I had the pleasure of attending the launch of a beautiful new cookbook at Duchess Bakery last week. Written by Giselle Courteau (co-owner) and her incredible team, the book is filled with beautiful photos, recipes and stories about the bakery and the people that work there. Over 85 recipes break down the steps and ingredients to create French delicacies, and ALL of them were tested by normal people in real kitchens.
Started by Courteau and her business partner Garner Beggs, Duchess was conceptualized while the pair were teaching English together in Japan. An odd place to get inspired by French pastries, you may think, but according to Courteau, the Japanese were obsessed with French food, and so there were bakeries everywhere. She spent three years perfecting her macaron recipe — she would buy macarons from the Japanese/French bakeshops, bring them home, analyze the flavours, and then try to recreate them. Oh, and she did all this with only a toaster oven! The macaron is still the signature pastry at the shop and the recipe used is the one that Courteau created while in Japan. According to her other business partner and pastry chef Jake Pelletier, though he continues to try, he has never found a recipe better than the one she came up with.
This gorgeous cookbook not only unlocks the secrets of French baking for you, but supports these young entrepreneurs (and fellow travellers!) who have found a way to translate what they love into what they do! Find the cookbook here.
I hate to admit it, but the first time that I ever saw a macaron was 10 year ago in Paris and I was too afraid, embarrassed and confused to try one. Why confused, embarrassed and afraid, you ask? First of all, these tasty treats are very brightly coloured, often neon green, pink, yellow and even blue. Colours that looked to me like they were going to make your teeth melt, or were full of artificial ingredients that were sure to give me a tummy ache. Secondly, they... more