I’ve just spent a whirlwind weekend in Kelowna, British Columbia as a guest of Tourism Kelowna with a group of food bloggers where our schedule included all sorts of food, wine and spirits experiences. A foodie’s dream trip and, in fact, the type of trip I’d plan for myself! It’s really difficult for me to choose a “favourite” activity although those of you who know me won’t be surprised to hear that the afternoon we spent baking up some French pastries in the kitchens of Sandrine French Pastry and Chocolate would definitely be up there in my Top 3
Sandrine arrived in Kelowna in 2004 and opened La Boulangerie Gourmet Café in the Mission where she was located for 6 years. In 2010, she moved her operation to its current location in Orchard Place where her tiny, but gorgeous store offers a selection of exquisite cakes, pastries, macarons, artisan chocolates, jams and spreads (made with wonderful organic fruit from the Okanagan) as well as savoury items – all handmade in Kelowna from scratch using high quality ingredients.
Chef and owner, Sandrine herself runs small-group classes (maximum of 6 participants) where she teaches traditional French recipes she hopes people will find easy to replicate at home with basic kitchen equipment. No experience is required and students get to take away what they bake, as well as the easy-to-follow recipes. Private workshops for groups of 6 – 8 people are also available. Classes ($95.00 + tax per person) include French Classics (crème brûlée, tarte Tatin and Chocolate Mousse), Chocolate ( you’ll learn how to temper chocolate, make chocolate truffles and dip dried fruits and strawberries in dark or milk chocolate), Choux Pastry (cream puffs, profiteroles and éclairs), Macarons (three different flavours), Fruit Tarts (tarte Tatin, apricot tarte and fresh berry tart).
We took a modified version of the French Classics class and our programme involved crème brûlée and tarte Tatin. We started out with the Tatin – I was fascinated to see that Sandrine’s method is completely different to anything I’ve seen before – we made the caramel, poured it into the dishes and let it set before we placed our apple slices on top. I’ve always either added the apples to the caramel when hot or caramelized the apples at the same time as the sugar… I was so interested to see this in action.
Sandrine had made the pastry for us (we only had a fairly short time for our class but we came away with her recipe for the shortcrust pastry which I am excited to try at home too – so buttery!). I think for a bunch of amateurs, we did pretty well!
Next up, we tried our hand at lavender crème brûlée (using local lavender from The Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm) – everyone was amazed at how easy this was to make – my favourite kinds of desserts – those ones you don’t spend very long making but which look like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen
Then, of course, we had to taste. Our own creations as well as a selection of Sandrine’s macarons and chocolates. Everything was excellent and I think it’s safe to say we were all extremely proud of what we made!
If you find yourself in Kelowna with a craving for something sweet – be sure to pop by Sandrine’s. There’s surely something there to satisfy that sweet craving! If you’re staying longer in Kelowna, make sure to check the class schedule to see if there’s a class you can take part in! You won’t regret it!
1865 Dilworth Drive (Orchard Place)
Kelowna, British Columbia
Monday – Saturday from 8:30 am – 6:00 pm
Closed on Sundays and Holidays
Disclosure: I was a guest of Tourism Kelowna and my transportation, accommodation and all meals were covered. I am not being further compensated for writing about my experiences and all opinions are 100% my own. Neither Tourism Kelowna nor the businesses mentioned reviewed this post before publication.
1 800 663 4345
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