Meatless Monday: Remy’s Ratatouille (Version I)

Main Dishes, Recipes, Side Dishes

Happy Meatless Monday! Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been a fan of a) Disney movies and b) seeing food on TV and wishing I could make something equally nice at home. So after watching the Disney/Pixar movie Ratatouille for the umpteenth time, I thought to myself, Self, that ratatouille looks gorgeous and if it’s good enough to render Anton Ego speechless, then I want to make it myself! I got hold of some squash, tomatoes, and (to make things even easier) some homemade tomato sauce that had been gifted to us. Without the use of any recipes aside from a few (okay… maybe a dozen) screenings of the cooking scene in the movie along with a quick Google Image search for pictures of the final product, I ended up with this:

Ratatouille Version I - the final product

Ratatouille Version I – the final product

Not bad, right? To be honest, this version of ratatouille is just a quick and easy way to enjoy the heartiness and comfort of the roasted vegetables in a delicious (and vegan!) dish that gets to the dinner table in as little as one hour. It mostly resembles Remy’s ratatouille in its styling with the use of thin slices as opposed to a chunky stew, but the sauce has been simplified and I omitted eggplants as a personal preference, (Remy, by the way, is the name of the rodent protagonist in the movie.) I learned recently that Remy’s version had been adapted from Thomas Keller, who was the culinary consultant during the production of the film. His confit byaldi recipe was posted in the New York Times in 2007, the same year the movie was released. So, for those of you doing the math, yes – I’ve been wanting to make this dish for the past 6 years and only recently became inspired and confident enough to give it a go.

A "before" photo

A “before” photo

I am calling this Version I because while I do intend to tackle Thomas Keller’s recipe with its more traditional red bell pepper and tomato sauce base in the near future, this attempt was pretty darn tasty. Tasty enough, I feel, to be worth sharing. This recipe ended up yielding four 5″ diameter ramekins (I used low, fluted creme brulee dishes) plus enough leftover for one 8″ diameter pie dish… about 4-6 servings total. You could probably make two 8″ diameter pie dishes or one gratin dish if you were to make multiple layers (mine were all single-layered). We enjoyed this simply spread onto toasted baguette slices, though it would make an excellent side dish to a protein of your choosing.

A mandoline is a must-have to easily get those uniform, thin slices.

A mandoline is a must-have to easily get those uniform, thin slices.

NomNomCat Tip #1: The sauce. I used a homemade tomato sauce (roma tomatoes, garlic, onions, thyme, oregano – all simmered together until reduced) as the base, though ratatouille is more traditionally served with a roasted red pepper and tomato blend. For our simplified version, you are welcome to use your favorite homemade (or even store-bought if you must) tomato sauce.

NomNomCat Tip #2: The vegetables. There are so many versions of ratatouille but many feature a combination of zucchini, yellow squash, tomato, eggplant (aubergine), and/or bell peppers. What makes this particular ratatouille special is its presentation. The thin slices, easily accomplished with a mandoline, roast up quickly and look impressively colorful. When purchasing your produce, you’ll want to keep in mind that vegetables of similar diameters will yield the best circles for layering. Also, beware that squashes hold a lot of water which release during the baking process. To avoid soggy ratatouille (especially if you are using eggplants), sprinkle the slices with a bit of salt to draw out some of its water before layering; . Lastly, depending on the size of your vegetables, the quantity may vary. You just want to end up with an approximately even number of slices of each vegetable (if you’re OCD like I am) or you can always adjust your layering patterns to accommodate any shortages. Have fun with it!

Ingredients:

Ingredients:

1 to 2 zucchinis

2 to 3 yellow squash

3 to 4 roma tomatoes

10 ounces of tomato sauce

A few tablespoons of olive oil

Salt & pepper

Sprigs of fresh thyme

Fresh chives (optional; for garnish)

French baguette (serving suggestion)

Parchment Circles

Parchment Circles

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then prepare your parchment paper circles. You’ll need to top each dish with these later and it’s much easier to measure when the vessels are empty than when they are stacked full of vegetable slices. To make a quick circle, tear off a square sheet of parchment. Fold it in half twice so that you get a smaller square. Fold the side with 2 “flaps” onto the side with the single thick crease, making a triangle. Flip over and fold one more time, so that the side with 3 flaps matches up with the (new) single thick crease. Line up the point approximately in the center of the dish and eyeball the length of the radius. Using scissors, snip across in a slightly curved line. Unfold and voila – a perfect (ish) circle!

Zucchini slices

Zucchini slices

Next, prepare your vegetables. I used my Kyocera ceramic blade mandoline on its thickest setting (3.0 mm) so I had all of my vegetables sliced in a matter of minutes.  If slicing by hand, just be careful – the slices should not be paper thin or they’ll fall apart in the cooking process. A few millimeters thick and most importantly, consistent thickness for even baking.

Yellow squash slices

Yellow squash slices

Set your slices aside. I let the two squashes share a dish while the tomatoes sat in a separate bowl since they had already started releasing their juices.

Sauce the dishes

Sauce the dishes

I used our tomato sauce straight out of the refrigerator since we will be baking it anyway. Spread a thin layer at the bottom of each baking dish. These ramekins held about 2-3 spoonfuls of sauce apiece and I used the remainder to line my 8″ pie dish.

Start layering!

Start layering!

Start layering! Have fun with this step. Mine are all in the same pattern (yellow squash, zucchini, tomato, yellow squash, zucchini, tomato) to streamline the process and to satisfy my inner OCD. You are welcome to mix it up or arrange them randomly. Just be sure to overlap the slices, leaving just enough of the underlying layer visible for its color.

Drizzle with oil

Drizzle with oil

Brush the top with a bit of olive oil to help keep the exposed squash from drying out. I drizzled a thin line of oil over the top and rubbed it on with a clean finger. Whatever works.

Almost ready for the oven!

The larger dish – almost ready for the oven!

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and lay a sprig or two of fresh thyme on top. (If you can’t get fresh thyme, dried would be okay too),

Top with parchment

Top with parchment

Top with your pretty parchment circles and press down gently. The light brushing of oil will help the paper “stick” and stay close to the vegetables.

The big reveal!

The big reveal!

Bake in the 375 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes. When you are a few minutes away from the timer going off, start toasting crostini-sized slices of baguette (about 1/2-inch thick, sliced on a bias).

Voila - ratatouille!

Voila – ratatouille!

Remove the parchment and the (probably burnt) sprig of thyme before serving. To make things extra pretty, I borrowed Remy’s plating idea to use a single chive tip to garnish. Although now I have a lot of leftover chives in my refrigerator… time to research another recipe!

We each ate two of those ramekins with toast for dinner and split the contents of the pie dish for the next day’s lunch. If you plan to serve this as a side dish, I think one ramekin per person would be sufficient. One of my friends likes to drizzle the ratatouille with balsamic vinegar before baking (or balsamic reduction after baking would also work), top it with gobs of goat cheese and serve it over pan fried polenta. Fancy!

Dress it up or dress it down, there’s no right or wrong way to enjoy this comforting dish especially on a cool autumn night. Bon appetit!

nomnomcat print button

———————

our-growing-edge-badgeThis post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing EdgeThis event aims to connect food bloggers all over the world and inspire us to try new things. The ratatouille from Ratatouille has been on my bucket list for literally years and I cannot believe how easy it turned out to be! My only regret is not working up the courage to try making this sooner, but as they say, better late than never!

We are hosting this month’s link party and we can’t wait to see the autumn dishes from our friends in the northern hemisphere AND the spring dishes from our friends in the southern hemisphere!

Want to join our link party? Check out this post for details. ALL bloggers are welcome.

Cheers!

La Petite Creperie – Mar Vista, CA

Food Adventures, Los Angeles

One of our favorite Sunday morning routines is to head over to the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market (some weekends we’ll even walk!) and enjoy a leisurely brunch at a local neighborhood hot spot – La Petite Crêperie. A quaint hole-in-the-wall, La Petite Crêperie is decked out in old French country-style wooden decor with cute dish towels for napkins and adorable mini Le Creuset type dutch ovens that have been purposed as sugar bowls. The all-French staff are quick to bid “Bonjour!” and show us to a cozy corner table.

La Petite Creperie - Champignons, Fromage Galette

La Petite Creperie – Champignons & Fromage Galette

First things first, Martin and I both love having iced coffee at brunch. They do not have chilled coffee here but if you ask nicely, they will be happy to fix up a strong Americano and serve that over ice along with milk in a cute little ceramic creamer.

Iced Americano

Iced Americano

If winter is coming, La Petite Crêperie offers an excellent organic French pressed coffee, served in huge Bodum (?) glass coffee presses. The smallest, supposedly a 2-cup, was plenty for us to share. One advantage of going with hot coffee is the ease of which the sugar cubes melt (we had to stir for quite a bit to get them to dissolve into the iced coffee!). Plus it’s just fun to push down on the plunger.

French pressed coffee

French pressed coffee

Since we are dining at a place that is literally named “the little crêpe restaurant,” we, of course, had to order a crêpe or two. I love savory crêpes, listed on the menu under Les Galettes, and selected the champignons and fromage –  a medley of portabello and oyster mushrooms sauteed in butter along with garlic and shallots and served in a buckwheat crêpe layered with melted gruyère. SO GOOD. The gruyere paired perfectly with the earthy mushrooms which, though rich and buttery, were not greasy at all. The savory crêpes are served with a mixed greens salad tossed in a bright and tangy sherry vinaigrette and garnished with cute fresh cherry tomatoes (possibly sourced from the farmer’s market going on just outside!).

Crêpe Champignons & Fromage

Crêpe Champignons & Fromage

Martin is less a fan of savory crêpes (he’s more of a Nutella guy, but more on that later) but his brunch selection is another French favorite – the croque madame. Essentially a ham and cheese sandwich, the croque monsieur (jambon de Paris, gruyère, and béchamel served open-faced on toasted bread) becomes a croque madame with the addition of a fried sunny-side-up egg. It’s hearty and comforting and just the right breakfast to keep you going until dinnertime.

Croque Madame

Croque Madame

If we go the savory route, we are usually too full for dessert. With this in mind, we will sometimes decide to come here for a sweet breakfast of Nutella crêpes and coffee. Nutella and banane (sliced bananas) for Martin, Nutella and fraises (strawberries) pour moi. Each of the sweet crêpes are served with an artsy swoosh of Nutella, a sprinkling of chopped hazelnuts, and a dusting of powdered sugar. Thin, just a bit chewy, crispy on the edges without burning, and with generous helpings of fruit and nutella, this dessert-for-breakfast really hits the spot.

Nutella Crepe

Nutella Crepe

For the iconic Westside experience (at least, it is in my opinion), stop by La Petite Crêperie for its charming atmosphere, delicious crêpes, and reinvigorating hot or iced coffee. Plan to stay for a while (things run at a leisurely pace here) and wander out to the farmer’s market afterward for some fresh local produce and treats. It’s a great way to start the day before going back to Sunday errands (or continuing the weekend goodness by heading down to the beach just 2 miles away!). C’est la belle vie~!

———————

Check out La Petite Crêperie: lpcmarvista.com

3809 Grand View Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066

See their Yelp reviews here!

———————

Speaking of coffee, if you want a chance to score your very own single-serving, pod-based coffee maker just released by Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, hop on over to see our friend at The Actor’s Diet for a giveaway!

We’ll Always Have Paris! at Elle A Cooking

Food Adventures, Food Life, Los Angeles

We received the most pleasant email last week — an invitation from Lilia at Elle A Cooking to check out her Thursday evening cooking class! The menu was French themed with the lovely title We’ll Always Have Paris, featuring salad niçoise, grilled lamb chops with celery root purée, and tarte au citron. After the fantastic experience we had in her croissant-making class, we were very excited to learn from her again.

But before the learning begins, we snack!

But before the learning begins, we snack!

I feel like the croissant class was relatively easier in that sense that we were able to make three different finished products once we got the hang of rolling out the buttery dough. Cooking a three-course menu from start to finish in just a few hours’ time, though, was a bigger challenge.

How does that saying go? Life’s too short, so eat dessert first? Well we didn’t quite get to eat dessert first (other than sampling Lilia’s newest vegan biscotti, pictured above), but we did start by making the tarte crust. Hint: the pastry dough used for the crust can double as shortbread cookies!

From sablage to fraisage - the tarte crust

From sablage to fraisage to rolling out to baking – the tarte crust

As the ball of dough rested in the refrigerator, we moved on to the lemon cream. Cooked over a double-boiler, the lemon cream was also affectionately referred to as a French lemon curd… the French part being the addition of two whole sticks of butter. This will make lots of lemon cream, Lilia said. Everything in moderation, Lilia said. Sigh, if only my cholesterol level and I saw eye-to-eye.

Perhaps Lilia timed it perfectly (or perhaps she heard my tummy growling) but as the tarte crust baked and lemon cream chilled, we moved on to the appetizer – a colorful salad packed with farmer’s market fresh vegetables. We learned the perfect timing for cooking an egg medium-boiled until the yolk is just barely set, similar to the ajitsuke tamago served as a topping for ramen. Butter lettuce piled high with boiled veggies, fresh veggies, canned tuna, and chervil (which totally looks like micro-parsley), and drizzled with a refreshing and simple lemon-based vinaigrette, the salad nicoise could be served as an entree on its own!

Such stunning colors!

Salad nicoise – such stunning colors!

We took a break to devour our salads before moving on to the main event – the lamb chops! After marinating in a beautifully fragrant blend of herbs, lemon juice, and olive oil, the single chops were seared on grill pan on the stove top before finishing in a 400 degree oven. (You could also do all-oven like we’ve done with full racks – we’re excited to try out her marinade recipe at home!) Meanwhile, we boiled the cubes of celery root and yukon gold potatoes in milk (a trade secret for keeping the celery root from discoloring) and made the puree/mash. Paired with the 2006 Clos du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon that Martin had been aging, this was the perfect entree for date night.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Celery Root Puree

Grilled Lamb Chops with Celery Root Puree

Our stomachs were so full by the time we finished the last morsels of lamb, but as they say – there’s always room for dessert! Lilia skillfully filled the cooled tarte crust with the chilled lemon cream and served the slices with fresh blueberries for a picture-perfect dessert that paired well with my 2010 Robert Mondavi Moscato d’Asti. Despite all the butter, the lemon cream was refreshing and surprisingly light, a great way to finish our meal.

Tarte au Citron

Voila – Tarte au Citron!

As we mentioned before, if you’re thinking of taking a cooking class, definitely consider Elle A Cooking! Lilia and her “sous chef” Anthony are wonderfully friendly and really make you feel at ease while undertaking a new culinary adventure. Merci beaucoup for welcoming us into your home and kitchen for another exciting (and delicious!) experience.

À la prochaine!

——

Check out Elle A Cooking here: http://www.elleacooking.com

(Chocolate) Souffle Girl

Desserts and Sweets, Recipes

Soufflé. French for “breathed” or “puffed,” this classic, notoriously difficult dish can send shivers through a chef’s spine. As our friend over at Bunny Eats Design puts it, it is the home cook’s nemesis.

I’ve always wanted to make a soufflé. After watching countless movies and TV shows, I wanted to be that person pulling a beautifully risen soufflé out of the oven. Not going to lie, the “Asylum of the Daleks” episode of Doctor Who with Jenna-Louise Coleman as Souffle Girl played a pretty big part in influencing that desire. So I set to work, combing the internet for recipes and diligently reading up on the eggs chapter of McGee’s On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. Coincidentally, Martin requested a soufflé for his birthday, so that was the deciding factor for me to pick up my whisk and carpe soufflé (hm, that combination of Latin and French worked better in my head…).

Voila! Chocolate souffle

Voila! Chocolate soufflé

Martin has a huge sweet tooth so it was an easy choice to make a chocolate soufflé. I also prepared a vanilla crème anglaise to accompany it. It was certainly ambitious, especially since, for want of a stand mixer, I did everything by hand. A lot of love went into whipping up those egg whites. But in that moment when I pulled the soufflés out of the oven and saw how tall they had risen, I felt so very proud of my accomplishment! (Martin enjoyed it too – he endearingly nicknamed it the Girlfriend Soufflé.)

Here's a shot that really shows the height of its rise.

Here’s a shot that really shows the height of its rise.

Though I consulted On Food and Cooking for most of the technique, I have to credit Food Network Kitchens for providing a starting point for figuring out the proportions of ingredients (although I did end up making some adjustments). Our kitchen just happened to be perfectly prepared to handle this daunting task, so read carefully, plan well, and take inventory of your equipment. This is going to be a long post, so please bear with me.

Soufflé Ingredients (listed in order of usage):

Butter and white sugar for prepping ramekins

3 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used most of a Ghirardelli 60% cacao baking bar)

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 egg yolks

1 1/2 tablespoons warm water

1 tablespoon white granulated sugar

6 egg whites, brought to room temperature

1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup white granulated sugar

Crème Anglaise Ingredients:

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons white granulated sugar

Using these proportions, I was able to fill 2 smaller (4 oz-ish) ramekins and 2 standard 6 oz ramekins.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. According to On Food and Cooking, this will yield the quickest and most dramatic rise, but also a faster collapse. I opted for this because I prefer my soufflés lighter and more airy; low and slow will yield more of a lava cake consistency and a less dramatic rise.

Step 1: Prep Ramekins

Step 1: Prep Ramekins

1) Prepare the ramekins by buttering the base of the ramekin all the way up the sides. I used a scrap of paper towel and some softened butter that had been sitting on the counter. Coat the buttered ramekins with sugar. I read a trick online to minimize mess: add a spoonful or two of sugar to the ramekin. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and shake to get all of the sides evenly coated. Shake out the excess into the next ramekin and continue the process. Some recipes say to freeze or refrigerate these prepped ramekins. I left them out on the counter and achieved fine results.

Step 2a: Melt Chocolate

Step 2a: Melt Chocolate

2) Create a double-boiler by bringing about 1 inch of water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Place a heat resistant bowl (like a Pyrex) inside, making sure the bottom does not touch the water. Melt the chopped chocolate with the butter.A silicon spatula is helpful to stir and scrape down the sides of the bowl, ensuring the mixture blends smoothly.

Step 2b: Smooth, melted chocolate

Step 2b: Smooth, melted chocolate

When the mixture is completely smooth, take off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside for later.

Step 3: Egg Yolks and Water

Step 3: Egg Yolks and Water

3) Whisk the egg yolks with the warm water in a small bowl until frothy and pale yellow. Sprinkle in the 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue whisking until it reaches the “ribbon stage,” so named because a lifted whisk will cause the mixture to cascade down in a ribbon-like pattern. This will take about 5 minutes from the time you add in the sugar.

Step 4: Frothy yolks + melted chocolate

Step 4a: Frothy yolks + melted chocolate

4) Fold the egg yolk mixture into the melted chocolate, mixing gently. I drizzled the egg mixture into the chocolate rather than dumping it in all at once.

Step 4b: Fluffy chocolate

Step 4b: Fluffy chocolate

I think this helped to keep some of the yolk froth.

Step 5: Stiff but Glossy Peaks

Step 5: Stiff but Glossy Peaks

5) Time to foam! Take out your largest Pyrex (or other non-reactive) bowl; add the egg whites and lemon juice. Grab a NEW whisk or wash the first one very well. Any trace of egg yolk and the whites will not whisk up properly. Whisk away to get it started; then add in the sugar and continue whisking. I did this by hand, and it took about 10-15 minutes of vigorous whisking to get the stiff but glossy peaks that you’re looking for. Phew! What a workout.

Step 6: Gentle Folding

Step 6: Gentle Folding

6) Now it’s time for more folding. Some people say to work quickly but I heeded the advice of On Food and Cooking and worked gently instead. Spoon about 1/4 to 1/3 of the foam onto the chocolate mixture and gently fold to lighten. Add about half of the remaining foam and continue to fold, using as few strokes as possible. Then finish up the foam and fold. I’ve read that if you have to make the choice between white streaks and over-mixing, it’s OK to have white streaks. Too much or too vigorous mixing will lose a lot of your hard-earned voluminous foam.

Step 7: Spoon into Ramekins

Step 7: Spoon into Ramekins

7) Spoon the soufflé mixture into your prepared ramekins. Apparently, the cocoa strengthens the bubble walls so this souffle mixture, while it seems delicate, is actually quite resilient and could keep in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer indefinitely before its bubbly integrity deteriorates. I personally didn’t chance it. Place the ramekins onto a baking sheet and slide them onto a rack situated in the bottom 1/3 of the oven.

Step 8: Baking Time....

Step 8: Baking Time….

8) Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or just as the tops start to brown. Contrary to popular belief, you CAN open the oven without ruining the soufflé. It is the heat that causes the air bubbles to expand and loss of heat that causes the collapse. Still, I left well enough alone and was grateful for my glass doors through which I could keep a watchful eye.

Step 9: Crème Anglaise

Step 9: Crème Anglaise

9) If preparing a crème anglaise, you’ll have just enough time to do this now. Bring the cream and vanilla to a simmer. (If you have vanilla bean pods, this would be a great opportunity to use them instead of extract!) In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until silky and not grainy. Add a bit of the cream to temper the yolks, whisking constantly or you may end up with scrambled eggs. Return the mixture to the pot and continue cooking until the consistency is substantial enough to cling to the back of a spoon. Set aside.

Step 10: The Finished Product

Step 10: The Finished Product

10) Serve immediately after removing from the oven. Like I mentioned earlier, this method yields a beautiful rise but also a very quick collapse. Break open the soufflé and drizzle in the crème anglaise.

DIG IN!

Dig in.

Drizzle. Serve.

Drizzle. Serve.

Bon appétit!

our-growing-edge-badgeThe soufflé has always been a bucket list item of mine, and in the kitchen, it happened to be a wonderful example of my own growing edge – the part of me that yearns to keep learning and trying new things and meeting new challenges. Just as I was basking in the glow of my soufflé accomplishment, I serendipitously received an email from Bunny Eats Design inviting us to participate in the monthly blogging event for Our Growing Edge. So I sat myself down and composed this post. I assure you this will not be my last soufflé, and I hope my post inspires you to try your first (Valentine’s day is just a few days away… hint hint)! Believe me, it can be done and oh, is it satisfying!

If you’re feeling apprehensive, I’m no expert but will gladly try to answer any questions you may have – just drop me a line. :3

Croissant Making at Elle A Cooking

Food Adventures, Food Life, Los Angeles

That’s right, friends. Martin’s Christmas present to me was adding croissants to our culinary repertoire — best boyfriend ever! I was very pleasantly surprised when he proudly announced that we would be taking this class with Elle A Cooking.

Stunning, flaky butter croissants

Stunning, flaky butter croissants – a labor of love

We spent a wonderful Saturday afternoon covered in flour and butter at Lilia’s place. I had always wanted to take cooking classes and this was a perfect way to start! Lilia’s classes are small, intimate gatherings that move at a comfortable pace, are very hands-on, and encourage lots of picture-taking and question-asking.

The basic croissant dough. Yes, that's butter being wrapped up in dough.

The basic croissant dough. Yes, that’s butter being wrapped up in dough.

The croissant class menu consisted of croissant dough from start to finish, classic butter croissants, pain au chocolat (chocolate croissants), and quince danish topped with homemade orange marmalade. We worked backwards, using pre-made dough that Lilia had prepared in advance and rolling, cutting, and shaping into our pastries. While they baked, we whipped together a batch of dough from the beginning, let it proof, and wrapped it around a stick of butter.

Pain Au Chocolat (chocolate croissants) with Valhrona dark chocolate - yum!

Pain Au Chocolat (chocolate croissants) with Valhrona dark chocolate – yum!

Lilia herself has a very calm demeanor and it was a pleasure learning from her. She has a very interesting back story as an engineer who pursued her dreams and attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris to focus on pastries. I really admire her passion and drive to take hold of her life and take that leap.

Quince Danish topped with homemade orange (well, satsuma tangerine) marmalade

Quince Danish topped with homemade orange (well, satsuma tangerine) marmalade

She even showed us how to make a quick & simple orange marmalade from Satsuma tangerines, intended as a topping for the danishes but nearly polished off with fresh, hot-out-of-the-oven butter croissants. Incredible. Bon Appétit!

We wish we could share the recipes with you, but they are not ours to share so you’ll just have to sign up for a class with Lilia to glean her baking secrets yourself. At the end of class, she provides each person with a full set of recipe cards that details the step-by-step process for the dishes prepared that day… super helpful for replicating the process at home!

What we are happy to share with you are these mouthwatering pictures of our experience, and perhaps, after a few practice rounds, our advice and findings as amateur pâtissiers. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make your own croissants (or macarons or other dishes on her Class Schedule), sign up for a class at Elle A Cooking! We highly recommend it.

——

Check out Elle A Cooking here: http://www.elleacooking.com