FOOD & DRINK / MACARON MAKING CLASS AT JENIUS SOCIAL
Over the weekend I got the absolute pleasure of attending a cookery class at Jenius Social and I couldn't be more excited to tell you all about it!
WHO ARE JENIUS SOCIAL?
Jenius Social is not only a cookery school, but an all round foodies hub (and paradise) based in North London. Suitable for all abilities and experience, Jenius Social host a whole range of events and masterclasses and with the wide variety of cuisine / food choices that they cover, there's sure to be something for everyone! From bread making to 'Tempting Tapas'
Even just looking at their website which showcases all the masterclasses, it's easy to see the passion that goes into creating every class.
The venue itself is very clean, modern and houses everything you would need to rustle up some incredible tasting food. Not only is it a great space for cooking, it also has an adjoining dining / meet and greet area which makes for a relaxed atmosphere when digging into the delicious meals / treats you've made afterward.
Jenius Social, 6 Hornsey Street, Studio 8, London N7 8GR
Macarons are all the range at the moment and are spotted adorning all the pretty windows of bakeries in London so when I got offered to join the class, I was ecstatic. If you don't know what they are, they're basically light and airy meringue-like cookies. Macarons are not only super 'in' and trendy but they're also delicious so knowing that I could go home and potentially recreate them was exciting news...
THE CLASS ITSELF
The class was run by Head Chef Andrew, an original graduate of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant, who has a real passion and depth of knowledge for all things cooking and baking. You think chef and you instantly think scary Ramsay or the like, but Andrew couldn't be more different to the stereotype; he's fun, welcoming and very personable.
Jenius Social make sure not to overfill their classes and keep them to a size which is manageable so that each person in the class gets hands on one-on-one tuition from Andrew. The format of the class was split into a few stages where Andrew would firstly showcase how to do each part and we would recreate it afterward with his guidance.
LET'S GET TO IT
All the ingredients were already laid out and measured for us so the initial step was to whisk the egg whites and caster sugar until it stiffened.
Once it's combined, you can pick your colour! There were lots of different colour options in gel form and all of us in the class picked a different colorant so that we could all mix and swap once they were all cooked.
All it took was a tiny, tiny bit of the gel and some gentle whisking to transform the fluffy mixture into the prettiest pink! (I'm at it again with the pink haha)
Sieve the icing sugar and ground almonds and combine with the egg white and caster sugar from earlier.
We then transferred the mix into bags reading for piping!
We lined a few trays with baking paper and got ready to start piping... the technique is fairly tricky but Andrew gave us all some tips and a guideline of size and after a few dodgy attempts, I got the hang of it!
We each made around 40 circles of mixture and they all went into the oven for approx. 15 mins at 180 degrees but time and temperature is all dependant on your oven. Andrew said the last 5 mins is the most important when baking macarons because the colour can change quite dramatically, if they're left in the oven for too long, not only can they become too crisp but they can become dull in colour so make sure to keep on eye on them. We're looking for a crisp top but still goey centre.
Whilst we were waiting for them to bake, we made the butter icing for the centre of the macarons. Again, we picked a different colour and were also able to flavour the icing; we decided on hazelnut!
Once the macarons were out of the oven, we let them cool for a while and then easily peeled them off the baking paper. We then filled the macarons with the butter icing using another piping bag, squirting a tiny bit onto one side and then twisting the other half on top.
Once they were all done, then came the fun part....
There were loads of different goodies for us to decorate with including melted chocolate, dried raspberries, edible glitter and sprinkles. This part was most definitely my favourite and you could be really innovative and creative with it!
Here are a few of the ones I made; I'd say they turned out pretty damn well for a first attempt, even if I say so myself...
All in all, the class was SO much fun but also really informative and I left feeling confident in my new skill. I also wanted to show off my beautiful macarons to everyone ha!
This is actually my second class with Jenius Social, I've also done the Mexican Street Food class with them and both have exceeded my expectations. I couldn't recommend it enough!