chocolate mice.  And while we were in there, I happened to notice that Ganache does cooking classes on chocolate making, macaron making, truffles, ganache, seriously the list went on and on and got more and more delicious.

And so, I asked Kirsti from A Quick Succession of Busy Nothings and my partner in crime when it comes to dessert day, if she wanted to join me in the macaron class. Now this was particularly fitting because if you remember for our first Dessert Day we made macarons...and well...

That happened. Sure they were delicious, but they were not macarons.

Kirsti of course was all "YES PLEASE" and so - we hatched a plan to supersize dessert day. bwahahaha. Ahem.

About a week before the Big Day (which was Sunday), Kirsti and I had a bit of panic attack that we were going to have to crack dozens of eggs in front of a room full of strangers and get yucky egg-ness on us.  This was not ok.

We were absolutely thrilled that all the egg cracking and separating and weighing was done before we got there! Phewf!

We learned all about how Ganache makes their macarons - they make them using Italian meringues (using a sugar syrup) instead of French meringues (adding sugar slowly to the egg whites).  And we saw their industrial mixers (bigger than my kitchen!).

We learned that making macarons is not a spur of the moment activity but should be planned a week in advance (oh boy) as the eggs whites need to be old - and the flour is at it's fluffiest when it's been sifted twice and left to sit out on the counter for a week!

And then it was time to get our hands dirty. We mixed in some pink food colouring to our portion of the eggwhites. (Lesson: last time we were so gentle with our egg whites which is probably why we got meringues instead of macarons, the Master Chocolatier was NOT gentle with the egg whites. He put the smack down with the spatula).

And then we piped.

Now my second biggest fear after egg whites is piping. And so when it was our turn, to get pipe out little macarons onto the tray I may have shook with a bit of fear and trepidation.

Here are Kirsti and I piping, tentatively (now would probably be a good time to mention that most of the photo's were taken by Kirsti on Kirsti's camera. I will note if other wise).

And here I am, posing with my tray of tiny pockets of deliciousness.  Last time we made these, Kirsti and I gently (do you see a pattern here) tapped the trays on the counter hoping that this was going to flatten our  giant piles of egg whites.  But, no, we banged the tray against our hands to flatten out the macarons.

After the macarons were left to rest for a few minutes to gain a bit of a skin on the top - enough so that when touched no pink came off on your fingertips. They were wheeled into a giant person-sized oven.  Hello, oven.

This is the Master Chocolatier, Arno Backes! He is a fantastic teacher - and extremely passionate about his work - I mean he works with chocolate. I think it is a sin to NOT be passionate about it.

Once the macarons were in the oven we learned how to make a raspberry ganache (praise Moses). It was... DELICIOUS. Hot raspberry puree stirred into silky smooth chocolate with a splash of raspberry liquer to create sinfully good that our biggest regret of the day was not stealing the extra ganache that was left in our piping bag...

The macarons were taken out of the oven, and we piped in chocolate and made little delicious bite sized sandwiches.

These are my little beauties - snapped by me with my iphone (below).

And here are Kirsti's all boxed up, looking divine.

Remember when I said that macarons are not a spur of the moment "I feel like a macaron, I'll make them and eat them today" thing...Well, once they're made and sandwiched together - it is best to keep them in the fridge over night until they are soft and delicious.

But, I ask you, could you let these sit in your fridge for 24 hours before taste testing them? Could you!?

If you said yes, well fine you have more self control then I do.  Because here I was, five hours after the course, nibbling on one of them.

A big thank you to Ganache, who gave Kirsti and I discounted price to attend their class because of our blogs.* If you're in Australia and happen to be in a chocolate shop that sells Ganache chocolates - go ahead and treat yourself to one.

And if you're in Melbourne, go ahead and stop in for a macaron and cup of hot chocolate - tell 'em Decoybetty and A Quick Succession of Busy Nothings sent you.

*they didn't bribe me with extra chocolates and clearly didn't bribe me with the pastry bag of raspberry ganache to say nice things about them. All opinions are my own.

And a further note - In my life list I have take cooking classes - and this is the first one I've taken. An extra big thank you to Ganache for giving me this opportunity!


  1. Thanks for taking the time to post about this - I didn't know that making macarons was such a painstaking process but definitely appreciate the effort now. Your macarons turned out beautifully the second time around and look like they taste delicious too

  2. I'm actually kind of glad I sampled a couple straight away. Because then when I had them again yesterday after the required time in the fridge, it made me appreciate that YES, they really do need that 24 hours in the fridge to be spectacular!

    I think I need to make a giant batch of that raspberry ganache and keep it next to the toaster as suggested... OM NOM NOM NOM NOM.

  3. They look sweetly adorable, like you.

  4. You two are freakin' CHAMPS, is what you are...! Brilliant. Those macarons look perfetto!

    (I...don't know why I just said that in Italian, 'cept maybe it's strangely apt given Ganache use Italian meringues for their macarons. Yeah, that'll do. :P)

    One day I'll bite the bullet and follow in yours and Kirsti's (awesome-)macaron-making footsteps.


    The raspberry ganache sounds TO DIE.

  5. aw..I envy you so! So pretty. Must have been a great time. They are so pretty! Yummy, I'm sure.

  6. I've never had macarons! Yours look much better than I could ever do, that's for sure!

  7. Oh wow, such beauty! I love it. I think I will never have the patience to make such a thing - just like I don't have the patience to make croissants. Those things are best left to the masters - or you!

  8. i don't know if i would have that kind of patience! but it paid off for you, they look delicious!

  9. Wow that is really impressive and they look super delicious!

  10. That looks like so much fun. I've never even eaten a macaroon. I need to get out more and I'm glad you had a good time.

  11. I'm jealous of this whole entire posts. I mean, desserts and yummy and an adventure and KIRSTI WHO I MISS.

    I'm gonna go cry and dream of eating one of those beautiful macaroons.

  12. You can ALWAYS send me baked goods. ALWAYS. Just so you know.

  13. Jealous! These look fantabulous!! I hope you gave some to IC too ;P

  14. Oh my goodness! I am totally jealous of these! They look fantastic and yummy!