Jul. 7th, 2014 @ 03:25 pm Macaron workshop
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
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We've been experimenting with baking macarons a few times now. The results were tasty, but they weren't really good macarons either. Searching for recipes on the internet only takes you so far -- so I wanted to learn from a pro. After some searching, I decided on a workshop from Zoete Workshops ("Sweet workshops"), which is a sub-label from a chain of patisserie shops.
The problem with most workshops is that they're easy to book when you're with a group, but not individually. Finding a workshop open for individuals that attracts enough people to actually go through is kinda hard. I had good hopes for this one, and we did get a confirmation that the workshop would indeed be held.

We had to go to Rotterdam, though. But then again, one of 'my' clients is there, so it's not like I haven't driven there before. But this time, we parked outside the city and took the tram into the city centre. After a tasty lunch at a café next to the iconic Erasmus-bridge, we walked along the water to the workshop location.
There were nine people taking the workshop -- and as is usual in these things, I was the only man. I wonder why that is -- don't men want to learn new skills? Or should I do woodworking workshops or stuff like that, in order to not be the only man present?

We were split in three groups. Each group would make a batch of shells, with a colouring of their choice. One lady had specific instructions to make orange (the colour) macarons, because the Dutch national soccer team would be playing that evening. I suggested that the other groups could make red and blue shells, and with a white cream, we'd get red-white-blue macarons -- like we did before. This was met with approval, and we got to work.

I won't bore you with the details, but suffice to say that we learned a lot of techniques and tricks to make good macarons and delicious buttercream for the filling. Of course, I also took (crappy cellphone-)pictures:

carefully mixing the almond/sugar mix with the beaten eggwhites. Note the added red food coloring.


Piping the mixture onto sheets of baking paper. These are the blue shells, as you can see.


We learned a lot about drying and baking -- crucial for a good macaron shell. Here you can see the orange and red shells baking in the oven. You can see that they grew 'feet' underneath: the sign of a good macaron shell!


The result. Apparently, this was the first workshop where every batch came out perfectly.


Filled with vanilla-flavoured buttercream!

We even went so far as to buy a Kitchenaid mixer to be able to bake at home...
About this Entry
curry ga dekita!
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From:nathreee
Date:July 7th, 2014 06:21 pm (UTC)
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Don't men want to learn new skills? I think out current culture makes it shameful for a man to admit that he's learning. If a man doesn't know already, then he is stupid! Also, if he admits he likes creative things that involve sweet smells and bright colours or dancing, he will run the risk of coming off as not-manly, which is the greatest shame of all...

Back on topic. You maded nice cookies. ^.^
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From:gertvr
Date:July 7th, 2014 08:23 pm (UTC)
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Super dat jullie dit gedaan hebben, lijkt mij ook erg leuk om eens te doen. Ik zal het onthouden, dat dit in Rotterdam kan. Enne: welkom bij de Club van Kitchenaid bezitters :-)
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From:fub
Date:July 8th, 2014 09:13 am (UTC)
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Ze hebben ook allerlei andere workshops -- de chocolade-variant intereseert me ook, maar die staat niet op de agenda. Ik verwacht dat tegen het einde van Augustus het herfst-seizoen ingevuld zal worden.
Als je een workshop ziet die je wilt doen (behalve dan macarons), laat even weten -- misschien kunnen we dan samen gaan!
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From:babarage
Date:July 26th, 2014 06:16 pm (UTC)
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Ikke ook!
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From:sbslink
Date:July 7th, 2014 09:15 pm (UTC)
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Kitchenaid mixers look so cool <3 I want one when we can actually afford it. Most of the great chefs seem to use them on 24Kitchen so that must be a good sign

And my boyfriend loves to bake as well so I don't see why other men shouldn't at least try it out :)
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From:fub
Date:July 8th, 2014 09:14 am (UTC)
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Our mixer came yesterday. It is big... But I intend to make Pavlova today to try it out!
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From:sbslink
Date:July 8th, 2014 05:00 pm (UTC)
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Ohh Pavlova is still on my list to try and make myself. Good luck and love to see the pictures when you are done :)
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From:fub
Date:July 10th, 2014 08:01 pm (UTC)
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Today we made two batches of macarons. Well... we tried. The first batch was a spectacular failure, the second batch was... OK. We'll make some pictures when they came out as well as in the workshop! ;)
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From:cissa
Date:July 15th, 2014 06:58 am (UTC)
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Very cool! I have never dared macaroons...yet.

Info adore my Kithchenaid. It is also fabulous for mixing stiff or sloppy bread doughs.
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From:fub
Date:July 15th, 2014 02:27 pm (UTC)
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The two tries we did at home were... less than stellar. Needs more work -- but that is definately not the fault of the Kitchenaid! I also used it for cookie dough, and that worked really nicely as well.
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