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New Guest Blogger: Making Macarons in Paris


Posted by : Guest Blogger, Mon, Apr 12 2010

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Do you remember how we put out a call for a few good bloggers to join the Foodnetwork.ca community? I have to say I was overwhelmed by the number and the awesomeness (I know I sound like a 14-year-old but it really fits) of your submissions.

I've gotten in touch with a few of you already, and I'll be commissioning more in the months to come. (Thanks for being so patient by the way).  The first blogger up is Mardi Michels who I'm thrilled to have onboard. She's had some amazing food adventures including this one which took her to Paris. *sigh!* - CJ

A le macaron…  Curse of brave bakers across the world.  Delicately coloured and flavoured crispy shells filled with buttercream or ganache that wow not just the palate but also the eye, macarons have become the 2010 equivalent of the cupcake.  Unfortunately, unlike the cupcake, they are terribly temperamental and a recipe that works for one person might not necessarily work for another.

I fought with these unpredictable treats a number of times without success and despaired of ever finding my "feet". So last year, I took advantage of a trip to Paris to get the inside scoop by enrolling at a workshop at the sublime Pavillon Elysée Lenôtre pastry school.

I joined a dozen other "mac" enthusiasts in jovial Chef François Schmitt's class covering pistachio, chocolate and walnut macarons. This workshop was in French and let's just say I learned a lot of new baking-specific vocabulary that day!  The atmosphere was casual yet professional and through the nearly four hours, there was never a doubt the macs would succeed.  The chef was very confident and it clearly rubbed off on us.

In case you were wondering, we didn't each make a batch, but had a hand in making the nearly 400 macarons we made collectively, 99% of which succeeded.  The chef demonstrated the techniques and then let us take turns to practice, hovering bemusedly around us as we shook in our shoes and weighed, measured, piped, tapped and filled the macarons.

It was an intense morning with a lot of French language concentrating, but a lot of fun.  I've been working on my macs ever since I returned with varying success. It's a quest for sure…  A suivre as they say in French!

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Mardi Michels is a full-time French teacher and part-time food blogger based in Toronto.  Her blog, eat.live.travel.write  focuses on culinary adventures both near and far because she travels as often as she can!


Posted: Mon, Apr 12 2010 by Guest Blogger

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