Right, so macarons. I guess you could say I know how to make them. They mostly turn out (although I have a new oven so I am learning my recipes all over again – more on that soon). And when I teach classes, people often ask me “What’s Level 2?” Typically my response will be something along the lines of “Go away and practice making macarons until you know your oven and can make them with a good success rate and then come back and talk to me!” Because learning how to perfect the macarons is a lot to do with practice. But what if, like me, you have more or less mastered them? Where to go?
Led by the lovely Diane who is just fun as she is knowledgeable, the class is three hours long and incorporates learning to make Italian meringue macarons, as well as three ganaches to sandwich your shells with…
Though the class is not technically geared towards complete beginners, in the class I took, I was the only seasoned macaron-maker and there was one other woman who had taken the La Cuisine basic macaron making class – two days earlier! For this reason, Diane spent a good amount of time teaching the basic method using Italian meringue which I appreciated – even seasoned macaron-makers need refreshers every now and then!
For me, the thing with Italian meringue macarons is getting the batter “just so” – it’s so much stiffer than French meringue macaron batter… Diane showed us how to check for the right consistency…
And then we got to piping. The thing with “Level 2″ macarons is that you need to get the piping right at a “Level 1″ stage first… Diane made sure that we all got a lot of practice piping regular shaped macarons first…
We made sure those were baked to perfection…
And then we were allowed to get creative!
I personally was a fan of the two-tones round macarons and my baking partner (the woman who had just taken the basic class a couple of days earlier) was intent on perfecting her regular shaped shells so we made a great pair – she got to practice round macaron shells and I got to play with colours 😉
As well as piping macaron batter in different shapes, you can also decorate the shells after they have been baked with a variety of methods using decorating equipment (i.e. piping words and designs with chocolate, decorating with food markers, using colour dusts and shimmers). It was a lot of fun!
And the end result? (apologies for iPhone photo!)
A beautiful box of macarons that I took to a dinner party the next night. Oooh and Aaahs ensued 😉
If you’ve baked macarons before, this is a great class to further your knowledge. If you’ve not baked them before this will set you on the right road but be aware that you should probably practice plain macarons in your own kitchen before you attempt these (even though you will be totally inspired and excited to make fun shapes and colours!). Or, you know, you could always take another macaron class at La Cuisine Paris while you are there 😉
Disclosure: I was a guest of La Cuisine Paris in the macaron decorating class. I was not asked to write about this, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions are 100% my own.