The trip to Paris originated because I noticed that one of my favorite bands would be closing out their European tour in Paris on November 20. And because, it’s Paris and since arriving in London, I’ve wanted to take the train down for a visit.
The Local Natives show was (as always!) amazing and surprisingly I enjoyed going to the concert by myself. Something I never thought I would. It helped that I didn’t know a sole, and most everyone spoke French, so I had so shame singing along out loud to all the songs (super loudly).
Since it was my first trip back to Paris in 10 years, I knew that aside from re-exploring the main sites, I wanted to take a cooking class of some kind. That’s when I found La Cuisine Paris and learned that they had a three-hour technical macaron class scheduled for the day I arrived. Done!
Chef G (Chef Guillemette Bouche) started the course out by having us make the filling for the macarons. The fillings are what give the macaron most of the flavor. We paired up into teams to create a vanilla creme, dark chocolate ganache, coffee creme au beurre and pineapple garnish (which you can use any seasonal fresh fruit). I was on team vanilla creme.
Following the fillings, we went to work on the macaron shells. We learned both the Italian meringue and French meringue methods. The Italian meringue method is safer because you temper the eggs with the boiled sugar and the French meringue has raw eggs. For the Italian, my partner (the former prep chef for Paula Deen for many years) and I made a pink cookie and for the French meringue, we opted for a green color.
Once we had the macaron batter fully mixed, Chef G taught us the proper way to fill our piping bags. It seems so simple, but my mind was basically blown when I learned the techniques of stuffing the pastry bag into the tip to keep it from squirting out immediately, the concept of folding the pastry bag over my hand to make filling the bag easier (and much less messy) and finally, the existence of disposable pastry bags!
My trays of macarons looked kind of like they were piped by a drunken sailor, but for the most part, they turned out quite lovely! I created a couple of snowmen macarons due to my inaccurate spacing, but I thought it actually seemed festive given it was the Christmas season.
Once the macarons were cooked, the group began filling the shells with our variety of fillings and made boxes for us all to take home (breakfast!). The course was incredible and I highly recommend to anyone to take their macaron class the next time you visit Paris.
Everyone at La Cuisine Paris couldn’t have been more friendly, helping with every pre-Paris question I had, giving me tons of recs for my stay and even helping with post course questions on making macarons at home. They are truly lovely, lovely people and I can’t wait to go back and take another course with them in Paris!