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Making macarons at Le Dolci (Toronto)

(photograph courtesy of Brenda)

I’m thrilled to announce a successful first (of many) macaron making class that took place last week here in Toronto at the delightful Le Dolci studio.

When Lisa, who had been following my tweets this past summer in Paris (notably about all the macaron classes I was taking), asked me to come and teach others how to make these exquisite French treats, I didn’t hesitate. I mean, I love to teach (and it’s my day job) and I love macarons. So what could go wrong?

Well for those of you who have followed my macaron trials and tribulations over the years or who have tried to bake them yourselves will know,  macs are temperamental little treats. I mean if Stella says they don’t always turn out for her, a CIA trained pastry chef, well there’s not much the rest of us mac-mortals can do about it, right? Wrong. Practice, practice, practice. It makes perfect, you know! Perfect feet in this case!

I’ve baked a lot of macarons in my short time working at them. A lot, I tell you. My neighbours and my colleagues (and poor Mr Neil) can attest to this. But this year I have finally found a recipe that works. Pretty much all the time.  Thanks to Stella.

So I felt confident going in to the class last Friday. I’d been in to check out the oven, made a batch, figured out the gas vs electric oven and the convection vs non-convection ovens and the difference between regular and professional baking trays. Ok, so I was still nervous. Very nervous. Those of you who know me in person know that I like to do things and do them well. So I wanted feet on my macs last Friday. I wanted to share all I have learned over the past nearly 2 years baking them with the students. I wanted them to take away a precious box of macs to share with their families (or not).

I brought them a little treat to start off on a sweet note…

In any case, as a teacher, you have to know that you know more than your students. I mean that’s why they are there. But a sweet treat at the start of class doesn’t hurt either…

The class flew by – before I knew it we were piping and baking and “doing the happy feet dance”, willing the macaron gods to cooperate….

(errr, no pressure – just a handful of people taking photos and videoing in some cases each step…)

(above photographs courtesy of Lisa at Le Dolci and Jen)

Result? FEET. Macarons that looked like macarons should look. Well, a little wonky but endearingly rustic, I like to call them!

And some of us got fancy with shapes (totally intentionally – of course!). check out Fiona’s macaron with a handle in the foreground of the next pic!  I also personally love how much filling the students sandwiched in the shells LOL!

No, they are not perfect. But they are SO much better than my first ever batches that I keep on my blog to remind me how far I have come.  I mean, as the Michelin starred chef who taught my last class in Paris this summer told me, “But Mademoiselle, we can’t expect so much from beginner macaron bakers. If we have smooth tops, that’s the most we can hope for.” (I had, in fact, commented on the fact that the macarons we had made during his class did not have very good feet. Ahem. You can’t imagine me doing that, now can you?).  Well MY students produced macarons with not only smooth tops but feet to boot (no pun intended!). I was a very proud macaron mama :)

Check out the photos on Le Dolci’s Facebook page here and Jen’s wonderful post about the class here.

And you know what? We had so much fun that we’re doing it all over again, and again!  The November class is already sold out but there are spaces in the December 2nd class and we have just added January 20 and February 24 to the schedule.  Wouldn’t a macaron class make a perfect Christmas gift?

*Did you enter my giveaway for a copy of The Kitchen Counter Cooking School yet? Contest closes Monday October 10th at 6pm EST. Good luck!

Have you checked out my new baby, Food Bloggers of Canada yet? My first “how to” article is up today – the first in a series about “growing your blog”. You can read it here.

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68 Responses to Making macarons at Le Dolci (Toronto)

  1. Belinda @zomppa October 5, 2011 at 06:24 #

    These are gorgeous!! Stunning. And yes, perfect.

  2. SMITH BITES October 5, 2011 at 06:59 #

    see? see???? what did i tell you Mardi????? YOU ARE A MASTER AT MACARONS!!!! am soooooo very proud of you and believe me honey, if i lived in the vicinity, i’d be signed up to take classes – soooo awesome – CONGRATS!!

  3. Gail October 5, 2011 at 07:01 #

    HOORAY MARDI! You are a woman who can accomplish ANYTHING you put your mind to!
    Fantastic!!!

  4. mademoiselle délicieuse October 5, 2011 at 07:07 #

    Congratulations! What an opportunity and, yes – I do spy shiny tops AND feet =D

  5. Winnie October 5, 2011 at 07:21 #

    Mardi! I’m so proud of you. I wish I could come take one of your classes…maybe someday?!

  6. MrsWheelbarrow October 5, 2011 at 08:13 #

    Mardi,
    You are a natural teacher and a master of the mac! So delighted it went so well. I wish I were closer… I’d sign up immediately! Fantastique!
    xoxoCathy

  7. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes October 5, 2011 at 09:05 #

    Congratulations on a successful first class! I’m sure when you started your journey you had no idea that one day you’d be the teacher. Sounds like a fun class.

  8. Sumaiyyah October 5, 2011 at 10:23 #

    Wow. I wish I could go to one of your classes. I’m glad it went well, and hope that the coming ones will too!

  9. Paula October 5, 2011 at 10:38 #

    Yeah! Congratulations on a successful first of many classes! I can imagine how nervous you were but you did awesome and I’m sure all your upcoming classes will be full. When are you going to take these classes on the road? (Hint…hint!)

  10. Jamie October 5, 2011 at 11:59 #

    Now who’s the proud macaron mama? Moi, bien sur! Look at you and how far you have come! These macs are perfect as far as I am concerned and since I can’t take one of your classes I need to go back and find your never-fail recipe! What fun! Proud of you, baby! xo

  11. Cecilia October 5, 2011 at 12:43 #

    Congratulastions Mardi! They came out great! See, there was no need to worry, you are a mac pro!

  12. Lindsey October 5, 2011 at 12:49 #

    So wish I could have been there to take your class! You’re a veritable macaron pro! Also, that photo of the macarons in the colorful basket is VERY enticing. Gorgeous shot!

  13. Daydreamer Desserts October 5, 2011 at 23:42 #

    Mardi, congrats on the first of many more successful macaron classes to come! xo

  14. K A B L O O E Y October 6, 2011 at 00:29 #

    Amazing! Speaking of teaching, can you send me the link to your blogging improvement class/thing? My phone is a minion of the devil and I can’t find it. Did I dream you tweeted me? It’s within the realm of possibility…

  15. raquel @ Erecipe October 6, 2011 at 03:29 #

    oh wow that is colorful. I love the pink…lovely =)

  16. Jill @ MadAboutMacarons October 6, 2011 at 03:36 #

    Mardi, this is fantastic. Félicitations, my friend! Oh, I wish we didn’t live so far away to give you a proud hug. Your class looked so much fun and love your joke with feet to boot. What an extra treat to taste before even starting – with these lovely pastel macaron shades. What a teacher!

  17. Winnie October 6, 2011 at 06:48 #

    Amazing looking macarons !
    I love the colors, especially the pink ones

  18. Liz October 6, 2011 at 07:49 #

    Mardi, your macarons are so tall and majestic! I had bitty feet on my first attempt…I need to try again. Lucky students :)

  19. Justine October 6, 2011 at 08:02 #

    So great to hear you’re progressing so well Mardi! I think I’ll study your Macaron technique and do a test batch this weekend.

    If I’m ever in Canada I hope you’ll offer a class when I’m there, would be great to learn from you!

  20. penny aka jeroxie October 6, 2011 at 08:36 #

    remember those macarons that we made together and how they looked? LOL. I am such a bad student!

  21. Helene October 6, 2011 at 09:53 #

    I have never tasted a macaron before. That sounds such like an interesting class to take.

  22. Elyse @The Cultural Dish October 6, 2011 at 10:20 #

    I’m so glad your first class went well! I definitely know how finicky those macarons can be! Good luck on your future classes to come!

  23. Julie October 6, 2011 at 11:50 #

    AH! The last time I was in France, there wasn’t a macaron I walked by without sampling. My friend has been asking me to make macarons for years and I’ve been way to scared! But I might have to give them a try now. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Cher October 6, 2011 at 12:07 #

    Mardi – this is so cool!
    Congratulations on a successful first class.

  25. Lemon October 6, 2011 at 16:28 #

    Macarons, my favourites. Your photos are cool, this looks like a great experience!

  26. Lisa @ Tarte du Jour October 6, 2011 at 19:55 #

    This is sooo cool! How I wish I could have been there! I ADORE macarons and in fact just ordered Jill’s book “Mad About Macarons” but haven’t ventured forth yet…. You have me motivated now!

  27. Lindsay Murray October 6, 2011 at 22:03 #

    Wow, those look beautiful! I should really learn how to make them, as almost $2 a pop is a little steep.

  28. Jen October 6, 2011 at 22:43 #

    Ohhh, such pretty macarons! I’ve actually been feeling inspired to give them another try again. There might just be some macaron making going on in my kitchen over the next few weeks. I’m feeling brave!

  29. Mel October 7, 2011 at 15:54 #

    Awesome post, awesome macarons! Thanks for being such a great teacher Mardi =)

  30. Lora October 7, 2011 at 21:06 #

    Congratulations on your success. The macs looks great. Wish I lived closer so I could join the next one.

  31. Ann October 8, 2011 at 01:24 #

    Congratulations – you should be proud…they’re awesome!

  32. Justine October 8, 2011 at 03:53 #

    Forgot to tell you I gave you a shout out when I wrote about La Cuisine Paris! Might try macarons today if I can muster the guts again… I’ll let you know!

    http://littlemisslocal.com/2011/09/28/macarons/

  33. Renee - Kudos Kitchen October 10, 2011 at 16:13 #

    They just look like Springtime to me. Sweet little bits of glorious Springtime. Lovely post.

  34. Jenny (VintageSugarcube) October 16, 2011 at 19:04 #

    Mardi- I am bright green with envy! Those macarons turned out perrrrfect and how fun would a class be? Shoot, I’m every shade of green with envy.

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