Posts Tagged ‘cooking classes’

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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And the Winner Is….

Friday, September 29th, 2017
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Tom Wins a Book
Photograph by Discover Paris!

Last night Monique and I attended the 10th anniversary of Cook’n with Class, a cooking school founded by husband-and-wife team Eric Fraudeau and Yetunde Oshodi. During the ceremonies, there was a drawing and I won one of the prizes: a book Les Marchés Français, about Paris markets, written by Brian Defehr, one of the chefs at the school, and illustrated by photographer Pauline Boldt.

A good time was had by all!

Click here to learn about our gourmet walks and activities:

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