Discover the Sweet Side of Camont!
Imagine a weekend for those that dream of sugar clouds; for those who make sure every decadent crumb is devoured; and especially for those who don’t mind a bit of flour dust in their hair (or is it fairy dust?). Escape to Gascony in Southwest France for a fabulous workshop of sweet fun and learning to make some our favorite classic French pastries with Molly Wilkinson. I call Molly the The Sugar Fairy and when she comes to Camont, everything gets a bit lighter, a bit sweeter, a bit more... fun! She bakes and tempts online as Toffee Bits & Chocolate Chips.
Molly is a Le Cordon Bleu Paris trained pastry chef, who has honed her skills in several different bakeries in the US and France, including Bisous Bisous Patisserie in Dallas, voted the best bakery in Dallas the year it opened, and at the Château de Gudanes in Southwest France. Molly lives in Strasbourg where sweets are queen and she come to Gascony to share her expert hand with us. Join Molly in The Kitchen at Camont and bake the French days away together.
Flour, sugar, fresh eggs, seasonal fruit, and an unlimited supply of butter are Molly's secret ingredients. Dive deep into the basics as we make fanciful sweet creations with delicious flavors, delicate colors, meringue accents, and of course, all that comes with decoration (aka gold luster dust!).
- We will be baking in my restored 18th-century farmhouse in both the original and the professional kitchens, and making use of the kitchen gardens, orchards, and edible flowers on the property.
- Instruction is in English (although Molly and I both speak French) and is suitable for all levels (just bring your love of baking!). Guests stay in nearby accommodation in charming Nérac that we can help arrange- from village hotel to chateau to country home.
- Each person will leave with a Oui Sucre! Bag, including your own tools you'll need to make the recipes we learn over the weekend: your own a French rolling pin, piping tips and bags, a few surprises.
We will be covering the following techniques:
- Pâte Sucrée
- Chantilly Cream
- Italian Meringue
- Créme d'Amande
- Lemon and Peach curds
- Pastry Cream (several different flavors)
- Pâte à Choux
- Rough Puff Pastry
- Macarons and more!
Molly will be teaching you step by step and filling your apron pockets with tried and true recipes. The focus is on non-fussy, beautiful pastries that are fun to make and even better to eat. We will be allowing plenty of time for decoration and techniques to add those special finishing touches that take your creation to "Oh la la" land.
7:30 pm Kate welcomes us to Camont for dinner and we get to know each other before the baking fun begins.
It's off to the local open-air market in Nérac! There we'll meet the producers, including the darling baker who makes incredible canelés to learn his secret technique, and pick up some seasonal fruits to make a dessert for lunch. After enjoying a fabulous pique-nique lunch prepared by Kate, it's off to the professional kitchen for a full rundown on tarts. We'll be making tarte au citron (lemon tart) three different ways and as an added bonus a Classic French Apple Tart. By special request we've added a Macaron section; after all, what is more French than the Macaron? We will walk through the Italian Meringue method to make the shells and two different kinds of fillings. The finished macarons will be used to decorate our tart creations, and of course as snacks for later!
We'll be learning several different techniques which you can later mix and match to concoct your own creations (including how to infuse natural flavor creams).
Today is all about whipped cream, caramel and classic choux pastry. We'll be working our way through more key pastry recipes to make the components for individual sized St. Honoré, a classic French dessert that revolves around cream puffs and caramel. First, learn to master a rough puff pastry, something so much easier and useful than the formal puff pastry, that can take hours to make! Then we'll master pâte à choux and caramel. For the filling, we'll be jazzing it up with several different options for you to choose from for your final dessert: including the classic vanilla and chocolate pastry creams, as well as florals like hibiscus and violet. A pièce montée is a show-stopping finale that we'll be making as a group to celebrate our new found friendships and skills!
Dates: October 12-14 2018
Location: Camont is located about 15-20 minutes drive from the train station at Agen, France.
The Pastry Weekend Adventures costs 875€ per person and includes:
- Two full days of pastry instruction (approximately 9:30am to 4:30pm)
- Market Tour at Nérac
- VSP- Very Small Group (6 max)
- The Oui Sucre! Bag full of pastry equipment and supplies (including a French rolling pin, piping tips, and tart rings)
- All recipes
- Coffee, Lunches, and "Gouter" where we'll try what we made
- Refreshments (including local wine, bien sur!)
- A Camont professional apron
- All ingredients and materials
Does not include: overnight accommodation, other meals, personal expenses and travel.