Monday, April 16, 2012

Learning to make Macarons

Brother and sister team, Anthony and Lexi, came over to baker/owner Katy's home kitchen to test their French baking skills.  Both Anthony and Lexi are fans of Mesdames des Macarons and often get treated to some of Katy's stranger experiments when she gets invited over to birthday parties and sports events.

Lexi has expressed desire to work in a bakery.  She says she even tried to make cupcakes for a family friends' business once, but it "didn't go so well".  At 12 years old, she still has time to learn all the best baking tricks.  Anthony shares his father's love of cooking and trying new things.  Since both of them have expressed interest in learning to make macarons, Katy invited the two over and here are some of the results from their very first attempt at the tricky French pastry:

Here's betting your first batch wasn't any prettier!  The shells came out smooth, pink, and cakey on the inside.  We can't ask for anything better than that from a first attempt (you can see Katy's first batch in pictures here).

First, the team measured out all of their ingrediants, and Lexi decided on the color pink.  Anthony got to do all of the mixing of the batter, so Lexi had the hard task of piping the batter out into circles on parchment paper. 

She got progressively better with each one.

While waiting for the shells to mature before baking them, Anthony and Lexi took up the mini challenge of folding our boxes.  It turned out a lot harder than you'd think.

Each paper-full of shells has to bake by itself in the oven, so in between taking finished shells out of the oven and putting new ones in to bake, we had time for a few quick questions.
Mesdames Des Macarons:  What’s your favorite flavor?Lexi: raspberry, no strawberry, yeah raspberryAnthony: (after much deliberation) butter!
MDM: What were the first macarons you tasted?Lexi: chocolate.Anthony: freaky flavor... (Katy experimented with guava fillings. Once.)

MDM: What other baking experience do you have?Lexi: a lot, like cakes, cupcakes, and stuff.Anthony: I cook a lot of  differnt food at home.
MDM: What’s your favorite thing to make?
Lexi: cakes!
Anthony: I make really good chili.
MDM: If you could own  your own store, what would it be called and what would you sell?
Lexi: Purple Pandas – selling cupcakes and cake and cookies and tea and coffee.
Anthony: (shruggin) Le Boulangerie.  I don’t know, something French.
MDM: What was the hardest thing about making macarons for the first time?
Lexi: For me, piping them was hard.  It was hard to squeeze the stuff out.
Anthony: Waiting. And making the boxes.
MDM: Obviously, I’m a good teacher, right? (asked by Katy)Lexi and Anthony in unison: mmhmmn (shaking their heads yes).
Katy: Good answer!

Then when it came to filling finished shells with Rose fused White Chocolate and Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting, everyone got serious (and a little sticky). 

It was all a lot of work, but both bakers showed off their talents!  We've definitely stumbled upon some future employees here!

Merci to Anthony and Lexi for cleaning up all the dirty dishes after baking.  And thanks to their Dad for bringing them over on a school night!

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