6 May 2014

Macarons with Mardi Michels

Last Friday night - after my orientation at Bonnie Gordon College - I did not rest! I jumped on the subway and headed a few stops down to Nella Cucina on Bathurst Street. Being the impatient person that I am, I didn't want to wait until July to learn how to make macarons in my Diploma Programme - I wanted to learn how to make them now - with Mardi Michels of the wonderful blog, eat. live. travel write.

This was probably the only time I've gone somewhere new in Toronto where I haven't gotten lost along the way - high five for me!

Of course, due to the fact that I allowed time for getting lost I ended up arriving wayyy too early. Being far too cold to wander around, I ventured into the store anyway and began browsing. I ended up chatting to a guy (perhaps the owner? A manager?) about KitchenAid prices and how they vary so much. Eg. normal prices are around $300 in the US, $350 in Canada and $750 in Australia. Sigh.

The staff at Nella Cucina were all very friendly and happy to help with any questions. After I'd looked at every item in the store, and looked at them again, and a third time for luck (I was really, really early), I decided to venture upstairs to where the kitchen was.

A bar was set up with soft drinks and later, Nella Cucina's Sommelier (at least, I think that's who it was - I was talking too much to hear the introduction. Oops!) turned up to share some Prosecco with us. Again, I missed this as I was too busy talking. Gosh darn it!

Mardi started us off with a demo and my constant talking ceased (... mostly) as I took in what was happening. Ingredients, techniques, piping, yumminess, etc!

Mardi Michels getting her 'pipe' on at Nella Cucina

Sadly I was too busy watching, chatting, doing a tiny bit of piping (apparently piping macarons is quite easy after piping on cakes!) and just generally enjoying myself too much to take any more photos.

After our macarons were out of the oven we all got to work matching up the 'shells' and
filling them with deliciousness! White chocolate, cream cheese, marshmallow and a dark chocolate & raspberry ganache. Mmm-mmm!

There were a few dramas throughout the night with oven problems and some macarons not looking quite as perfect as we'd liked - but hey, that's all part of the learning process!

By the time we were all done, we each went home with a container of 6 macarons. We also got some time to browse in Nella Cucina with a bit of a discount! Having spent so much time browsing earlier, I already had my eye on a maple leaf cookie cutter. Not being one for tacky souvenirs, I've decided to start collecting cookie cutters to represent places I've travelled. This is my first!

Maple Leaf Cookie Cutter from Nella Cucina - collecting cookie cutters from my travels

What a great night! I met some wonderful people, had a whole lot of fun, and went home with some super yummy macarons!

I was even nice and shared them with my housemates! Well... half of them (the macarons I mean, not the housemates). I just had to try a marshmallow one, and the two white chocolate ones were mine - no sharing of those! Nooo way!

Yummy white chocolate macaron!

Thank you to Mardi for a wonderful class, and to Nella Cucina for hosting!


  1. Yummm! I LOVE macarons. I suck at baking though - I'd never attempt a macaron!

    1. Ohhh you should Mel! They're probably not as hard as you think! :)

  2. Aw thanks so much for this sweet writeup! It's always nerve wracking baking in a new-to-me kitchen and when baking superstars like you are in the class, well..... ;) Thank you for understanding that learning about how a new-to-you oven is all part of the learning process. With macarons - like anything worth making - take practice and patience. Perhaps we can practice together sometime before you leave :)


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