We crave authentic.
We only want a delectably sweet experience that is genuine and pastries are no exception.
French Made Baking hosts the leading workshops for learning to make authentic French pastries. Catherine and David both moved from Paris and brought their passion for French baking with them. Now, they’re teaching individuals how to make their very own desserts and pastries.
Hear what Catherine, host of a Macoron Making Class, has to say about French baking.
Tell us a bit about yourself and David.
David and I moved to Canada in 2009, from Paris. We were tired of the long commutes and many stresses of the Parisian life, we were finding that the current state of mind in France didn’t align with our values any more and we decided it was the right time to change horizons. We chose Canada and Vancouver for a lifestyle that was the perfect opposite to our life in France. We loved it right away and now we don’t see our life anywhere but here any more! The only thing we were missing was a certain conviviality and good pastries — flavourful and not too sweet.
We are both self-taught Chefs and I would describe our style as down-to-earth traditional French with a focus on taste.
What is the mission behind French Made Baking?
Back in early 2010, French or French-inspired bakeries were scarce in Vancouver. We decided to launch a 100% French owned and operated bakery to recreate the recipes of our childhood.
We started selling macarons and canelés at the Farmers’ market, connecting with people and explaining our work. After a few months we were able to open a small café, expanding our menu with croissants and we started teaching classes. We aimed at recreating a cozy, relaxed French neighbourhood bakery to share our passion with Vancouverites.
Tell us about the macaron and croissant classes.
We have 2 types of classes: demo and hands-on. The macarons class is a hands-on one, meaning that students each have their own workstation and make macarons from scratch. David demonstrates 2 methods for making macarons and students make one themselves during the class. They go home with all the macarons they baked during the class, the recipes for the 2 methods, a kit to make another batch at home (including almond flour, icing sugar, chocolate, piping bag and tip and a template) and 6 of our own macarons. There are 7 people maximum per class.
The croissants making class is a demo. David shows how to make croissants from scratch – plain, chocolate, savoury and double-baked filled with almond cream – and each student is able to roll and fill a few croissants. The class ends with a tasting of the croissants fresh out of the oven and each student brings a goody bag home with more croissants.
We have had a lot of feedback from previous students who succeeded at making macarons and croissants at home after taking one of our classes. Following his passion, David started his baking career at home so he understands what it means to not have professional tools and still make great pastries and he is able to explain very well to student with no previous baking experience!
Why do you think people love french pastries and french baking?
French baking is very wholesome and straightforward, it is all about flavours, textures and elegance. A lot of basic recipes consist only of 4 or 5 simple ingredients like butter, eggs, sugar, flour, with maybe some fruit purees or chocolate but it is important to use quality ingredients.
Our mission as French pastry chefs is to make cakes that are pleasing to the eye and tastebuds, to come up with flavour combinations and assemble elements in a way that you may not be able to do at home without specific pastry training. Sugar is only used in the right proportions to reach a balanced flavour profile and start the baking chemical reactions but French pastries are not overly sweet in general.
What are you inspired by?
By what’s in season and by the work of pastry chefs like Pierre Herme, Philippe Conticini, Christophe Felder. Instagram has become a great source of ideas to find interesting looks and flavour combination ideas. We are now trying to incorporate more elements of classic North American recipes in our baking such as cheesecakes and brownies, but with a French flair which is actually a lot of fun to make!