I have been slowly fulfilling my Okanagan bucket list. I’ve lived in Kelowna, central Okanagan, for almost 15 years now and each year new events, restaurants, shops, wineries open up making my local must-do list longer.
One popular local spot is Sandrine French Pastry and Chocolate known for their high quality Parisian-style croissants and the only lady who can churn out quality macarons in Kelowna. Sandrine also provides decadent gourmet chocolates, colourful French pastries, gelato and ice cream cakes. Sandrine’s is an authentic French pâtisserie that is a place for you to quell your jet setting desires and sweet tooth. It’s also a place where you can bring a bit of France home for dinner with homemade tourtières, duck confit, paté and even duck fat. Both she and her husband were trained at the French Lenotre and Bellouet.
I frequent Sandrine’s each Saturday from April to October after a long perusing of the Farmers’ Market but the real reason Sandrine French Pastry and Chocolate was on my Okanagan bucket list was for her culinary classes. Newly added to her syllabus, other than the yule log class in time for Christmas, is the macaron class.
In an afternoon a class of 6 eager and hungry students learn to make mocha, chocolate and caramel macarons. Sandrine generously provides a rich and silky recipe for ganache and helps us learn how to make our own favourite variation of the notoriously finicky pastry. As we all learned that afternoon, the macaron can be relentless and unmerciful if your ingredients are not weighed to the last gram, sifted until fine or of quality.
But where my nerdy art historian side was piqued was when Sandrine spoke about the history of the macaron. Little did I know the macaron originated from Italy and was created by the chef of Catherine de’ Medici in 1533. When she married Duc d’Orleans (aka Henri II), who later become the King of France in 1547, she brought her chefs with her to culinary country where the macaron would evolve with the help of Louis Ernest Ladurée.
With a stroke of genius he decided to add a ganache filling and sandwich them becoming the delicate pastry we have become so fond of today. Taking this into consideration there is then a French-style and an Italian-style macaron. With Sandrine we came to learn the French-style which differs from its Italian counterpart during the steps where creation and integration of the meringue differs. Some claim that the Italian style does not produce the same airy crunch as the French method but it would be delicious experiment!
See Sandrine’s shop and her confections in my video!
Complete your own Okanagan Bucket List & Book a Culinary Class with Sandrine Today – Click Here.
Don’t miss a beat and sign up for my newsletter & updates.
Thanks for this very interesting article.
As Dina mentioned we are taking a class there in April. They have been something I haven’t wanted to attempt for fear of doom.
I know what you mean – so many things could go wrong with so few ingredients.
You’ll do great though. Sandrine is so helpful and gives away her secrets to the fixing problems.
She explained that perfecting macarons has not come easily and it won’t be easy for those attempting on their own for the first time either. Sandrine mentioned it takes about 10 times of trying and trying again (after the course on your own) to get it to a point where you’re comfortable and satisfied.
It’s a lot of fun learning how!
I love macarons, but I didn’t realize they originated in Italy. That’s some interesting history. I have family in Kelowna, so the next time I am there I will make sure to visit this pastry shop.
Make sure you let me know when you come to town! We can meet up and I’ll show you around a bit.
The least I can do for a fellow BlogHouse member!
Oh, these look delicious. Val and I are taking a class there in April. Love their croissants as well.
The croissants are a weakness of mine Dina!
A woman in the class had been to Paris and said that Sandrine’s croissants matched the best of them!
Literally salivating! Amazing video. Not sure if the mixture would last long enough – I could eat that caramel yumminess straight out of the bowl. Now I want macarons!
The caramel was definitely my favourite flavour of the day!
I can’t wait to try out a few fruit flavours with all that I’ve learned.
Thanks for stopping by Jo!