Living in Paris makes you totally biased towards macarons. How can you NOT have an opinion about them when they call out for you every time you hit the streets and where macaron boutiques are de rigueur?
In the past, I have organised my own macaron tasting tour for my friends where we visited 9 different shops to decide which brand is worthy of Number 1 in taste, texture, colour and packaging. The only consensus we came to at the time, was that Ladurée macarons are the worst of all... newsflash!
I have also taken macaron-making classes, but the one thing I have not done was to go “behind the scenes” of a Paris pâtissier, to watch how to make macarons, therefore I decided to sign up for Gérard Mulot's macaron workshop.
For two hours, I enjoyed the special opportunity of stepping inside their kitchen and discovering Gérard Mulot's secrets of the most perfect macarons that Paris has to offer.
The atelier produces over 6,000 macarons in 18 different flavours each day! Watching the team of three flawlessly linking up the workstations you can see how they manage to create so many of the little delicacies.
The most surprising fact: Monsieur Leclerc mixes the macaron batter by hand! There are a lot of factors that can make a macaron batter behave differently such as the type of ground almonds used or how fine they are ground, the egg whites and even the weather make a difference he claims. Therefore the most reliable way to make sure the batter is “just so” is by hand.
This chef has been making macarons for over 30 years, so he obviously knows his stuff. I dare say after tasting a dozen of scrumptious flavours before lunch, I can vouch for M. Leclerc and his team.
Maître du macaron is working his magic.
Chef Leclerc mixing by hand
Working fast and focused
Can you guess what this is?
The piping machine viewed from above filled with delicious chocolate French meringue mixture
The macaron-piping machine in action.
10 minutes later we have switched flavours to caramel.
The macarons rest on giant wheelie carts of trays for a try while before ...
... they are whipped into the revolving ovens for 12 minutes sharp ...
... whereafter they are left to cool for a little bit before ...
... they are filled by hand one by one!
Servez-vous! (Help yourself) No need to tell me twice!
Perfect-looking coffee macarons in the shop window.