Macaroon Master Class
On July 28, Alyse Scaglione hosted a Zoom "Macaron Master Class" for her St Louis Chapter accompanied by her assistant, Heather Barrett.
The word "macaron" comes from the Italian word, maccherone ("fine dough"). It's thought that the macaron cookie originated in Italy and was brought to France as early as 1533 by Catherine di Medici, a noblewoman from Florence who married the future King of France, Henri II.
In demonstrating this European cookie, Alyse focused on expanding creativity, and she gave professional insider tips and tricks for perfecting technique and applicative use of these ubiquitous little delights.
"We 'hosted' the meeting in our Meadowbrook Country Club kitchen in Ballwin, Missouri. I quickly ran through the process of making, piping, and filling a house-favorite flavor combination of raspberry, rosewater, and Callebaut Ruby Chocolate macarons followed by a Q&A segment covering how to get beautiful and uniform macarons and ways to expand uses."
Alyse recommended filling ideas that extended beyond the usual jam or buttercream (i.e. Bavarian creams, ganaches, seasonal fruit curds, and German Chocolate custard). She discussed the underutilized savory application. Alyse presented two techniques. The first showed a larger, piped macaron shell used in lieu of a crostini as a classic summer canape of bacon, tomato, and mozzarella. The second displayed shells dusted with Herbs de Provence and filled with goat cheese mousse.
"Finally, we presented how macarons can add a beautiful finishing touch to decorated cakes," said Alyse. "We had a lovely webbased evening that let us gather, explore food, and share one another's expertise. I am a first-year Dame, and while this year has had a different environment, I could not be more excited for our future or anymore incredibly proud to call myself a St. Louis Dame!"
Above: Pastry Chef Alyse Scaglione. Savory macarons. Callebaut Ruby Chocolate macarons. Below: Alyse sprinkling herbs on savory macacons. Using macarons to decorate cakes. Macaro crostini.