Friday, June 24, 2011

J'Adore Macaron

My parents recently got back from a vacation in Paris. Before they left, my mom asked me what I wanted back from Paris... Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Christian Louboutin (okay, maybe she didn't really say that... it was more like, don't kill my plants while we're gone), but I did make a request for the infamous Parisian Macaron from Maison Laduree.

Well, for a non-obssesed macaron patron, it would be easy to forget the name Laduree (as my mom did).  So, it was natural that she felt like she hit the jackpot while strolling down Champs-Elysees and finding a macaron boutique. By day five and many dozens of macarons later, she realized the popularity of these tiny confections and also became obsessed with the hunt of getting me macarons from every boutique she passed.

Here are a few shots of macarons and guimauves, straight from the streets of Paris: 

Festival of Macarons - Chicago, IL

I'm obsessed with macarons (and if you followed me on twitter you already knew that). In the beginning of May 2011, I enrolled in the Festival of Macarons course at the French Pastry School of Chicago. The class was taught by world-renowned Master Pastry Chef, Stephane Glacier, entrepreneur and consultant of pastry and confectionery arts.

In this three-day hands-on workshop we learned how produce all kinds of macarons, like the Dutch macaron, the Gerber macaron, the Nancy macaron and the Classic Parisian macaron. The Chef also taught complimentary confections to the macarons such as lavender creme glacee, green apple sorbet, nougat, and croquembouche/pate choux.

The whole experience was absolutely incredible. To be able to work in a state of the art kitchen alongside a team of like-minded individuals who share the same work and passion, and to be taught by the best of the best and learn the true secret of a parisian macaron.

A special shout-out to my partner, Riki Tanabe, Pastry Chef at Albemarle Baking Company in Charlottesville, VA. Thank you so much for all your help and for making us the "dream team" of the class. You are an incredible teacher and I appreciate all your tips and tricks and more that you shared with me.

Here are a few pictures from the course: