Chef Razmig Tchoboian creates some of the best, traditional macarons in the city, sold at his shops, Napoléon’s Macarons. Of course, he’s just the person you want to lead you along the way during your first attempt at making macarons. That’s why he’s hosting a French Macarons Baking Class at the Chef’s Center in Pasadena on November 9th. I attended a media preview of the class, along with several other bloggers and writers. I wouldn’t say we’re aficionados at this point, but we’re much better equipped to make macarons during the holiday season. Keep reading for a look at what students can expect at the upcoming class.
Cooking classes are perfect for assuaging your fears in the kitchen. Macarons are known for their persnickety behavior and unreliable baking results. There are a few elements to get right if you want macarons that look Parisian-approved. It’s all about sifting the almond flour and powdered sugar, creating a perfect cooked Italian meringue, using egg whites at the correct temperature, and of course, being mindful of atmospheric conditions. Admittedly, it’s a lot to keep in mind! Chef Razmig patiently walked us through all of the steps, zipping through the tables to make sure we weren’t completely botching his recipe.
Everybody walked out with a box of our own handmade macarons, as well as a box of the new fall flavors (Blood Orange Cranberry, Bourbon Pumpkin Chai Cheesecake, Pecan, etc.). Keep an eye out for Chestnut Rum Raisin and Chocolate Peppermint Maca’Leon once the holidays are really in full swing. If you’re interested in making macarons under the supervision of an expert, sign up with Razmig Tchoboian. Three hours of instruction should hopefully set you up for a crash course in the sophisticated art of French macarons. Grab tickets on Eventbrite.
Sunday, November 9th
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Chef’s Center of California
45 North San Gabriel Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91107
Out of the kindness of his heart, Chef Razmig offered to share his recipes for the Salted Caramel macaron and the new, seasonal Bourbon Pumpkin Chai Cheesecake macaron. Good luck making these babies!
- Macaron Shell Ingredients:
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup + 4 tablespoons hazelnut flour
- 1 cup egg whites, room temperature
- A few drops of natural food coloring
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- ¼ cup of water
- Salted Caramel Ganache (Filling) Ingredients:
- 1 ¾ cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ cup salted butter
- 1 ¼ cup milk chocolate (preferably 40%)
- ¼ cup cocoa butter (or white chocolate)
- Macaron Shell Instructions:
- Preheat oven at 350 ˚F degrees.
- Combine the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a bowl, sifting until evenly mixed. In a separate bowl, combine ½ cup of the egg whites with a few drops of natural food coloring. Pour on top of flour/sugar mixture without stirring. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, combine the superfine sugar and water, warming on medium heat.
- Once the sugar/water mixture reaches 215 ˚F on an instant-read thermometer, pour the remaining ½ cup of egg whites into a separate bowl. Beat at medium speed until soft peaks form, gently stirring the sugar water mixture simultaneously.
- When the sugar/water mixture reaches 245 ˚F on an instant-read thermometer, carefully pour, in small portions, on top of the egg whites being beaten. Continue beating on high speed for 2-3 minutes until stiff peaks form, careful not to overbeat the meringue.
- Sift the flour mixture over the meringue, folding until the mixture is smooth (but not liquid) and just incorporated.
- Pour the batter into a piping bag with a cake icer tip. Pipe out 1.5” inch rounds on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. (Tip: lightly outline your circles with pencil before piping.)
- Gently tap your baking sheets on your kitchen counter or working table, letting the piped rounds sit for approximately 20 minutes.
- Bake the rounds for approximately 12 minutes; let cool.
- Filling Instructions:
- In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream on medium-high. Once it starts simmering, turn off the heat.
- In a separate saucepan or pot, start heating approx. 1/3 of the granulated sugar. When it begins to melt, add another 1/3 of the sugar. When it reaches an amber-brown color, add the remainder of the sugar, mixing with a spatula.
- When the sugar reaches a rich, dark brown color, turn off the heat and add the salted butter. Continue stirring with a spatula until the butter is melted.
- Pour the cream into the sugar/butter mix in three stages while stirring, making sure it is completely combined with each addition.
- Once the sugar, butter and cream is well stirred, pour it over the milk chocolate and cocoa butter (or white chocolate) in a mixing bowl. Begin mixing at high speed.
- When the ganache has reached room temperature on an instant-read thermometer, stop mixing and pour it into a wide, flat container (preferably a glass baking dish). Lay plastic wrap over the ganache, making sure there is no air between the two. Let the ganache sit in the refrigerator for approx. 15 minutes.
- Remove the ganache from the refrigerator and pour into a standard piping bag. Carefully pipe small balls (approximately the size of a quarter in diameter) of the filling onto 25 macaron shells.
- Add the top shells, gently pressing until the filling spreads to the edges of the macarons.
- Let the macarons sit for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator. Et voilà – enjoy!