Stroke of Jenius: Marvellous Macaron Masterclass
A big part of me has always been curious on how the things I’m ingesting are all made. So for that reason I’ve been very much looking forward to this macaron class I’ve had booked with Jenius Social. Knowing the processes behind the magic makes every bite that much more meaningful. And the guys at Jenius Social know how to give you all of that in the space of three busy hours! Here’s an overview of how the day went.
The alarm was set for a sunny morning off to Holloway Road to join the crew at Jenius Social for the Marvellous Macarons class. Founded by Jennifer Yong, Jenius Social combines two of her passions: food and socialising for an entertaining and tastebud-teasing experience. Along with me for the sweet session was my friend Jom, for a perfect combo of consuming and catching up.
Our instructor Andrew preps the team with a bit of a background on the humble macaron. The light and airy biscuit is one of my favourite patisserie treats and I’ve had many from the likes of Laduree, Pierre Hermé, and well, McCafe! It’s been at tough cookie to crack in the home kitchen. I’ve had one go at it from a Zumbo DIY kit but the results ended up being more sticky than successful.
Macarons have a long history, first appearing in Venetian monasteries in the 8th century AD. There are two general methods to the making of a macaron, and that’s in the Italian and French styles. French macarons, which we would be doing, are a little simpler with sugar whisked into the meringue. The Italian style uses a sugar syrup and a paste, requiring a bit more effort and a candy thermometer. After the class we get recipes for both anyhow. Maybe I’ll give that one a go someday.
The sweetest thing
The Jenius Social class makes macaron all seem so easy! There’s only four ingredients: almonds, egg whites, caster sugar and icing sugar. We mix them all up and then upgrade with our choice of flavourings and colourings. Not sure what we were going for, but something along the lines of pink and cream. Something floral and dainty?
We also ready the buttercream, selecting colours and flavours again. We couldn’t resist the salted caramel!
The macarons go into the oven for a bit to bake – Andrew makes sure it’s just the right amount of time, as you can easily overdo it if you’re not careful. For us, we get a break and a well deserved coffee!
Design by macaron
The most fun comes at the end and that’s in the decorating. Jenius Social provide all the tools you need. We had chocolate piping, sprinkles, flowers and Instagram-ready gold spray. It’s surprising how many macarons you make (we had five boxes to take home) so had plenty of time to experiment with a few designs. Results can vary!
As to the macarons: mmmmm! As good as you’ll get in any fancy French patisserie with the added bonus of knowing you made it all from scratch yourself. Check out the lovely red and purple of the plate from our neighbour’s batch! It’s a great way to show your personality and introduce your own sense of style to these highly visual pieces.
So that was our morning! Learnt a great new skill and the class all left feeling much more confident in their ability to create these sugary treasures. We all had so many macarons to take home and share with our friends, no doubt they went down a treat.
The staff were so welcoming and guided us through every step with ease. Jenius Social offer a number of other classes (think sushi, tapas, BBQ, street food), as well as private events. We would highly recommend them for a fantastic day out and a great way to learn some new skills in the kitchen.