French baking. Sound too complicated to attempt? Let alone with your kids? Never fear – it’s actually much easier than you’d think to create gorgeous French desserts at home – with your kids! With March Break coming up next week here, it’s a great time to get in the kitchen with your kids and here are a few projects you might like to try…
For a nice way to ease into French baking, how about these custardy apple squares (here, in muffin form) from Dorie Greenspan, the queen of making French baking accessible?
This recipe is from Dorie’s latest book, Baking Chez Moi, and the recipe itself is fairly simply – make a simple thick custard and dunk some thinly-sliced apples into it. My students (aged 9-13) worked very independently on all tasks when we made these – I gave them the recipe, set up stations and briefly told them what they needed to do but honestly I was just there to make sure it was all on track time-wise. They didn’t need any help at all from me. These are perfect for breakfast, dessert or a snack!
For something a little more fancy, how about madeleines?
This batter comes together really easily and kids love the shell-shaped “tea cakes” – note that using a non-stick pan makes them a breeze to pop out. Try making mini-sized ones too! This recipe is from Dorie’s Around my French Table.
Think you can’t make pastry from scratch? Think you would be crazy to try with your kids? Actually (sssh!), it’s much easier than you would think! You don’t have to do anything too complicated – try these apple galettes for starters…
And if you are feeling game, how about attempting “rough puff” pastry?
For something that sounds and looks much more difficult than it actually is, how about tackling choux pastry? Jamie Oliver’s profiteroles were a huge hit when we made them in cooking club and I’ve subsequently made many iterations of choux pastry with the boys – they LOVE its magical puffing potential!
Another favourite is definitely chouquettes – Edd Kimber’s Recipe from Pâtisserie made Simple is a good one!
Some of the books I’ve used recipes from with my cooking club boys:
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