Sweet Memories: A Cooking Class with Donna Kim

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 For my birthday this year my daughter surprised me with the most amazing gift.   It did not come in a box or gift bag but it was perfect! Donna came to my house and taught me how to make the petite and delicate French macaron.   I have loved these pretty little cookies since a trip to France years ago but have always been too intimidated to try to make them. Enter our friend Donna Kim.

My daughter Kristin is one of Donna’s brides. Several years ago Donna made Kristin’s wedding day absolutely amazing.  Since then we have remained good friends and enjoy following Donna’s adventures from the Boston Pops to The Berkshires but especially in her kitchen.     We love seeing her blog, Facebook posts and especially pictures of all the sweet treats she whips up.  

This really was a wonderful gift.  As an ‘older lady’ I enjoy experiences with my children and grandchildren so much more than gifts they have to shop for.  Kristin and I spent an evening in my kitchen with the talented and funny Donna. To me that is Priceless!

Donna brought all the materials we would need and a very special recipe card for me (gorgeous cardstock of course).  Throughout the evening my daughter sipped wine and took photos of every step of the process while I obsessed over every detail, determined to soak in Donna Kim’s magic touch.

“The process is really quite simple,” Donna claimed, as we measured on a kitchen scale as if we were in a laboratory.  She then taught me how to carefully grind and blend almond flour and powder sugar. Whipping the egg whites and folding the flour into them was the tutorial I needed.  This is a crucial step!

Two of my favorite analogies that the cookbooks fail to share were Donna’s, “Think of the Space Needle,” to describe the egg white stiffness and “Blend until it looks like flowing lava,” to determine when the batter had been folded enough.   I will remember these gems every time I bake macarons.   

From piping the little meringues to watching them develop ‘feet’ as they baked I learned and laughed the evening away.   I chose chocolate ganache and pistachio as the colors and flavors of my cookies. We ate a few misshapen mistakes but as the evening drew to a close I had a few dozen perfectly baked and scrumptiously filled macarons to rival even the famous LADURÉE in Paris. 

Since my Master Class with Donna I have attempted macarons alone a few times. Actually I texted Donna a few clarifying questions during the process.  They have come out almost evenly shaped and delightfully sweet.   I send Donna photos of them every time so she can see my progress and sweet success.  

Thank you Donna Kim!!

Your Student,

Mary Skelton