More than a year has passed since my first attempt in baking French macarons. I signed my husband and I up for a class at La Cuisine Paris over Valentine’s Day weekend last year as a way for us to do something together that would involve our love for eating. The options were limitless, really, but given the unwavering fascination with macarons (and my growing interest in baking) I thought it would be a good idea to give them a shot.
Macarons are quite difficult to make. They require a steady hand and/or an assembly line to produce a perfectly round shape à la Ladurée (and that is exactly how they’re made: in a factory!). We had a wonderful time but resolved to leave dainty French treats in the hands of French masters.
I followed this experience five months later with a cocktail class where I learned to make a killer Tommy’s Margarita in the company of 52 Martinis, Paris’ resident cocktail expert. It was great fun and a refreshing way to end a horribly humid July afternoon. But I’m not a big drinker so I was interested in taking yet another course but something savory. What food do I love but rarely make from scratch? Pizza.
So with a couple girlfriends, we headed back to La Cuisine ready to get our hands dirty (or doughy, as it were). Taught by Laetitia, a Neapolitan expat, we learned that to have a successful pizza, the dough had to be just right. It would require well-developed forearm muscles, kneading strength and patience, but the result would be worth the hard work.
We each prepared small, personal sized pizzas and a few calzones, with ricotta and parmesan, fresh tomato sauce with basil and garlic, and another version with ham for meat-eaters. We split our creations and 3 bottles of wine between us and discussed which Italian desserts would follow nicely after such a meal. Laetitia, full of smiles and information, shared her Panna Cotta recipe with us which had us all revved to jump back into the kitchen. Want her recipe? Take one of her Italian cooking classes to get her secret!
I encourage everyone, both visitors and locals, to take a class at La Cuisine when they can. With a state-of-the-art space, engaging instructors and an unbeatable view of the Seine, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be cooking! When you go, give Jane & Olivier my best.
For more pictures from the class, head to my flickr page.
La Cuisine Paris
80 Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville
Tel.: 01 40 51 78 18
Philadelphia native Lindsey Tramuta came to Paris to go to school and stayed on because she fell in love with her now-husband Cédric. This marketing and communications professional also loves food, music and reading. And she willingly shares her often-amusing views on life as an expat in Paris in her blog, Lost In Cheeseland.