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In the French kitchen with kids: Le café gourmand

Cafe gourmand in the French kitchen with kids on eatlivetravelwrite.comIt was a bit of a banner day in cooking club this week – first of all, the boys welcomed a Grade 7 boy and his dad into the club (“Cook with Les Petits Chefs” was an item to bid on at last year’s holiday market at school and we’ve been waiting for an appropriate date to host!). Secondly, we also welcomed Laura Brehaut from the National Post to the lab. Exciting times! Laura came to collect material in support of a story about In the French kitchen with kids which will go live around publication date (that would be July 31 and yes, I’ll share that with you all when it comes out!).

As you might know, I’m nothing if not ambitious (!) so I planned quite the session for the boys (because  kids can do anything if you give them a chance. Set the bar high and they will come up to meet it, there’s no question…). We prepared four sweet treats (three of them from the book) in just over an hour and everyone left with a lovely little plate of classic French desserts (many of which never actually made it out of the room LOL!) – a true café gourmand!

Laura was accompanied by the Marketing Manager for Appetite by Random House, Michelle, and the book’s publicist, Tonia, who got to bear witness to the organized chaos and awesomeness that is the reality of cooking club every week. Thankfully Michelle was there because she was able to provide me with some of the photos in this post (you know it’s a busy session when you end up with, like, 5 photos on your phone!).

As with my adult classes, the boys worked in separate groups on a few recipes and they all made one of the recipes which meant it was a bit busier than usual (three separate groups of instructions as opposed to one, three separate sets of equipment and ingredients instead of one) but fortunately none of the recipes I chose was difficult (honestly, langues de chat is more challenging to pronounce than to make!) and after a bit of an awkward “What are we doing?” stage they boys fell into the swing of things and managed to finish all four dishes in just over an hour! SO impressive!

We practised our piping skills…

Piping langues de chat for Le Cafe Gourmand on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd learned how to make browned butter… (actually we nearly burned the butter but it was saved and then I realised we’d actually just made browned butter so we went with that!)

Browned butter madeleines for Le Cafe Gourmand on eatlivetravelwrite.comLearned how to successfully incorporate melted chocolate into cooler whipped cream and cream cheese with NO LUMPS!

Making coeur a la creme for Le Cafe Gourmand on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd practised more piping…

Browned butter madeleines for Le Cafe Gourmand on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd rolling pastry (in the 90% humidity….) and the art of NOT overfilling jam tartlets…

Kids bake jam tarts for Le Cafe Gourmand on eatlivetravelwrite.com Adding jam to tart shells for Le Cafe Gourmand on eatlivetravelwrite.com(previous two photographs by Michelle Arbus)

Producing picture perfect tartelettes à la confiture…

Mini jam tarts for Le Cafe Gourmand on eatlivetravelwrite.com(Photograph by Michelle Arbus)

Meanwhile, over on Team Madeleine…

Kids filling madeleine tins for Le Cafe Gourmand on eatlivetravelwrite.com Filling madeleine tins for Le Cafe Gourmand on eatlivetravelwrite.com(Previous two photographs by Michelle Arbus)

And waited patiently for our baked goods to bake…

Et voilà…

Madeleines and langues de chat for Le Cafe Gourmand on eatlivetravelwrite.com(Previous two photographs by Michelle Arbus)

Absolutely gorgeous madeleines and langues de chat! The day before I’d taught an adult class a similar repertoire of recipes and the boys’ madeleines looked just as good as the adults!

Madeleines in Le Cafe Gourmand class on eatlivetravelwrite.comOh and the mini coeur à la crème (not in the proper dishes but packed for takeaway!)?

Perfect!

Mini coeur a la creme for Le Cafe Gourmand on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd the final result?

Kids cafe gourmand on eatlivetravelwrite.comA gorgeous box of goodies 🙂

Maybe when we have a little more time, we can work towards these (one of my favourite recipes from the book, minified) – though there’s a little bit of wait time for the crème pâtissière to set…

Mini strawberry tartlets on eatlivetravelwrite.comBut you have to admit that the boys’ plate, for just over an hour of cooking, looks remarkably similar to the adult plate…

Selection of mini French treats on eatlivetravelwrite.comRight?

Kids really can do just about anything – just don’t tell them it’s supposed to be difficult!

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In the French kitchen with kids releases July 31, 2018! Click here for pre-order details!

In the French Kitchen with Kids cover on eatlivetravelwrite.com

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