You might call them French Macarons but in my kitchen I call them “macs”. I recently took my third workshop on how to make the airy yet chewy sweet delicacies. Did I really need another class? Maybe not but I find classes fun, I always learn something new and this was the best class I’ve taken on making the mysterious macs and actually the best baking class I’ve ever taken! It was at the Sweet and Saucy Shop in Long Beach. Beyond excellent on so many levels!
… and yes, I made these beauties!
These finicky little puffs of meringue and almond flour are tricky to make, let me just say that. It’s not that the technique is difficult making a meringue but knowing the tricks and what to look for is crucial such as starting the mixer on a very low speed and not increasing it until you can’t see any yellow in the bowl only foamy white.
It really was helpful to have hands-on experience and not just a demo and to have my own mixer to work with. I have to say I was kind of nervous mixing it all up since you can either under or over mix it and then it’s ruined! So I was thrilled when they came out perfectly. Of course, the gals aged the egg whites, measured out the ingredients, knew when to put them into the oven and when to take them out so it wasn’t all my skill but it was enough to make me feel victorious! For at this particular glorious moment in Long Beach, I had mastered the mac!
Let me share more with you…
Kacy showed us the final stage of the meringue and told us it should resemble the constancy of shaving cream. This tip helped tremendously.
I was surprised how rough you could get mixing it the almond meal and powdered sugar blend. You kind of need to show it who’s boss. I think we can all agree I can do that. Click here if you need further proof and scroll! haha!
Piping sweet mounds of delight…the paper template is pulled out from the parchment paper before baking. Keep that tip perpendicular to the pan so you don’t get lop-sided tops when baking.
After banging the pan to flatten out the mac mounds (that’s right, who’s your mac mama), they need to sit to dry for awhile. This is the time to add sprinkles. Of course, I went for the orange and yellow. I thought they made for “happy macs”.
We all got to choose whatever color we wanted to. Is this a thing of beauty, or what?
We also learned to make two petit desserts! Mini key lime pies and mini chocolate chip cheesecakes. I’ve been baking a very long time and these two recipes are a couple of the best mini desserts I’ve ever tasted! Want the recipe? That’s what the class is for. 😉
Melody, the co-owner is so cheerful and helpful and showed our group how to quickly fill the cavities of the mini baking pans. She poured the crumb mixture over the pan and with a sweep of her hand the pan was full. Genius! I know I would have taken a spoon and filled each one individually and it would have taken four times as long.
What took more time was compacting the crumb mixture to hold the key lime filling. Did you know key lime juice is sweeter than regular lime juice? Me neither. Who knew!
Great tip on filling the cups – Fill the cups to the top with filling. This creates a support for the rim of the crust. Without the support of the filling, after baking, the rim will have a tendency to crumble. Good to keep in mind.
So here are my pretty pink french macarons. We filled them with three different buttercreams- chocolate ganache, pistachio and vanilla bean. The buttercreams were all ready for us to pipe on to the mac halves. Each flavor was better than the next. I couldn’t pick a favorite. I loved them all!
Here are my unfinished mini desserts – the key lime pies still need a torched meringue swirly puff (I tried to video holding an open flame in one hand and my phone in the other but that wasn’t such a good idea) and the mini chocolate chip cheese cakes in a chocolate cookie crumb crust with a pour of rich ganache over them.
We then chose mini paper cups to place them in to take home. I also took home a tray and a half of macarons, that I made. I couldn’t believe how many treats that road shotgun back down to Orange County with me, like a couple feet away, within easy reach, but I kept them all packaged up in the cute Sweet and Saucy Shop boxes… until I got home, that is.
I highly recommend the French Macaron class at the Sweet and Saucy Shop. They tend to have their classes in January and February because of the busy wedding season the rest of the year so check out the Sweet and Saucy Shop Instagram page for notifications. That’s where Melody said they post class dates.
I tend to post more photos of my treats on my Sweets To Impress Instagram page too that I might not have a full post to accompany them. Make sure you follow along with me too. 🙂
One more shot of a detail of one of their cakes. How do they make this icing so smooth? If you can’t take a class they also have videos on their website. Love this wafer paper flower and fondant “string”. These gals have such incredible talent!