Thursday, August 3, 2017

Macaron Class - Central Market

It's been a while since I attended a macaron class.  (Warning: picture heavy) 
It's also been a while since I've made any at home, so decided to give it a kick start.  Plus, this is the only one in the city that teaches savory macs, so it peaked my interest.
This is the teacher, Rebecca Betrand, this is her side hustle and she makes macs for orders and teaches here.
 I can't get over how cute these mats are, they are Blue Drop mats.  They already have the bear and heart shape imprinted on top of the circle.  If you are getting it for the circles, it's about 1.5inches.
Here's all your necessary dry ingredients and tools that goes with it.  Sifter (super important), bowl to hold the sifted flour, spatula, spoon, pipping bag, a holder of some kind, and a big bowl for trash, of course parchment paper.  If you don't have a silicon mat, you can always bake with parchment paper.

Rebecca recommends sifting it 3 times, that's a bit much for me.  I don't disagree with 2, but I'm usually lazy and just do 1.  She did say you can lose up to 1tsp of ingredients and won't lose the integrity of the recipe.
Let's Whip It!  There's about 3.25 egg whites in this mix, along with cream of tartar and sugar.  Whip It, Whip It Good!

She uses Icing Food Coloring gel while the mixer is going, nice and clean and no toothpicks necessary.  She also put some flavoring in there too.  So the shell already flavored.
After combining the dry ingredient with the wet ones... Of course, like many, you divide your dry ingredient in 3s and incorporate one third at a time.  But something neat she taught was that you do your mixing, 10-12 time each add and at the end, do a figure 8 stir to make it ribbon faster, that's a first that I've heard, must try it.  
 Here's the teacher demonstrating the art of piping.
The left 3 rows were mine... they came out a tad too big...
Then you garnish, we have poppyseed here, go easy.
It's rested and baked... eek, they're holding hands.... Oops....

It's interesting that she let it rest for 40 mins, that's a very long time, but as you're making the filling, guess that's all good.  
Look! There's feet or Pied!

As usual, word of the wise, the time they tell you in class is not necessary the same as the one you'll get at home, just because your home oven is different.  So, we tell people try 9-10mins to start and then see if that works, add or subtract as you get to know your oven.
 These macs were filled with Goat Cheese/Cream Cheese combo with fig preserve.  It's different, I was hoping that she gives a recipe of a cut sugar for the savory.  Instead, she just makes the filling a tad stronger to overcome the sugar.  

But she did provide a neat idea that if you don't have enough shells, you can do half shells and treat them as canapés as appetizers.  I would add that you can slice a thin piece of salmon to add on top of the cheese combo.
 We decorated with edible glitter.  YUM!  It's different, but neat.
 Second flavor, Pecan shell with salted caramel.  I've known that you can replace the almond nut with other dry such as unsweetened coco powder, matcha (green tea) powder.  Or other nuts, such as pistachio, hazelnut, but pecan is a first for me.   The filling is Salted Caramel, but it's neat that she did a whipped version of it, which I've never tried before.  It taste good and not sticky to your teeth!
 Another tip about decorating macs: you can line your piping bag with some sauce.  It can be chocolate sauce, or coffee sauce, any sauce that's kinda thick will do.
 It came out pretty on the shell and bakes well.  Basically, this is espresso with espresso buttercream.  The teacher was saying that when she's blending the flour, she put a tsp of espresso coffee in the mix, so it's not over-empowering but you add a kick to a plain one.

The buttercream recipe is very versatile, you can whip up the basic and add flavors for different things, up to your imagination.  I just wish it's a smaller version, because it makes alot when you do it at home.  Anyone need buttercream for cakes? 
Here's the lemon poppyseed with lemon curd filling.  I've never been a big lemon fan, but the curd is not too zesty that I don't mind it.  It is refreshing for the summer, and not too much of a hassle to make.
Here's the final products.  You do get to take home the excess.  Unlike Sur La Table, you have to eat it all because Central Market has license to sell food, so it's not unusual to take a box of cookies home. But SLT won't let you.  That's what I like about this place.

This is definitely a great intro to macaron class.  Rebecca is super down to earth and friendly.  She doesn't judge if you say macaroon vs. macaron.  Not talking over your head and constantly provide great tips of what we can do at home.  She teaches here once a month, so catch her classes.

Central Market Cooking Class
3815 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 

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