Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backwards
On Sunday afternoon I had the immense pleasure of taking a macaron making class from L'atelier des Gâteux. Now I do like to bake, and I love macarons like no other, but I have never attempted to make them (because they seem really hard to make in all honesty). I had my chance to conquer my baking fears and also beat out some finals stress, by making these delectable cookies.
We (my study abroad group) walked into the class with no experience in making macarons whatsoever, and a limited french vocabulary (only three of us were fluent and mine is passable on most days), but the best thing about this class was that the teacher showed us every step along the way. If we were lost on a step, she would simply show it to us again on our side of the table. Yeah, even though the other french-speakers in class may have talked about us (which is rude because I understand the language pretty well), we still learned a lot.
Plus how much french do you really need to know? Dessert is a word we all know. LOL just joking! Please know the language you are taking a class in, or at least have a vague idea of what's going on, and an ability to hide your confusion (at me).
Arm workouts and anger issues
In watching the process of making the dough for the macarons, we all realized that you need some serious arm strength to mix these cookies. We were all watching our instructor with awe as she "macaron-ed" the mess out of the dough. Classique Moment: Macaron-ing is the process in which you beat the mess out of your dough in order to mix the flour with the whipped egg whites. Yeah my arm was definitely feelin' it after the mixing process. No wonder this woman was #armgoals, it's because she makes all these macarons!
Once your arm feels like it's about to fall off from mixing the dough, we were able to add the powder food coloring to the mix. Classic Tip: We were told not to add liquid coloring because it changes the texture of the dough. And then came the piping. Now our instructor, who is a professional, made it look so easy. She just went to town and piped out these perfectly even circles onto the sheet, and after she was done, she proceeded to pick up the sheet...and then bang it against the table. She really went to town and got all her anger out on it. We were all kind of shocked, and I'm honestly still not sure why we had to hit it against the table, but when in Paris right? I mean I felt like I let out some anger, and maybe it was so that you got out any air bubbles. I'm just guessing here.
Oh My Ganache!
While we waited for the cookies to bake, our instructor then proceeded to make five different fillings for our macarons, and let us taste each and every one of them. It was heavenly, and these fillings were probably rich enough to make me gain five pounds off of one spoonful...and I was totally okay with that.
We made a filling for each cookie and the pairings were as followed:
- Chocolate passion fruit ganache - Passion fruit cookie
- Chocolate Ganache - Raspberry cookies & Vanilla cookie
- Pistachio - Pistachio cookie
- Nutella - Nutella cookie topped with hazelnuts
- Speculoos (Kinda like cookie butter) - Speculoos cookie topped with cookie crumbs
- Raspberry jam - Raspberry cookies
I'll Take 20
Finally! After we filled and assembled our macarons, we were able to marvel at our achievements. Honestly, I was high-key proud of myself and also incredibly glad that I went to the baking session. Not only was I able to take home a box of homemade macarons, but I felt a lot more relaxed afterwards. It was nice to put some time and energy into something besides my group projects. (Also it doesn't hurt that I was also able to eat the results of my hard work).
So Remember to find something to relax you during finals week, whether that be baking, working out, writing, or whatever. Sometimes you just need to take your mind off of the stress and focus on the sweeter things in life.
And before you ask yes, I ate all of the macarons I made... No shame!