Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Macaron Cooking Class in Paris

Come with me to some French
cooking classes in Paris.

Today we are making Macarons.

French Macarons are so
popular right now that we decided 
we wanted to take lessons on
how to make them correctly.

They are delicious and beautiful but
very expensive to buy, so
why not try making your own.

Welcome to the kitchen of La Cuisine Paris!

We found them online and everyone
highly recommended them and we do too.
They are located right along
the Seine at 80 Quai de l'Hotel de ville

Everyone we met were so charming and
made you feel so at home.

The classes fill quickly as there are only
8 students in the classes so they are
very hands on.

This is the adorable Frances.
She is from Great Britain and studied
at a culinary school here in Paris and
is now teaching at La Cuisine.  She was
so fun and entertaining.  You will be
charmed to death by her humor and 
fun personality.

We took the special extended
macaron class that taught us about
decorating the outsides of our
macarons to take them up a notch.

I am very glad that we did.  We learned
lots of fun things.

Each class came with detailed recipes
and you were given a pencil to take notes.

Taking classes from trained pastry chefs
is a bit more technical and exacting than
most classes so it is a good idea to take notes.

Everything was weighed (in grams)
and then put through a fine sieve.
She said in her school they made them
sieve the ingredients twice, but we only
did it once.

I fell in love with this fun gadget.
Frances said you can get this at IKEA.
I hope ours has it.  You set the temperature
on the right and then it is connected by
a metal covered wire to the thermometer
which you pop into your liquid. It was
so easy to keep a constant read on
the thermometer.

A sugar syrup is brought to a boil.  If any of it
browns on the edge, just wet a pastry brush
and wash it down in so you don't have
burned sugar on the edge which will affect
your flavor.

When the temperature reached 114C (237 F)
we began beating the egg whites
in the electric mixer.  When it reached
118 C  (244 F.) we removed the sugar mix
from the heat and poured it in a steady
stream into the egg whites.

Let it keep beating until the mix
has cooled to 50 C (120 F).

Meanwhile pour your other portion of
egg whites into your almond flour and
powdered sugar.

Add the food coloring.  French macarons
use such pretty colors.  They will become
significantly lighter after you stir them
into the meringue so go heavy on the
color if you want them bright.

When the meringue has cooled off so that it 
is no longer hot, just a little warm to the
touch it should be stiff and glossy.

Begin to fold the egg whites in 1/4th
at a time.

After you have folded them all in, give it 
about 50 stirs with the spatula.  Now it
should be glossy and run off the spatula 
in a ribbon and the ribbon should disppear
back into the batter in about 15 seconds.

Get ready to pipe.

Try to be as consistent as you can in your sizes.

Drop the pan on the counter several 
times to remove air bubbles.

Decorate tops if desired.

After baking let them cool.
They should have this fun 
little foot around the bottom
but if they don't they will still 
taste great.  All of our turned
out perfectly.

These are hubby's.  

Ok, today at class I told my teacher
that I was trying to convert the
recipes over from grams and he (not Francis
today) said that all of the ingredients are 
weighed when you are working with
breads and pastry and to tell you to 
just get an electronic scale and
weigh them and that your scales
should measure in grams as well
as ounces!  So I am going to give
you the recipe as I received it.

Macaron Cookie
Italian Meringue Method

300 g ground almonds/ almond flour
300 g powdered sugar
110 g egg whites (room temp)
powdered or paste food coloring
(We used powdered.  Liquid will change your consistency.)

300 g  granulated sugar
75 g water
110 g egg whites (room temp)

Sift the almond flour and powdered
sugar into a large bowl.  Add the first
110 g. of egg whites and food coloring
to desired color.  Remember as you lighten
this with the whipped meringue the color
will lighten up substantially.

Place the remaining 110 g egg whites in
the bowl of a Kitchenaid mixer with the whisk
attachment.   Do not
start to beat yet, just set aside.

Meanwhile in a small saucepan
place the granulated sugar and water
and begin to bring it to a boil.

When the sugar mixture gets to
114 C or 237 F
turn your Kitchenaid on at high
with the whisk attachment.  Let it run
at high while sugar syrup continues to
boil until 118 C or 244 F.
(Frances said this is the perfect amount of time
for the eggs to whip and it worked great.)

When it reaches 118 C or 244 F, take the
syrup off the heat and while the
Kitchenaid is running pour the sugar
syrup slowly into the egg whites.  

Let the beater continue until the meringue
reaches 50 C or 120 F.  It should now be
glossy and not fall out if the bowl is tipped over.  
(We didn't use a thermometer, we just touched the
bottom of the bowl, it was still slightly warm but
not hot.)

Now comes the sacrifice!
You will stir 1/4th of the egg white meringue
into your almond flour mixture.  You can just
stir this in - you are sacrificing this part of the
egg white and not trying to keep the air of the

Next you will fold 1/3 of the remaining meringue
into the mixture using a rubber spatula and 
gently folding it over and over until no
white streaks appear.  Do this with the 
second third, gently folding it in until no 
white streaks remain and finish the same way
with the third and final addition of egg whites.

Now you want to stir the mixture about
50 times.  You are trying to now achieve
a mix that will run off your spoon in a ribbon
rather than clump off and fall back into the
bowl.  After this stirring a ribbon of
batter should disappear into the 
bowl of batter by the count of 15.  

Now your batter should be ready to
pipe into a large pastry bag with a 10 mm
round pastry tip.  Place about half the
batter into the bag and using a plastic
scraper, scrape the batter down and
try to get all of the bubbles out.

Now begin the fun of piping rounds.
We piped onto a Silpat liner.  You want
to create all of your rounds the same size.
You can "cheat" by drawing circles or
just eyeball it and try to create them the
same size.  If I were making tons I would
want to use a circle template.

When you have piped the entire pan
with your desired size of macaron
(they can be small, medium or large)
lift the pan and drop it onto the counter
several times to remove air bubbles.  If
you have any large air bubbles remaining,
use a toothpick to pop them.  

Now is the time to decorate them if you
desire.  Sprinkle on chopped pistachios,
sanding sugar, shaved chocolate, or anything
you like.  

Let them rest
on the counter for about 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 160 C or 320 F.  
Bake for about 12 minutes or until cookie
does not wiggle when you touch it.  Let cool.
It should remove easily from the pan if it
has cooked enough.
(Everyone says humidity can affect these
so I don't know that I would make them
on a rainy day!)

Once they are cool you can pipe
chocolate on for decor if you like.  
Let the chocolate set before you sandwich

When they are cool fill with
buttercream, jam or ganache.

We made chocolate ganache, orange infused
chocolate ganache and a white chocolate and
raspberry ganache.

Try to sandwich similar sized cookies together.

You can also pipe them into shapes like the

You can sandwich different colors together.
These are so pretty.  They will be crunchy
the first day but after one day in the fridge
they should soften to perfection.  They are
fresh and have no preservatives so they
should keep 3-4 days refrigerated.

This was the dessert Francis
made for each of us with our
initial written in food markers. 

This is a French J for me.

She used a large macaron on the 
bottom and topped it with a circle
of whipped cream which she filled
with the white chocolate and raspberry
ganache and then a few fresh raspberries.
She topped it with a small cookie and 
then drizzled it with melted chocolate.

It was fabulous and would amaze
all of your friends and family and
this way you wouldn't even have to
worry about making them the same

By the way, today is my 
What better way than to be taking cooking
classes and sharing them with you!

Two times my blog has disappeared
so I print it out on Blog2print
about every six months and 
now have 6 volumes.  It is a
fun family history that I have
sitting out in my living room.

I never want to lose all of the
fun things I have blogged.

Thanks for sharing in 4 years with me!


Chocolat - French for Chocolate. I adored chocolate from a young age when I had to sneak in the cupboard to find where my mother had hidden the Nestle's Chocolate Chips. Having read about the famous chocolat shoppes in Paris, when I finally got there I was determined to try a chocolate from every Paris shoppe. I invite you to share my adventures in creating, in travel, and in life.


  1. My attempt at making macarons was not that great but it would be easier I'm sure to learn from a pro. I've never seen powdered colouring but love the colours that macarons are made.
    Congrats on your fourth year of blogging, I've learned a lot from your baking adventures and you're always kind enough to answer questions.
    I don't know how you've lost your blog, what happened?

  2. Congrats on your anniversary! Looking forward to your upcoming posts~

  3. All the cookies look beautiful, I'm sure the class is a blast! Happy Blog-a-versary too:@)

  4. I am not a coveter..

    but I am coveting..
    Pinning..have to try your way Sparkle nana.(Your nails:) )
    Happy every anniversary!

  5. Happy Blogiversary! So happy to have found you! Celebrating two anniversaries in France then! I have been thinking about trying these macaroons, and now I am going to! They are gluten free!
    Thanks for your detailed recipe and pictures! LOVE it!
    have a great day today, can't wait to see what you do!

  6. Hi Jacqueline,

    It was such a pleasure to have you and Kirk in my class - thanks for the positive review!

    A bientot!

  7. Thanks for the detailed instructions! The cookies are beautiful. Happy Anniversary and Happy Blog-a-versary.

  8. I I've making macs. How great that you got to take a class in Paris! I see an afternoon of baking in our future. Joni are you in?

  9. How awesome you and your hubby going to Paris and taking classes together. The baking classes look like fun and you are sharing what you learned. Make me watch to reach into the screen and take a bite of these babies. Not only are there pretty, they are so taaty. Ohh La La...

  10. Happy 4 years!!! You and I started right around the same time, so it's great that we're both still hanging in there and still have plenty to share!

    Macarons are WAY too complicated for my little brain to make from scratch, but I salute you and your husband for jumping right in there and making such beautiful treats! That's quite an accomplishment!!!

    Enjoy playing with your newfound knowledge (and translating all those grams and stuff into cups!), and have a safe & relaxing holiday weekend!

  11. Congratulations on 4 years of blogging! I always enjoy everything you post. Your photography is fabulous. I am amazed at all the beautiful things you do. I always enjoy reading about your family and the special things you do for them. I hope you and your hubby have a wonderful time in Paris. I am looking forward to many more of your blogging years!
    Hugs, Katherine S.

  12. Tell Bonnie, that yes I am in. I need to get a scale that weighs in grams and one of those cool thermometer things. I would have loved this class, and your macs are so cute. Yes, Paris can change you... Happy 4 years. I cannot believe we are still blogging (well, I do it occasionally). It has been a fun thing to share with you. You have created such fun, tasty, and beautiful things over the past 4 years. You would have been doing these things anyway without a blog, but it is so great that you have them memorialized on your blog and in your books. Love you, Joni

  13. No better place to learn the art of making French macarons than France! Yours turned out so beautifully! I have an electronic scale (that does convert to grams)and I love ti! Happy 4th blog anniversary!

  14. Your macaroons are beautiful! So interesting to see how they are made. Glad you had this opportunity.

    Happy blog anniversary too.

  15. Congrats on your anniversary, Jacqueline! Your blog is so inspiring! I think it was two years ago you graciously helped me with my blog! Time flies!

    :) Much love,
    Dixie Pearls

  16. How pretty, Jacqueline! I am sure they taste divine! My oldest daughter loves to bake, cook, etc. Since she is home for the summer, I am going to share this recipe with her. I am sure she would love to try it!

  17. Happy Double Anniversary! I have a wonderful recipe book that is filled with different recipes for macaroons, but I have yet to try to make some of my own. We have 2 French bakeries here that make excellent ones, so I'm lazy and let them do the cooking. The class looks like fun!

  18. Merci for the tips on macaron making and the lovely photos of your time in Paris.

  19. What a wonderful trip! Can't imagine anything more delightful than making macarons in Paris! Love Paris but never tried a cooking class - hopefully they'll be a next trip (sigh)


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