Ever wonder what it would be like to bake french pastries and actually taste like they do in Paris? I did, so I took a French Pastry class at Give Me Some Sugar. On a Thursday night my life changed. I learned how to make Lemond Curd Tarts, Éclairs, Madelines and Palmiers. Ready For Baking?
Some Tools For Baking:
Alekka Sweeney, owner and pastry chef taught this class. She had the recipes ready and tools and ingredients handy. In 2.5 hours we baked our little palmers off. Chef Alekka was extremely organized in order to keep us moving along. We only had 2.5 hours!! While Chef Alekka was demonstrating how to make some of the dough and filling, we followed her at our table or together at the chef table. This class is all hands on.
We started out with one of my favorite pastries; lemon curd tarts. We made the curd together while the dough was baking. This roller was king of the table. It comes with four sets of rolling pin rings that raise the rolling surface by different amounts, to create exactly the required pastry thickness. Genius! I can remove all the other pins while rolling out my 1/4 inch this dough. So easy.
What beauties ! and tasted better than they look. Lemon zest and lemon juice are the key ingredients for these all star pastries.
On to the Éclairs! This beautiful oblong pastry is made out of with choux dough filled with crème pâtissière or whipped cream or whatever your flavor du jour is. We made a vanilla custard that was out of this world. I wonder if I got a bad mark every time my finger was in the bowl tasting everything? Oh well c’est la vie.
We made the dough and the filling in a matter of 30 min, Bam> onto the Palmiers which is one of my other favorites. Chef Alekka showed us this little trick that rocked my world. Make Palmiers from puff pastry. OMG, who knew? Unfold each sheet of puff pastry onto the sugar and pour 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture on top, spreading it evenly on the puff pastry. … With a rolling pin, roll the dough until it’s 13 by 13-inches square. Fold, fold, fold and cut. When it comes out of the oven, the sugar has melted onto the puff pastry to a caramelized decadent treat. Voilà!
Our last pastry we learned how to make, were Madelines. A little French sponge-cake that have a shell-like shape and is simple to make as long as you have the madeline mold. It consists of the holy grail of butter, flour, sugar and lemon zest. If you follow the directions correctly, you come out with a little cookie that is browned and crispy on the outside and spongy and soft on the inside. A perfect accompaniment to your afternoon cup of tea or inner case, a cup of wine.
Overall, the experience was absolutely amazing. We all had so much fun ( the class holds up to 12 people), learned how to make French pastries and took home two boxes of treats to share. It is nice to find something to do that doesn’t require going to a bar or to a sports game. Chef Alekka was the star however, she made the class fun and was very knowledgeable on the class. There are other pastry chefs that teach other classes as well, so I guess I’ll have to sign-up for another class soon to compare each one, with my finger tasting of course!
If you end up taking a course yourself, we would love to hear about your experience by commenting below.