Chef Kathryn Gordon, co-author of Les Petit Macarons recently taught a class on savory macarons here at ICE. I took this class along with my sister-in-law, Betsey, (both newbies to macaron making) and we swore we’d never make a macaron without a qualified guide.
The class kicked off with a demo on how to make a base macaron with Chef Kathryn. Once we saw how to make a perfectly whipped meringue no matter the weather conditions, we took a look at the menu we would be preparing. It was full of decadent options such as foie gras with black currant, chicken mole with cocoa nibs and vanilla-poached lobster options – an interesting departure from the typical sweet varieties. It only seemed fitting that my sister-in-law and I, two Louisiana natives, were given the maple bacon bourbon walnut recipe. While making walnut flour definitely intimidated us, we were at home with the classic southern ingredients and once the class was over I think we’d all agree making the meringue was the most challenging part and the fillings nothing but fun. We loved the mix of baking and cooking to achieve the savory macarons but the best part was sitting down at the end of class with a spread of delicious (and successful!) macarons along with a glass of wine. While eating, Chef Kathryn shared stories of the many macarons she has made both during her time at the Rainbow Room and here at ICE and surprisingly, her most coveted part of the process has always been a consistent oven.
These decadent, Parisian treats may look intimidating to newbies but with the right tools (and a good instructor peering over your shoulder) they are absolutely achievable. Betsey and I may even start making our own versions to follow those delicious Louisiana meals we are often whipping up in our New York kitchens. And come to think of it, a crawfish macaron wouldn’t be so bad either!