Not as EATsy as EAT seems - My French Trip to Bon Macaron
After a much enjoyed Thanksgiving weekend, students from Mme. Hall’s French 12 class were able to go on an outing to Victoria to learn to make macarons.
We left just before lunch and made our way down to Bon Macaron Patisseri owned and operated by two native Frenchmen who truly know the ins and outs of baking. Once we arrived, the eight of us were moved into their cozy back room and kitchen. Although it would seem too small for a regular restaurant, it works well for the three people who are normally working with each other on one shift.
Yann, one of the owners, was our teacher for the day; he was incredibly adept at explaining everything and even better at encouraging our French throughout the lesson while making sure we didn’t slip back into English.
We began by choosing what flavour we wanted. All of us would be learning to make just one on the agreement that at the end of the class all the macarons were shared amongst all of the students. This is most likely also an incredible way of making sure students didn’t spend their whole class selecting their flavours as it took us an embarrassing amount of in-depth self-reflection to choose what we would settle on.
After that, we got our aprons on and got to work.
In essence, macarons are made of two meringue shells (made of egg whites and almond flour) with a filling in the middle ordinarily made of buttercream or ganache. We watched as they demonstrated what tools and techniques they use for the meringue shells and then divided up the portions so that we could mix it with our colour. We learned to gently fold our mixture and then proceeded to pipe our macarons on to the trays, all of us laughing at some of the very uncircular shapes that came out of it. While we placed those in the oven, Yann showed us his incredible repertoire for savoury macarons such as sweet potato pie, bacon, mushroom, brie, and even curry, all of which confused us deeply but couldn’t have tasted better.
Next, we moved to make our fillings, flavoured by an incredible selection from their collection including fresh lavender from a local farm, organic Oreos, local coffee for tiramisu and sweet salted caramel. Our macarons came out of the oven just in time as we began to finish the final touches and put them together, everyone equally impressed by how professional they seemed to look!
We divided our hard work up and happily grabbed new flavours to put in our take-away boxes, all of us eager to sample them as soon as we could. Our extensive work had paid off in full, and we all came away with about forty macarons to show for it.
Walking back into your House with the lovely smell of macarons was a wonderful feeling, right up until when we were swarmed with hungry teenagers asking to taste one. I have been enjoying them these past few days, and I know everyone else has too. If you start craving more than just the flavour, you should try the experience of learning first hand. I highly recommend joining French 12 in order to do so or maybe just booking a class with Bon Macaron Patisserie in Victoria or Vancouver.
Phoebe H, Hope ‘19