If you like to live life in the sweet lane (rather than the savoury) or occasionally like to dabble into the art of baking or like to hang out at the latest coffee spots or just watch the #foodporn tag closely on Instagram when you’re hungry you surely would of heard of a Macaron/Macaroon. I am not cool like the rest of you and I had certainly heard about Macaroons in the past but I have never been offically introduced to one. This weekend was my chance and it was not only an introduction but an entire crash course into the the true art of making them.
Being inherently lazy by nature baking in all forms always seems like a lot of hard work, or should I say, the cleaning up after baking seems like a lot of hard work! So I generally steer rather clear of messy things. With that being said though, I do silently envy all the talented people in my life who seem so domesticated I wonder where my convent school upbringing sent me on the wrong path. So, being given the oppurtunity with the group of ladies who I have grown to call friends at #BWB to go and learn the art of Making Macaroons, my heart initially skipped a beat because OMG I CAN’T BAKE TO SAVE MY LIFE and my brain said – YOU CAN DO IT. So, needless to say I jumped at the opportunity to learn and eagerly responded to Heather, the founder of #BWB from FemmeLifestyle with an eager “I’ll be there!!”.
Upon arriving and being greeted at the breath-taking, ultra modern Crystal Towers 15 On Orange, African Pride Hotel by Executive Chef Sanel and Chef Retha – who is undoubtedly the Queen of all Things Sweet, in a beautiful set up room with counters for us to share together, they spoke about the humble beginnings of the Macaroon and that it is in actual fact called a Macaron (and do not go to France and ask for a Macaroon as you will get stared at funny) but we in SA have butchered the name a bit. They taught us (or shall I say me, as all the ladies I was with already knew) the basics of how to whip up a merengue which is the basis of any macaraon but with added ground almonds or coconut.
A macaron shell is distinctive as it has a crisp crust and a soft interior which are light and airy but still slightly chewy…. The fun is really in the fillings. We were taught how to make Salted Caramel and Chocolate Ganache. Not being the biggest salted caramel fan in the world, I tried it but steered clear and it was Chocolate Ganache the whole way for me. I was initially very intimidated by making either of these fillings but they are really so simple and even I could do it…. that is saying something! 😉
We received extra tips and tricks for making these sweet morsels and the variables that can utterly end up with them being made to be put into the dustbin like the age of eggs, the heat of the oven according to its size and make or even the humidity levels of the kitchen. We were also shown how to pipe them correctly which is an art form in itself, it’s all the wrist!
We got an impromptu tour from Executive Chef Sanel and Chef Retha where chaos was the order of the day with LOTS of photos being taken, mirror selfies, and lots of giggles with some of my favourite ladies.
The Macaroon Workshop offered by 15 on Orange, African Pride Hotels is for groups of 12 or more and is not the only workshop they offer. For more information, call the hotel and ask to speak to banqueting on 0861 11 9000.
A huge shout out and thank you to Executive Chef Sanel, Chef Retha and everyone at 15 on Orange for an unforgettable experience and for the oppurtunity to learn how to make macarons/macaroons, You will definitely be seeing me again soon! I am not sure if any will be coming out of my kitchen in the future, for now I think I’m going to be practicing how to make merengue and take it from there.
Disclaimer: This Workshop was offered to all the ladies from #BWB or #BloggersWhoBless and has in no way altered my view in anyway.