January 21, 2013 by Joanne T Ferguson
“WE CAN DO IT!” were the first words The Cupcake Queen and I YELLED out! (don’t what what it is about food, kitchens and YELLING that go together! (like in Spinning Globe Persian Pomegranate and Pistachio Meatballs http://whatsonthelist.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/1130/ lol) All we need to do is “BELIEVE” we CAN make these Macarons on our own!
As a follow up to Rocco’s Macarons Rule http://whatsonthelist.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/my-macaron-rules/, the Cupcake Queen and I had our “maiden food voyage” into the wonderful world of making macarons. (Not macaroons! )
We both transcribed our notes (I had 3 plus pages last count lol) of Rocco’s “hints and tips”; I paid a lot of attention to Rocco’s details and “emphasis” on what “can” and “does” go wrong in trying to make macarons. One of the first two things Rocco mentioned was humidity and gas ovens have a lot to do with the success (or more like lack of success ) in making macarons.
NOTE TO SELF:
1. It was raining today. (the day The Cupcake Queen and I made them lol) and 2. We are using a gas oven.
Did we already have two strikes against us “before” we even started? It was probably good that neither one of use knew “what” to expect and we did not give the rain or the gas oven “potential disaster” another thought!
The Cupcake Queen and I agreed before hand, we would S-L-O-W-L-Y measure ingredients out and “double check with each other” after “each and “every step. “IF” something were to go wrong, we wanted to know “why” and “how.” (As IF the rain and gas oven wasn’t enough lol)
Our first (I thought was funny lol; so did the Cupcake Queen once she realized I genuinely didn’t know! ) I mixed the first three ingredients of the macarons. (Did I mention you receive all the recipes AND Rocco’s hints and tips at his Macaron Class here in Adelaide? ) According to the recipe, sift (and I wrote in my notes “all ingredients”) “all” ingredients. A couple of minutes later, I asked the Cupcake Queen “why” I couldn’t get the rest of the caster sugar to go through the sieve. With her back “initially” turned to me, she said, “because you don’t sift castor sugar” OOPSY!!! (mmmmmm, I “knew” that…NOT lol) So, when we both turned around and faced each other, we YELLED OUT (there’s that YELLING thing again lol) “LET’S START AGAIN!” (as we didn’t want ANYTHING to affect the final outcome!)
I guess I had one of those “Peel IT and put IT in” moments like in my “epic food flop” moment per my interview as Member of the Month Interview for November 2012 on Food.com lol lol lol
If there was one “hint and tip” Rocco “emphasized” over and over again, it was to make sure one weighed their ingredients correctly, “including” the “way to weigh” (yes, pen intended lol ) The Cupcake Queen and I also learned “Rocco’s way” of weighing egg-whites” (and not “just” by scales alone! ) WHEN you attend his future Macaron Class, you can find out too!
So with ingredients measured, “properly” sifted, ingredients combined, we were “on our way” We chose to make a Coffee, Frangelico (hazelnut) and Pistachio macaron. (using warm brown; AmeriColor food coloring and all macaron supplies were sold at the class)
With our “newly acquired” piping skills (thanks to our hands on participation in the class), we piped our macaroons, “banged and cooled” our macarons. There is a knack to doing it you know!
On the day, we trialled two different trays. I wanted to try my new technology Flavorstone trays; non-stick, no oil or baking paper necessary. We also had The Cupcake Queens trays lined with silicon mats purchased at the class too. While both methods “seemed to work” (the silicon mats were better in results), next time I would “suggest” trimming the mats (if possible) to fit inside the tray, as when piping the mixture onto the trays and the mixture spread, it was not lying flat on the tray. I “sense” it had something to do with our “lack of macaron experience” But “live and learn” with everything you do when cooking or baking too! That’s what I LOVE about food and making recipes for the first time too! ;-)
With our macarons in the oven, (and feeling pretty “chuffed” (pretty proud or happy)), we peered into the oven like five year old kids waiting for that “DREADFUL” 7 minute mark that Rocco warned us about. As “IF” something was to go wrong, it would be about the 7 minute mark. I don’t know WHAT caused me to do it (probably half nerves, half excitement), at the 7 minute mark, I YELLED out (lol) “7 MINUTES CHEF!!” (I must be watching one too many reality TV cooking shows!”
After 4 1/2 hours of “EXHAUSTING FUN”, the Cupcake Queen and I had baked over 90 plus macarons and was able to pipe 54 macarons! WHOO HOO! WHOO HOO! (Does anyone else hear the song We Are The Champions or was it just me and the Cupcake Queen on the day! lol lol lol)
We laughed, and almost cried (in joy of course ) but we had successfully made our first macarons together. And what better way that to share the passion of baking and to try and inspire people to do!
From the Cupcake Queen and myself, a VERY BIG “Thank you” Rocco and to your mum Franka for her warm and welcoming hospitality too!
Our VERY positive experiencing of recreating Rocco’s macarons would NOT have been possible without Rocco’s guidance and his invaluable hints and tips and was a fun-filled bonus with hands on piping (with suggestions) and in tasting all the wonderful fillings which led us to create Our Tribute to Rocco Coffee, Frangelico, Pistachio Macaron! ;-)
nic&rocco Official Facebook site
nic&rocco’s Cooking Classes
Private and Corporate Classes welcomed too!
So what is nic&rocco’s best selling Macaron? I guess you will just have to attend Rocco’s class to find out too!
The Cupcake Queen and I look forward to attending future classes, TRUE! And I want to thank the Cupcake Queen for making it through our “Macaron maiden voyage” together with LOTS of laughter and “Macaron memories” too!