We present an optical method for patterning SERS (surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy) - enhancing aggregates of gold nanoparticles, using a focused laser beam to optically trap the nanoparticles in suspension. At high laser powers, heat generated from the plasmonic excitation causes boiling of the aqueous suspension and the formation of gaseous bubbles of water vapor. By measuring the Raman peak of the hydroxyl bond of water, the temperature in the laser spot during the aggregation can be determined insitu. The hydrophilic nanoparticles are found to aggregate at the liquid-vapor interface. By allowing the suspension to dry, a ring of gold nanoparticles is deposited on the substrate, producing a highly SERS-active region. These aggregates are studied using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and micro-Raman spectroscopy.