L'atelier des Chefs
19 Wigmore St
Date of Last Visit: 15 November 2008
The Victims: Many. (And I'm stealing this list from Helen who did all the work.) Niamh from eatlikeagirl and Trusted Places. Su-Lin from Tamarind and Thyme. Alice from An American in London. Lizzie from Hollow Legs. Tom from The Food Flunky. Mark from Food By Mark. Jonathan from Around Britain With A Paunch. Abi from foodrambler. Alex from The Princess And The Recipe. Mia from Urban Foodie. Shuna from eggbeater. Josh from Cooking The Books. And Heather, a Trusted Places reviewer.
The Damage: None! Except to the waistline.
The Background: I am back at L'atelier des Chefs for the THIRD time. I must like it here. This time, the enormously generous people at TrustedPlaces are treating us London food and restaurant bloggers to a macaron class. You do know I love macarons…(with one o or two).
It's nice to be in a room full of food bloggers, although I did immediately develop a case of camera envy. Nearly everyone's got an SLR with those special macro lenses. And all I've got is my Nokia N82. It doesn't stop me from snapping away though.
We're broken up into teams–Chef Baldwin mentions a foie gras macaron and I immediately get myself onto that table. Our macaron biscuits are made with squid ink, which gives them a gray cast. Not as exciting as this team's batter…
We set to work piping batter onto trays. This was a lot harder than it looks. You had to get the pressure and the angle just right.
Definitely a bit labo(u)r intensive, and you know I don't like to work for my food. But the finished products were lovely and delicious…
So…things I learned about making macarons…
1. They're pretty labor-intensive (I've tried Google-ing "easy macaron recipe" to no avail.)
2. Sift, sift, sift.
3. It's essential to get all the air out of the biscuits before you cook them. You can do this by holding your baking tray about two feet about a table and dropping the tray down onto the table. This is a pretty satisfying exercise.
It's funny (and nice), meeting people for the first time when you only know them through the Internet. This was a great day out, and maybe, just maybe, I'll try whipping up a batch of these little suckers over the holidays . Maybe.
Keep reading for the recipe for salted butter caramel macarons, with many thanks to the folks at L'atelier des Chefs…
Salted Butter Caramel Macarons
Ingredients pour 6 personne(s)
Ground almonds: 125 g
Salted butter: 30 g
Caster sugar: 125 g
Double cream: 140 g
Egg whites: 90 g
Butter: 125 g
Sugar: 300 g
For the macaroons: 125 g of icing sugar, 125g of ground almond, 90g of egg whites, 125g of sugar
For the caramel: 140g of double cream, 170g of caster sugar, 30g of salted butter, 125g of normal butter.
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
To make the biscuits…
Sift the ground almond and the icing sugar together.
Whisk up the egg whites with a pinch of salt, add 65g of caster sugar. Whisk for 5 minutes. Add 65 more grams of sugar and whisk up the eggs 5 more minutes to obtain a stiff and glossy meringue mixture.
Mix the ground almond and the sugar to this mixture.
Use a plastic spatula to cut and fold the mixture until it reaches the ribbon stage and it is smooth and shiny .
Use a piping bag to pipe macaroons onto a baking mat. Let the macaroons crust during 30 minutes at room temperature then cook about 10 minutes in an oven at 160 degrees C.
For the salted butter caramel…
Melt 170g of sugar in a pan until it is brown.
Add the salted butter and then the double cream. Mix and let cool down.
Whip the normal butter to obtain a soft consistency and blend it to the cold caramel
Paste macaroons together with the salted butter caramel.