France is famous for its pastries, so Rebecca and I booked a baking class through Viator where we would learn to make Organic and Gluten-Free Desserts. We decided to do the class on our first full day in Paris, figuring we’d be pretty tired and jet-lagged and not up to a full day of sightseeing. Good choice.
It was a short walk to the designated building, but the code we’d been given for the entrance didn’t work. We popped into the nearest business, a body building shop, to ask for help. One of the young men spoke perfect English and even had a key, so he let us in.
Dominic, our chef, greeted us and soon had us at ease. We had expected to be part of a larger group, but it was just the two of us. Dominic said he usually six students per group, but tourism to Paris from North America is down by 35%. We were happy to have a private class.
The class was a lot of fun. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy baking, since I hadn’t done it in a long time. We made small chocolate cakes using buckwheat flour, and filled pastry rings with the batter. Dominic baked them for a short time at a high temperature, leaving a gooey center.
]Using rice flour, we also made shortbread tarts with ricotta-style cheese topped with raspberries and toasted almonds. Our third treat was lemon-flavored Madeleines. All the ingredients were weighed in grams, rather than using English-style utensils for measuring. He had a little digital scale that showed the number of grams.
Chef Dominic boxed up two chocolate cakes and the remaining Madeleines for us to take back to our hotel. On the way to the Metro, we stopped in at the body building shop and shared some of the cookies with the young men who helped us. There were too many cookies for us to eat anyway, and they seemed happy to have some sweets.
Dinner that night consisted of protein bars and chocolate cake!
The class was lots of fun, and a nice change of pace. I’d recommend a cooking class to anyone traveling to Paris.