Tuesday, July 30, 2013

William Dean Events - Macaron Class

This weekend, I had the opportunity to learn the techniques behind making French Macarons. Macarons are my favorite dessert. There is nothing more perfect than two meringue biscuits with a ganache or butter cream filling. I was first introduced to Macarons at Datz in Tampa who sells William Dean's famous chocolates and cookies. When I found out that William Dean was hosting cooking classes and a macaron class was on the lineup, I instantly signed up.

We were introduced to Chef Tim Brown, a culinary instructor at Johnson and Wales. He instantly started whipping up the meringue mixture, egg whites, granulated sugar and egg white powder on full blast until it has a medium glossy peak. Your meringue should be able to stand up and lean over, as shown below. Chef Brown said that a top 3 kitchen investment is a Kitchenaid mixer and I agree with him on this - I love my Kitchenaid!
Next is mixing the meringue mixture to the dry mix - fold the meringue mixture into a bowl with your powdered sugar and almond flower. Chief Chocolate Officer Bill Brown is showing us how to do this technique below. Your mixture is supposed to flow like lava. Be careful not to over mix! Take your rubber spatula and run it through the middle during the mixing and if it runs like lava, it is ready.
Now it's time for piping the cookies - I learned a trick from Chef Tim - get a vase or a large container to set your piping bag in. Then you can easy spoon the mixture into the bag, without having someone hold it for you. If you are going to make these at home, I suggest spending $12 on a Silicone Macaron Baking Sheet You pipe inside of the circles on the sheet. Use your back hand to control the piping. If you are right handed, you will have all pressure in that hand. See the video below as Bill Brown shows us how to pipe macarons.
Now it's our turn to pipe. I am impatient and wanted to go too fast. Isn't my hairnet hot?
Rachel (runnerstales.com) did a very good job piping, especially as this was her first time piping anything.
After you are finished piping the cookies, you let them sit out for 30 minutes or until dry to the touch.
While the cookies are drying, you can make your filling. We watched as Chef Tim Brown made caramel sauce. In a deep pot (or if you want to be fancy, you can buy a Caramel Pot) combine your water, sugar and glucose. Bring to a boil, allowing your water to evaporate, which will cause the sugar to caramelize. Meanwhile, boil your cream in another pot. Once it is brought to a boil, add the cream to the carmalized mixture 3 shots at a time. This will prevent overflowing. Finally let the sauce cool (to about 95 degrees) and add the butter. You now have caramel!

Here is my classes final product. Thank you Rachel for letting me borrow your photo :)
We were sent home with a 12 pack box of William Dean Macarons. I keep them in the refrigerator, allowing whichever flavor I am going to eat that night come to room temperature. It's like playing roulette with macarons.

Be sure to check out the other classes at William Dean this summer. They are offering the following classes: French Style Chocolates, Truffles, Bon Bon, French Tarts, Confections, French Cakes, Cookies & Cupcakes and no fear, they have more macaron classes!

Below are the ingredients used to make Macarons. Each batch makes 144 shells. You will notice that everything below is measured by weight - It is best to make macarons this way. Pick up a Digital Kitchen Scale for precise measurements.


French Macaron Ingredients:
Almond Flour 250g
Powdered Sugar 300g
Sugar 220g
Egg Whites 220g
Powdered Egg Whites 1/2 tsp

Basic Caramel Sauce Ingredients
Water 120g
Sugar 435g
Flucose or Corn Syrup 90g
Butter 4oz
Cream 370g

3 comments:

  1. Yum! Macarons are so pretty!

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  2. Nice post!!! Great info though I must say, I'm intimidated! Perhaps I'll have to take a class one day. I don't foresee me tackling the things without some proper training! What a beautiful selection you went home with (jealous).

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  3. Looks like this was a fun class! I am hoping to be at the French Tart class coming up next week...

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