Monday, December 12, 2011

Mad About Macaroons

Yesterday I attended a much anticipated Macaroon course at Cakes 4 Fun in Putney. It was a great day of Macaroon madness! When we arrived we watched a demonstration of how to make the macaroons using the Italian method, before setting to work on 3 batches of our own. By lunchtime we were surrounded by trays and trays of macaroons, raspberry, lemon and chocolate. On top of that our lovely tutor made us pistachio, as well as some cinnamon flavoured macaroons. Before they went in the oven we were able to add some decorations to our pink macaroons, including little coloured balls (dragees), pink sugar and royal icing flowers.

In addition, we then made some Swiss meringue buttercream to which we added a variety of flavours. At the end of the day we all ended up with:
  • Lemon macaroons with lemon curd buttercream
  • Chocolate macaroons with ganache
  • Raspberry macaroons with raspberry jam buttercream (white chocolate ganache also goes well!)
  • Cinnamon macaroons with buttercream
  • Pistachio macaroons with pistachio paste buttercream
If you consider that a single macaroon at that well-known French macaroon patisserie costs £1.40…then all of a sudden this course seems like extremely good value. We left at the end of the day with around 50 macaroons… which would cost you about £70 if you bought them in a shop… and they were just as delicious but with the added satisfaction of being homemade!

So what were the top tips from the day?
  • Use the Italian method rather than the French method
  • Don't bother to draw out circles to pipe your macaroons
  • Leave your macaroons to rest for at least 30 minutes once piped before putting in the oven - until they go dull and form a skin

So what did I do with all my macaroons? Well I popped a few in these fab Christmassy gift bags and gave them out with my Christmas cards today, along with yesterday's biscotti! Although, I may have also sampled one or two myself!! ;-)

I would thoroughly recommend this course if you have a penchant for Macaroons…although, I already have a little bit of a Macaroon addiction and I’m sure being able to make them at home can only make it worse!


  1. These look great! I have yet to conquer my fear of macarons after hearing so many baking disasters about them. I had planned to bake them this year but they will have to wait till next year now.

  2. You should give it a go, they weren' too difficult...but that could be famous last words when I try them at home...or give the course a go!! :-)

  3. Thanks for the great macarons tips! I was told too to use Italian meringue to make macarons. I think the method is more reliable than the conventional one.

    All your macarons look so yummy!

  4. Those look great - did everyone's turn out as good as yours? I've only tried to make macarons once before and they were a disaster, even though I obviously followed a recipe. I find the courses at Cakes4Fun are really expensive, especially for cake decorating (as I'm doing an 8 week course at my local college next year that is only £65 in total!) but when it comes to something like macarons, maybe it is worth the money!

  5. Yes they are fairly expensive... but definitely think it's worth it for macaroons as you hear so many disaster stories! Everyone's macaroons turned out great!!

  6. These look amazing! Have you tried them again since? I have a jar of lemon Curd in the cupboard that needs to be used.... did you add lemon Curd to your buttercream or a layer of each? I'm hungry just thinking about it now!!

  7. Thanks... I haven't tried them at home yet... but Santa said if I'm very good he might bring me a stand mixer for Christmas... so I'll give them a go... I'll let you know how it goes!!

    The lemon curd was just mixed in with the swiss buttercream and it tasted favourite I think!

  8. That remind me of some cakes which my French boyfriend always bring me from France...they are called Mouchou basque!!!find it out!!!they are great!!!! food lover I suggest you an innovative and radical new website for gourmands:) request your membership here! adding manually (do not copy and paste it) the following invitation code: AD28625 This will give you a 90 days free upgrade when you sign up! xx

  9. Alessandra, just googled the Mouchou...they look good! I may have to try and make some, if I do I'll post a picture!

    I'll also check out the dining society! Thanks

  10. You lucky girl! Macs hate me - fact. They make me cry especially when all mine blow, crack etc. Will keep trying as one day I want them to look like yours - a course would be good I wish I could find one closer to home though!

  11. Yep I think a course is the way forward!! I daren't try them on my own but that's a challenge for 2012!!


Your comments are greatly appreciated!