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