Despite still feeling rather over stuffed from Christmas (my new year diet has yet to begin), I jumped at the opportunity to spend an afternoon learning the art of making macaroons. Being rather partial to the divine, beautifully boxed Laduree macaroons at around £2.20 a pop, I knew that a sense of delicacy and precision would be necessary. So with these ‘refined’ thoughts in my mind, I arrived at L’atelier des Chefs in Central London, tucked away behind John Lewis, Oxford Street.
L’atelier des Chefs is proud to be the UK’s most popular cookery school! Last year they taught over 30,000 people how to master a wide range of cuisines and skills from their 2 London venues. Classes range from 30 minutes to 4 hours, providing a communal cooking experience and catering for kitchen novices through to cooking enthusiasts. The class sizes vary in numbers, anything from a one on one during quieter periods, to a maximum of 12 – 20 depending on the type of class.
On arrival, I received a friendly welcome from a member of the team who then introduced my teacher – Chef Neil. The only others joining me for the class were 2 ladies visiting London for the day, and one of them had given her friend the Making Macaroons class as a birthday present.
The next 2.5 hours went in a flash. We followed Neil’s detailed demonstration, learning a whole host of new tips and techniques throughout the class (did you know that the easiest way to peel ginger is with a teaspoon?)
Making Macaroons is not a doddle. I would never have attempted to have made them myself before this class, but now (with a little luck), I feel confident and enthusiastic to give it a go. I hope that you can see from my photos the rather spectacular array of macaroons we made.
Each colour had a different filling that we were taught to make:
Salted butter caramel
Lime and fresh ginger buttercream
Dark chocolate ganache
Peanut and raspberry
All our goodies were packed into boxes for us to take home, and the complete recipe sent via email the following day.
Do go onto L’atelier des Chefs informative website for details of all their classes. You can choose from Thai and Asian, Superfoods and healthy eating, Steak, sushi and Japanese… and even knife skills (I’ve already signed up for that one having chopped the top of my thumb whilst slicing carrots before Christmas 😱). A class would make a really lovely gift to a friend or member of the family and gift cards can be purchased from the website. Anyone attending their classes also receives a 10% discount from the small but well stocked shop. I bought a fabulous single oven glove… but I will tell you about that another time.
Thank you to the L’atelier des Chefs team and especially to the wonderful Neil.