Before I launch into this blog, I need to tell you that I don’t like Macarons…. never have. I find them way too sweet and if I have ever had to be polite and eat them, they must be accompanied by a large cup of black tea. This does not mean that the cook in me does not want to learn how to make them! So when the opportunity came up for me to learn from the master of the Macaron, well I took it!
The doors opened to the good food and wine festival on Friday 17th of October, and I was there waiting. I like to get there early to have a quick look around before the crowds pile in! I also had a very tight schedule 9:30am – 12pm Macaron Masterclass, 1pm watching Matt Moran cook up a feast on the Celebrity theatre, 2 pm Cheese and Wine matching masterclass, then 4pm Chef’s Table with Matt Golinsky and Alistair Mc Loud. The Good Food and Wine Festival in Brisbane will get its own post, so watch out for that!
Back to Adriano… I stood at my bench and there waiting for me was a very pink Apron, tea towel and oven mitt (I got him to sign the oven mitt, I know a bit silly, but all the kids where doing it). Also all the ingredients that we were going to need was measured out and beautiful Kenwood appliances to make our delectable delights with. (Kenwood was the sponsor)
We got straight into it… Adriano stood at the front with a microphone and took us through every step… We did have a recipe in front of us, but because he was making it step by step it was just easier to follow him.
We found out we were making a Choc Organge Hazelnut Zumbarons (Macarons), well they are just as good as any I suppose 🙂 We started off making the ganache so it would set… saucepans, thermometer’s and the like were flying around the kitchen and I seemed to be the only person who was asking questions, so in the end, Adriano just came over and talked to me… asked me what I did and we had a fantastic conversation about Thermomix’s, He asked me what I thought of the new TM5 and told me that he was thinking of getting one for his mum!
Because I asked questions and was really interested in the whole process, I found out; that you can make your own almond meal, they just have to be blanched, dried almonds; you can use other nuts, but it must have at least 1/2 almond meal for the correct texture; I can make my own hazelnut paste to add to the chocolate instead of buying “gianduja” (hazelnut chocolate) as it is much cheaper; I must use good quality coverture chocolate, otherwise the Macarons will be WAY TO SWEET! So it pays to ask!
We then started on the Macarons, Now this was really interesting finding out the exact time the egg whites where ready, how to put the hot sugar into the mixture and what was the correct texture of a perfect Macaron mixture. These are things that you can not get off a packet or a recipe! It is really interesting to find that you spend heaps of time putting air into the mixture, then you have to beat some of it out. Then after piping you have to hit the bottom of the tray, these people are called beaters and they have that specific job at Adriano’s shop in Sydney and some are better than others!
The Macaroons are then piped onto a silicon mat, beaten and sprinkled with a bit of cacao powder. I was pretty happy with the evenness of my macaroons and so was Adriano! They actually do change shape as they are “beaten.” They then need to sit and harden so that when you touch them they don’t stick to your fingers, then into the Oven for 13 – 15 minutes.
When they come out you leave them for a few minutes and then turn them over using a spatula ready to pipe the ganache onto every second Macaron. Then you put them together and you have to restrain yourself and not eat them for a whole day. Adriano says they settle and taste better the next day, so it is good to know that making them a day a head is actually better!
The mixture makes about 60 Macarons and I asked Adriano if you could halve the mixture… He said that you could, but why would you!!! I have to say the whole experience was fantastic and the staff from Kenwood were amazing, running around helping us and taking away all our dirty dishes (it was so nice not having to clean up)
The last thing we did, was have photos, get stuff signed and write on the blackboard. Adriano Zumbo was extremely generous with his time and information. I was so glad I was able to participate in this amazing opportunity. If you love to cook, or even if you’re not a great fan, go to a cooking class and get inspired, it really is a great way to get practical hands on information.
I will be posting a macaroon recipe soon, so I need your help… What flavours do you like, or would you like to see me to make? I have always been a fan of Adriano’s amazing creations, now I am a fan of Adriano!
I hope you enjoyed a little look into my fabulous day! Don’t forget to tell me what flavour Macarons you think I should make!
This is not a sponsored post, I personally paid for the class.