Oct 15

Making macarons in Paris & a peek into the Parisian home of a private chef

by in food, france, paris

IMG_8985For many people Paris is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. A trip that is carefully saved for and planned for with a lot of expectation and excitement. What many tourists might not realize is that, while Paris is fascinating, historic and beautiful, it is also exhausting. You will walk for many, many hours in the city of lights, your feet will hurt yet you will still want to see and do more and discover what is hiding behind every quaint corner. To remedy this, I recommend a day of respite and culture, making famous French macarons in Paris, in the home of a private chef. A chance to relax, enjoy and let your inner Julia Child out and learn to create a French masterpiece … the macaron.

When my cousin’s girlfriend came to Paris for a visit, after many many days of trekking around Europe, I knew this Viator Tour would be the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time together and to give her some insight to the art of the French patisserie while giving her weary feet a rest.

Brenna and I were fortunate to have this tour, and the private chef, Frederic, to ourselves. We received a warm welcome to his bright home, where everything was precisely prepared for our of macaron-making workshop. Frederic was personable and open and shared with us many tips and insights about shopping for food at local markets in Paris. What follows is a visual tour of our macaron workshop in Paris and the secret to making the perfect meringue.

Upon arrival all the ingredients were laid out in the lovely light of the chef's home kitchen.

Upon arrival all the ingredients were laid out in the lovely light of the chef’s home kitchen.

We began by preparing the fillings: lemon, raspberry, chocolate, caramel.

We began by preparing the fillings: lemon, raspberry, chocolate, caramel.

Caramel is a tricky one, requires plenty of supervision!

Caramel is a tricky one, requires plenty of supervision!

And learning the secret to the best meringue: Italian meringue which is sturdier and more forgiving.

And learning the secret to the best meringue: Italian meringue which is sturdier and more forgiving.

You know the meringue is ready when...

You know the meringue is ready when…

It's all about the technique!

It’s all about the technique!

Expert instruction on filling the macarons.

Expert instruction on filling the macarons.

Practice makes perfect but in the end, they all taste the same ... delicious!

Practice makes perfect but in the end, they all taste the same … delicious!

Not only are macarons melt-in-your-mouth-amazing, they also make for beautiful subjects!

Not only are macarons melt-in-your-mouth-amazing, they also make for beautiful subjects!

View of Paris from the kitchen of Frederic, French pastry chef.

View of Paris from the kitchen of Frederic, French pastry chef.

 

Frederic was kind enough to send me his expert recipe for making French macarons. You can download the recipe for les macarons here and les fillings here.

Thanks to Viator Tours for providing this complimentary macaron-making class in Paris. All thoughts, words and images are my own.

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