Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Holy Macarons!

Maybe it's Julia Child.  Or maybe it's Alice Waters.  Or Anthony Bourdain even.  Or maybe it's simply the countless other people who have experienced epicurean epiphanies in one of the most revered cities in the world when it comes to gastronomy, and as a consequence, revolutionized food.  (Or is it the other way around?)

I came to Paris with a thought that perhaps after the sightseeing, the tours, the amazing dinners, I could come back to America with a little bit more than fridge magnets and digital photographs.  That thought inspired me to take a Parisian cooking class.  Ideally, I would have loved to be hosted by Parisians who I'd tag along with to any (or all) of the permutations involving the marche, the fromagerie, the boucherie, the poissonerie,  boulangerie, and the patisserie.  I would have soaked up the experience of being in a small Parisian apartment while watching someone make authentic French food while learning about the culture and country over Bordeaux.  But since that option was not available (at least this time), I settled for a paid class making macarons at La Cuisine on Quai de l'Hotel de Ville in Paris.

If you run a quick Google search, you'll learn that there are so many options for Parisian cooking classes.  If you have the euros to spare, why not spend half a day learning with the masters at Le Cordon Bleu?  I picked La Cuisine because it was the one that worked best with my schedule, budget, and cooking (or lack of) ability.  I would later find out that at least in terms of class size, La Cuisine was also ideal because you get a lot of attention and instruction from the chef.  There were only eight of us in class which worked out great because in the two hours, our instructor was able to give each of us individual attention.

Je vous presente Chef Emanuelle.

The hard work begins.  First, making the ganache.

Then the shell...

Piping shells require a certain technique.  Practice makes perfect!

 Then pop them in the oven for about twenty minutes...

Let 'em gorgeous babies cool for about 10 minutes.

Pipe the shells with chocolate ganache or the pistachio filling.

Et voila! French macarons!  We all got to take home a boxful of our macarons!  SWEET.

I didn't get to try a single Laduree or Pierre Herme (which, by the way, is purportedly exponentially better in taste and quality than Laduree) macaron.  My box of sixteen macarons lasted me (and The Dutch) all of our remaining four days in Paris.

Because it's true. Perhaps the best macarons you'll have in Paris is none other than the one you've made.

Made with Love

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