Morning all and happy Sunday! I hope your week has been stress free and your weekend full of fun, laughter and happy vibes. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but one of my hobbies is that I love to bake. Some people do yoga and meditate, I bake! I haven’t baked in a while, constantly travelling around Europe, working and writing, doesn’t leave me much time, but it’s something I love to do and I’ve really been missing it lately. So I decided I was going to combine my love of travel with my love of baking, and I booked myself into two pastry classes in none other than Paris, France.
When I told my friends in London that I was going to Paris to take a pastry class, I had one common reaction. Surprise and shock, followed by “You’re going to Paris just to do a baking class?” Paris, being only a 2.5 hour train ride away on the Eurostar from London, my immediate thought was Absolutely! Why not?
In everyday life, I’m always keen to try new things and step outside the box. When it comes to baking, pastry is something I’ve always struggled with, so I was extremely excited for the fun learning opportunity that awaited me at La Cuisine Paris. And to be able to say I learnt how to make Parisian desserts from a Parisian chef, I mean, how amazing is that!
Arrival… Parisian vibes and gateau, gateau, gateau
Catching the Eurostar around seven in the morning, I had a few hours to spare before class started. Dressed in my most Parisian outfit, I grabbed myself a coffee and croissant from my favourite little bakery (this trip making it my fourth visit to Paris) and began wandering the cobblestone streets.
As I walked along the seine river, the smell of freshly baked bread drew me to the nearby market stalls that had set up for the day. Usually a window shopper, I made an exception for Paris (I mean, it’s Paris how could you not) and I began trying the array of cheeses and jams. I even bought a few items to enjoy on my train journey home.
First Class… eclairs
After my relaxing morning of exploring and eating, I arrived at La Cuisine Paris. Making my way down to the kitchen, I was greeted by the chef, introduced to my fellow classmates and was handed an apron. It was time to bake!
Pastry chef Segolene, was incredible. She demonstrated each step of the recipe, pinpointing common mistakes beginners often make and letting us in on a few tricks of the trade. It was a lot easier making eclairs with her guidance, opposed to watching a YouTube video in my kitchen back home, and as soon as I started piping away, I zoned everything else out and fell straight into my happy place. And OH MY GOSH the final product was to die for! It tasted just like an eclair I’d buy from a local Parisian bakery. I couldn’t believe I made something so delicious! The filling flavour was pistachio, which so happens to be my favourite, so there was nothing but smiles from me.
Second Class… French tarts
After the eclairs it was time for some good old French tarts. The class said goodbye to chef Segolene and hello to chef Guillaume, who was extremely entertaining, making us laugh the entire duration of the lesson.
We worked on two tarts at the same time, one a chocolate tart and the other a classic pear tart. I learnt how to properly caramelise the pear and to create the perfect silky smooth ganache. My chocolate tart turned out perfectly, my pear one a little rustic looking, but the flavour was incredible. If I had any concerns regarding pastry before, well not anymore. My experience at La Cuisine Paris was everything I hoped for and one I’ll never forget. I’m already looking at going back to try out their macaroon and croissant classes!
Oh and I don’t speak French (unfortunately), these classes were taught in English.