macarons from Laduree, Paris

Long gone are the days that one can impress their friends and co-workers with a platter of cupcakes. Sure those buttery guys are tasty, but they seem a bit cheap, a tad garish and oversweet in today’s sophisticated food scene. If you want to truly impress, learn to make macarons.

Not to be mistaken with American macaroons, French macarons are delicate almond meringue cookies with intensely flavoured fillings of buttercream, ganache, jam or curd. If you’ve ever traveled to Paris you might have noticed the beautiful window displays of pastel macarons at Laduree. These pretty pastel sweets have enjoyed a climb in popularity since appearing in Marie Antoinette in 2006, and can now be found in bakeries across the city. It is with great anticipation that dish is hosting a macaron class led by Chef Antoaneta. Jen, our school coordinator, said that it has been the easiest class to staff since everyone wants to work that day!

macarons in Marie Antoinette

Macarons are notoriously temperamental. I know because I bought a book about them, seduced by the beautiful photographs of these adorable petit treats colouring its pages, only to discover that the instructions were confusing and vague. The only batch I made was mediocre, and I had to supplement the book’s instructions with this helpful blog post. But it is a difficult creation to master alone, and this class will provide an excellent basis for those interested in making macarons at home, providing you with the proper knowledge to avoid failed (and mediocre) batches. Antoaneta says that the criteria for a good macaron is a “crispy shell, moist inside, smooth, shiny, flat, a good straight foot, with a rich but light cream that is not too sweet and delicately flavoured.”

macarons made by Antoaneta

Her class will take guests step-by-step through mixing, piping and baking macarons. Chef Antoaneta is a French-trained pastry chef who has made thousands of macarons in Parisian kitchens. She graduated from Le Cordon Bleu with a patisserie diploma before working in Parisian kitchens and teaching private pastry classes. Antoaneta will be teaching guests to make dark chocolate ganache macarons, mango butter and mint macarons and salted caramel macarons. “There will be an opportunity to explore more and also some useful tips on decor and presentation,” said Antoaneta. “Since so much of their charm comes from their adorable aesthetics.”

If you want to learn how to create these charming treats at home, call dish to book your place at 416-920-5559. A light lunch will be served during Chef Antoaneta’s demonstration, before guests will get some hands on experience crafting perfect macarons.

March 3, 11 am – 1:30 pm, $135 per person, plus applicable taxes.