My neighbour made a very brave attempt to make macarons for a staff morning tea. I had seen a class for making macarons on the Matters of Taste Cooking School website and suggested we go along together to have a go making them. So we book into a Thursday Morning baking class for $25 including a drink from Little Stove next door.
We arrive in good time and place our coffee order before we sit down. The recipes are already printed on laminated cards on the table and pens are provided to make notes on the card. Once everyone has arrived the demonstration class begins with an explanation how macarons are easy and quick to make. We are asked if anyone had had a go at making macarons unsuccessfully before with a quick reason why they may not have worked. There are a few regular students in the class who are in good spirits and a few minor interruptions of some building work. The class is casual and unstructured as we stop to show how to tell if an egg is fresh. Staff wander in and out of the room and also join in the discussions of different types of macarons and different recipes. The macarons are quickly made and then left on the side to dry a little. Meanwhile an earlier batch of macarons made by the staff are whipped out of the oven and we are shown how to tell when they are cooked. It is then time for our coffees to arrive and a plate of pre-prepared macarons are brought around for us to try. I was disappointed that these were not the macarons we made in the class. I was also disappointed that the filling (or any filling actually) was also not made in the class.
Overall I must admit that since doing the class I have a new respect for all the effort that goes into making a macaron and am willing to pay the price for good store-bought ones. Now I can also tell which macarons have been made with ground almonds and which ones have used almond flour (much better if used), however I recently was still tempted to buy a macaron packet mix when on sale as it was cheaper and easier than making my own!