Sunday, August 30, 2009

Macarons - A Mac with the Lot

I have just completed a day at Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School in Melbourne with the extremely talented Paul Kennedy.

This what you would I call a 'Mac with the lot' - a 7 cm citrus macaron with sesame seed decoration, with chocolate mint ganache, lemon mint chocolate (cheese), sliced strawberry, kiwi fruit and fresh mint leaves designed by Paul Kennedy.

This was a great class with only 5 students. We were shown three techniques for making macarons (French, Italian and Spanish) and four steps to the perfect macaron.

During the class we made:

Chocolate macarons with chocolate mint ganache

Raspberry macarons with raspberry confiture

Fidel Castor macarons (chilli) with chocolate tequila cream

Citrus macarons with lime curd

Caramel macarons with caramel cream and butterscotch schnapps

Chocolate Coriander with coriander milk chocolate ganache

Best of all, we made macarons with shiny shells, crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside and they all rose with tiny cute little feet.

The French method is the traditional way and hardest to do as it cracks if not done properly. Egg whites are whipped until they are stiff and then the almond/sugar mixture is added into the meringue giving a fairly stiff meringue.

The Italian method is used the most commercially but is difficult. A hot sugar syrup is poured into the whipped egg whites and then cooled while whipping further. The dry ingredients are first mixed with a small portion of unwhipped egg white to form a paste and then the whipped egg whites are folded into the paste.

The Spanish technique is considered the best method as it gives a better structure, although it has a tendency to get air bubbles. The Tant Pour Tant (half almond/half castor sugar) is sifted with icing sugar giving a higher sugar content, the egg whites are whisked and the caster sugar is added in three batches, then mixed until the stiff peak stage.

Piping takes some practice, but you get better as you do more. You have to keep the bag at a 90 degree angle with the bag straight up, perpendicular to the mat. The mixture is dropped rather than piped using little pressure. To move to the next macaron, release pressure, use a quick flick of the tip of the pastry tube and move to the next position.

The information given to me by Savour is copyright so I am not able to replicate class notes here. In future blogs, I will give my own recipes as I experiment with different recipes.

Macaron on Foodista


  1. OMG these are amazing! I love macaroons and these are so delicate and all the different flavours are amazing. Thanks for showing them.

  2. I'm yet to brave macaroons. These look fantastic!

  3. Wow - they are fantastic - and I'll bet they taste it too! You are soooooo clever.

  4. Wow, looks like Paul Kennedy has added a few other macarons to his selection - though most of the versions you made were the same as the ones I did in January down there at Savour. How great was that class? I think we had about 12 people or so. I would have loved a smaller class, like you. I learned so much from that day of instruction. So, when are you going to make a batch??? :)

  5. Thank you Janice, Jules, Jude and Julia. They were not all my work, but the efforts between of 5 students (myself included) and one very talented chef, Paul Kennedy. Mind you, there were some Macawrongs as well. Overall, the macarons tasted divine and better than anything that you could get in Melbourne. It's nice to know that Herme himself has done a workshop at Savour, so they certainly have the best source for their information and technique. Julia, hopefully, I will be making some later this week as a practice run to see if I can replicate them in my oven, then again next Monday with my friend who is a macaronophile. I am busily researching flavours to try. I will have to have a break from macarons for a few days. Even though I gave most of what I brought home (over 3 dozen) to family and friends, I did consume the last few today.

  6. Fabulous work with these macarons.Makes me want to reach out and grab one.Looking forward to the recipes/flavors you'll be making soon :)I'd love to guide our readers to your site if you won't mind.Just add your choice of foodista widget to this post and it's all set, Thanks!

  7. Thanks Jasnas, you have a lovely blog yourself.

  8. Lovely! The cheeseburger mac cracks me up! I'm hosting a link party this month for macarons and would love for you to join and share as many recipes, photos, and ideas as you like about macarons. Hope to see you there!