Posts Tagged ‘Cook’n With Class’

Macaron Secrets at Cook’n With Class

Monday, October 16th, 2017
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By Monique Y. Wells

Last Saturday, I had the distinct pleasure of attending a macaron class at Cook’n With Class – a cooking school in Paris’ 18th arrondissement.

Cook'n With Class Cooking School

Cook’n With Class Sign
Photograph by Discover Paris!

I won this class when I attended the school’s 10th anniversary party last month.

Macaron class at Cook'n With Class

Proudly displaying my Macaron Class gift certificate at Cook’n with Class
Photograph by Discover Paris!

Chef Sarah Tyler taught four other attendees – Nadine, Krystian, Sara, and Paola – and me how to make four varieties of this popular French dessert: rose, caramel beurre salée, pistachio, and fig.

In case you didn’t know, all macaron shells (the “cookie” part of the macaron) taste the same. What gives macarons their flavor is the filling. Macaron makers add coloring to the shells to help you anticipate the flavor of the filling!

As Chef Sarah instructed us on making both elements, she shared some surprising facts about macarons.

For example, did you know that the egg whites that go into the meringue should sit in the refrigerator for about a week before being used?

And that most macarons you buy in pastry shops, including the highest caliber ones, have been frozen?

Here are some photos that demonstrate a few of the steps required to make these scrumptious confections:

Making the macaron shells

One of the most important things to remember here is that MOISTURE IS THE ENEMY. You must be conscious of any additional liquid you may introduce, purposefully or inadvertently, because it can compromise the quality of your final product.

Making Macaron Shells_collage

Top:(left to right): Mixing powdered sugar and almond powder, making sugar syrup,
soft peak meringue, folding meringue into almond powder-sugar mixture
Bottom: Four colors of macaron batter

Photographs and collage by Discover Paris!

To make the pistachio shells look more appealing, we sprinkled them with crushed pistachios.

Piping batter_shells resting_collage

Left to right: Piping batter; pistachio and fig shells resting
Photographs and collage by Discover Paris!

Making the fillings

We made a fig jam, a salted butter caramel, and two ganaches from white chocolate to fill our macarons. We learned that ganaches need to set so that they become firm enough to pipe and that you should add their flavorings in small increments to avoid making them too strong.

Making Ganaches and Fig Jam

Top (left to right): Mixing pistachio ganache; adding salt to caramel ganache
Bottom (left to right): White chocolate and rose ganache; cutting figs for jam

Photographs and collage by Discover Paris!

Assembling the macarons

We decorated the caramel macaron shells with edible glitter and the rose macaron shells with a brush of red food coloring.

Chef Sarah explained that you must massage the bottom of each macaron to release it from the parchment paper. If you skip this step and try to lift the shells from the paper, you risk leaving much of the center attached to the paper.

Then you place the shells on a rack and match them for size.

After piping the filling onto a shell, you make the macaron “sandwich” by gently twisting the second shell onto the filling.

Assembling the macarons_collage

Top left: Brushing caramel macarons with edible glitter
Top right: Removing rose macaron shells from parchment paper
Bottom left: Piping ganache and assembling pistachio macarons
Bottom right: Creating the macaron “sandwich”

Photographs and collage by Discover Paris!

Chef Sarah and macarons

Chef Sarah and finished macarons
Photograph by Discover Paris!

This three-hour class was one of the most interesting and fun cooking adventures I’ve ever experienced. I highly recommend it!

Cook’n With Class
6 Rue Baudelique
75018 Paris
Telephone: (0)1 42 57 22 84

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Celebrating Ten Years with Cook’n With Class

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017
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Cook'n With Class founders

Eric Fraudeau and Yetunde Oshodi
Photographs by Discover Paris!

Our friends Eric Fraudeau and Yetunde Oshodi, founders of the cooking school Cook’n With Class, invited us to help them celebrate the ten-year anniversary of their school. The party was held in the evening of the last Thursday of September…and what a party it was!

Chefs at Cook'n With Class

Chefs Anton Gonzales and Eric Fraudeau Preparing Hors d’œuvres
Photograph by Discover Paris!

When we arrived, Eric and his staff were preparing savory dishes in the front kitchen.

Chef Sarah Tyler

Chef Sarah Tyler Prepares Macarons and Puff Pastries
Photograph by Discover Paris!

In the kitchen in the back, Pastry Chef Sarah Tyler was preparing macarons and puff pastries. As the front kitchen was crowded with eager, hungry guests, we decided to start in the back kitchen, eating dessert first, and then proceeding to the main courses. What a wonderful way to start partying!

Filling a macaron

Sarah Advises Monique on How to Fill a Macaron with Cream
Photograph by Discover Paris!

Sarah gave each of us careful instruction on how to fill macarons with cream from a pastry bag. We got to choose the flavor of the cream: chocolate, passion fruit, caramel, or orange blossom for the macarons and pistachio, praline, or Grand Marnier for the puff pastries.

Monique fills a macaron

Monique Filling a Macaron
Photograph by Discover Paris!

Monique deftly filled a macaron with caramel…and then another.

Caramel-filled macaron

Caramel-filled Macaron
Photograph by Discover Paris!

I filled a macaron with caramel, too. Is this yummy, or what?

Chefs at Cook'n With Class

Chefs Anton Gonzales, Eric Fraudeau, and Patrick Hebert in the Main Kitchen
Photograph by Discover Paris!

After eating our fill of pastries, it was time to return to the main kitchen, where Chefs Gonzales, Fraudeau, and Hebert were busy as bees preparing the courses.

Assortment of Dishes by the Cook’n With Class Chefs
Photographs by Discover Paris!

There was a wide variety of tasty dishes to choose from. From top to bottom, left to right: Camembert cheese with fig and ham; Fennel salad; Roulade of chicken and mushrooms; Pissaladière; Bouillabaisse; and Beef Bourguignon.

And then we met some great people:

Tony and Daisy from San Diego
Photograph by Discover Paris!

Veronica from Washington, DC and Sam from Maine
Photograph by Discover Paris!

Monique with Jackie from Greenwich, England
Photograph by Discover Paris!

Then it was time to award prizes…

Yetunde Shakes Her Casserole
Photograph by Discover Paris!

Party attendee’s business cards were placed in a casserole and several drawings were held.

Les Marchés Français by Brian Defehr and Pauline Boldt

Tom Wins Cookbook
Photograph by Discover Paris!

And I won a cookbook! Les Marchés Français — Four Seasons of French Dishes from the Paris Markets was written by one of the Cook’n With Class chefs, Brian Defehr. The book’s photographs are by Pauline Boldt.

Macaron class at Cook'n With Class

Monique Wins a Macaron Class at Cook’n With Class
Photograph by Discover Paris!

Monique won a prize, too! A certificate valid for a macaron class at the cooking school. I anticipate that she will blog about her experience there.

Then more desserts were served…

Assortment of Desserts

Assortment of Desserts
Photographs by Discover Paris!

From top to bottom: Hazelnut Birthday Cake, Lemon Meringue Pie, and Fig Tart.

Following dessert came the entertainment…

Musicians in the Pastry Kitchen
Photograph by Discover Paris!

A three-man ensemble played some of the weirdest music that I’ve ever heard, improvising on empty canisters and the oven.

The Staff at Cook'n With Class

The Staff of Cook’n With Class
Photograph by Discover Paris!

A good time was had by all, thanks to the staff at Cook’n With Class!

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