A Royal Baby Girl? It’s Teatime at Pippa’s Party Pieces!

Oh we do like to hear wonderful news, don’t we? When we heard the announcement from Buckingham Palace yesterday (Sat 2 May) that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby girl was born, out came the pink lights to flash on London landmarks, including Tower Bridge.

Royal macarons tiered stand

In Paris, we brought out the red, white and blue macarons to throw a tea party for a baby princess.

Macaroons fit for a princess

As the royal family are busy debating the baby’s name, Pippa Middelton has also been so kind to  celebrate the arrival of Teatime in Paris by sharing one of the new recipes with readers on her blog, Party Pieces! I love an excuse to get my hat out. Too bad I’m no use at Sunday Selfies.

British royal macaron tea party

So, what do you think the baby’s name will be? Would you choose from the favourites: Charlotte, Alice, Elizabeth or Victoria? Or could it swing to something completely different?

Congratulations to Pippa on the birth of her new baby Princess niece. Please do head pop over to Pippa’s blog at Party Pieces, who is sharing my recipe for Diamond Biscuits to celebrate the arrival of Teatime in Paris in the UK!

 

Teatime Book Launch at the Treize Bakery Paris 20 May

I am so excited. To celebrate the release of “Teatime in Paris”, I have a very special Parisian afternoon tea event on Wednesday 20 May – in Paris, and at teatime!

The sweetest part is that it will be held at Treize…A Baker’s Dozen, one of the latest and trendy cosy café-bistros owned by my bubbly chef friend, Laurel Sanderson. She is also the owner of a contagious smile, fabulous energy and is the most welcoming and cheerful hostess you could imagine in this bustling area around Saint Germain-des-Prés!

This event venue is magic.  Tucked away at the end of an intriguing cobbled courtyard, it’s almost like following secret directions from La Da Vinci Code: turn left at the florist on rue des Saint-Pères, just directly across the street from the Da Vinci Hotel – where the Mona Lisa (La Joconde) soon afterwards became rather famous, as the Italian thief, Vincenzo Perruggia, who stole the painting from Le Louvre in 1911 initially hid on the top floor of this hotel, asking for room 603 up in the attic, so that he could hide up on the roof.  It’s hidden little secrets like this that makes Paris fascinating.

florist in rue des Saint-Pères in Paris

The best secret here is directly across from the Da Vinci Hotel – at N° 16, which is the opening to the courtyard. Walk to the end and you arrive at these white panelled doors. On opening, you’re immediately greeted with “Bonjour! Howdy! Welcome” and before you know it, you’re in a home-from-home haven in the middle of the Parisian left bank, or Rive Gauche.

Laurel’s menus are clipped to Madeleine cake moulds, and offer comforting homemade American-style southern foods from Laurel’s native Carolina – all made with good local French ingredients. Come for brunch (although on Saturdays you will need to reserve to avoid disappointment, as it has become pretty popular!), lunch or afternoon goûter for Coutume coffee, choice of 13 speciality teas and her signature carrot cake tempts us under a giant glass bell on the dessert counter. I could continue with more photographs of Laurel’s hidden gem here but I would love you to discover the place for yourself. In typical Laurel style, it’s fun.

THE EVENT!

As seating is limited (it’s a small bakery), Laurel has set up this online event form to reserve your place for the special Parisian afternoon Teatime event on 20 May. This includes a newly published copy of Teatime, fancy teas and coffee and of course, we’ll sample delicious pastries from the book. There will be lots of baking chat, so come with your questions and 4 o’clock teatime appetit! Extra macarons are guaranteed. We really look forward to seeing you then!

Update! Carol Gillott (of ParisBreakfasts fame), who did the beautiful artwork in the book, will be a special guest!

Treize 13 Bakery in Paris, 16 rue des Saint Peres

Wednesday 20 May 4-6pm

Trieze…A Baker’s Dozen
16 rue des Saint-Pères (go to the end of the courtyard)
75007 Paris
Tel : 01- 73 77 27 89

Metro : Saint Germain des Prés, Rue du Bac
Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am – 6pm (but shall be ‘closed’ especially for this book event)

strawberry eclair from Teatime in Paris

Join us on Wednesday 20 May 2015 at 4-6pm.
Click here to reserve your ticket,
treat a friend or spoil your Mum for French Mother’s Day!

Ticket includes a copy of Teatime in Paris, tea and pastries from the book

Laurel and I really look forward to seeing you there!

Kindle Edition of Mad About Macarons now on Amazon!

We’ve been so excited about Teatime in Paris, that Mad About Macarons has perhaps been the little brother around here recently. I say “brother”, as livre is masculine (in 23 years, I still haven’t got my head around genders in French – but that’s another story). But this is has been a real Mad About Macarons week.

If anything, macarons are stronger than ever and so it has been encouraging to see lovely messages circulating on Twitter. This week Becky of @Becksbake tried out the recipe for the first time from the book and was successful in making her pink macarons a super hit at her weekend dinner party. Thank you so much for all the feedback and tweeting your beautiful macaron feet, Becky! Now it’s up to the others (you know who you are ..) Please stop being so scared of attempting to make macarons, get the aprons on and get cracking the eggs …

successful macaron making twitter

Then another surprise came via email that Mad About Macarons has been featured as being highly innovative in the Presentation Innovation Chapter of an e-book, “Catalyzing Innovation” by Michelle Greenwald. She refers to the “interesting and unexpected” Bloody Mary macaron recipe from the book and their “whimsical presentation”. The e-book is sold through the iTunes store and is frequently updated with the latest innovations that are thought to be noteworthy and inspiring.
So, thank you, Professor!

mad about macarons bloody mary vodka-tomato

Finally, I am thrilled to announce that Waverley Books has released the Mad About Macarons Kindle Edition. I admit, I only bought my first e-book the other day and it was so easy. Now you can have the hardback and keep it free of kitchen spatters with the recipes also on your tablet.  That’s just my humble opinion: IMHO – another newbie I learned this week.

As they say on Amazon, start reading Mad About Macarons: Make Macarons Like the French on the Free Reading Kindle app or on your Kindle in under a minute.

Welcome to Mad About Macarons with Teatime in Paris!

Bonjour and welcome to the new look of MadAboutMacarons.com!

This is so exciting. Let me introduce you to my new book, Teatime in Paris: A Walk Through Easy French Pâtisserie Recipes.

teatime in Paris book cover

With exactly a month to go until the book’s release in the UK (7 May; then 30 June for the USA), I’m so happy to present this updated website, thanks to the wonderful help of Cédric at Mosaïque Studio in Paris. As you can see, it’s had a Parisian facelift with fun new features.

I’ll leave you to explore for yourself, but do check out the recipe pages for a start. Thanks to your helpful suggestions on Facebook, there’s now a database of egg yolk recipes by number of yolks needed and also by type of dish, so there’s no excuse to waste any yolks when making macarons – and now with Teatime in Paris, that also means no waste when making financiers, almond tuiles and meringue toppings, to name just a few of the recipes over 224 pages.

Spring blossoms Notre Dame Paris

Although Teatime in Paris is primarily a recipe book, the underlying theme is a walk through Paris. There’s even a bonus feature in the Annex, “Favourite Sweet Walks in Paris“. Pop in to find out the table of contents, take a quick tour of just some of the recipes and learn more about the book here.

As I can’t possibly mention all of the Parisian pâtisseries and chocolate shops in a recipe book (although I do describe quite a few!), I shall be popping into more of them on My Paris page.  So, whether you’re planning a trip to Paris soon or fancy a sweet virtual trip in the comfort of your home, I shall be guiding you over the next few months to many of my favourite pâtisserie and chocolate streets in the City of Light to accompany the book.

La Duree window of macarons and looking into patisseries inside in Paris

A cool new feature is Baking Chat. Use the Forum to set up a new topic, or add to a discussion if you’re looking for an ingredient such as the best powdered colouring. As you tell us your favourite brands of ingredients in your country, I shall add these to our stockists page, found under Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Teatime in Paris has been quite a marathon. The project has taken on three very different manuscripts since 2012, including an egg yolk recipe book. What’s more, during this time, Waverley Books went through a Management buy-out finishing up with their own company, the Gresham Publishing Company Ltd. Bravo to Ron Grosset and Liz Small!

So when they asked me to go ahead with Teatime in Paris last year, it has been full steam ahead: I’ve been busy testing recipes, taking photographs in Paris, testing recipes again, taking photos of recipes and writing.  So now, over a year later, this is quite an emotional time, seeing it finally come together into a beautiful book and discover that it’s now sitting waiting for you in the warehouses.

Eleanor Abraham of Waverley Books editing Jill's jokes

Meet Eleanor Abraham, Editor of Teatime in Paris at Waverley Books.  As drafts were furiously going back and forth from Scotland, as were design ideas with creative magician, Mark Mechan, Eleanor came over to Paris end of November and we worked together on the copy.  If anyone knows me well and you’ve been following le blog for a while, you’ll realise that – no matter how corny – I just have to find a joke or two (and my brother is worse, believe me).  As she said, two jokes in one recipe were one too many.  Never mind, once you read the book, I may tell you about some bits that were cut.  I’m still giggling at one of them.

Drafts, drafts, comments on drafts, more drafts, more comments back, more recipe testing, more photos.  It has been intense and hard work but boy, it has been worth it. Many thanks to all the wonderful team at Waverley Books for making this all happen!

paris breakfast bear teatime financiers and chouquettes

I’ll leave you with a photo of Bear from Paris Breakfasts‘ fame. I wish I could show you what delicious work watercolour artist, Carol Gillott did as you open the book. As we worked together on the project, she supplied the hot chocolate and I came with some mini madeleines and financiers, just to keep us going.  I’m so proud to have Carol’s talent featured in the book.

In the meantime, stay tuned for giveaways, more surprises and have fun keeping in touch via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and of course, here on MadAboutMacarons.com.  I’d love to hear what you think!

Breakfast in Paris with ParisBreakfasts for Teatime?

“Let’s meet at Yamazaki for breakfast and we can talk shop.”

Can you imagine this exciting moment: a meet-up with watercolour artist, Carol Gillott? If you’ve been following le blog you’ll remember Carol, of ParisBreakfasts fame, and you’ll know just how much I adore her wonderful sketches and watercolours of sweet treats and Parisian dreams.

This was our first meeting at the end of October to talk about ze project.

Yamazaki macarons Paris

We certainly did talk shop; like pastry shops, particularly pâtisseries in Paris and favourite afternoon treats, over large cups of café crème.

Yamazaki is one of my personal favourite French pâtisseries with a Japanese twist in the 16th Arrondissement Paris.  There are more pâtisseries like this (and restaurants) opening in Paris (with Sadaharu Aoki being most well known) but this small boutique and tea room, at the Chaussée de la Muette, is where I popped in most often, as I worked around the corner for ten years. I wonder how many kilos of breakfast croissants that represents, plus light pastries for many an afternoon treat, or French goûter around 4 o’clock teatime… but I digress.

pastries at Yamasaki patisserie Paris

Teatime.  That’s a word you’ll be hearing more of here.  Why?

My next book is called “Teatime in Paris!” and will be released on 7 May 2015.  It may seem a while away but, believe me, each teatime will fly by and before we know it, the big day will be here!

In the meantime, there’s still a lot to do.  There’s the re-look of this website to welcome it for a start.  My wee head is spinning with so many ideas for you on le blog, not to mention all the photos to catalogue that I’ve taken for the book.  I did a count the other day and there are nearly 300 images!  Not forgetting the recipes, the whole point of the book!

parisbreakfasts bear showing Paris sketch letters by Carol Gillott

At our next meeting at ParisBreakfast HQ, Bear showed off some of Carol’s sketch letters from Paris as we were talking about Teatime – he even whispered word that she has a new Valentine’s sketch letter.  I couldn’t think of a more perfect artist to conjure up the Parisian pâtisserie magic to finish off the look and feel of this exciting new book. Oh, I can’t wait to show you it all now!

Thank you so much for following on le blog, for buying Mad About Macarons, for being such a great support.  You know, every little comment here and on the other distracting fun areas like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, mean so much.  Merci beaucoup!

Are you ready? I have many behind-the-scenes snippets to share with you along this delicious new adventure.  And if you have any ideas that you would love to see here, then let me know.  This is your space, too!

Teatime in Paris, here we come!

Sketch Letters and Macaron Holiday Special at Paris Breakfast

Would you love a letter from Paris in your mailbox? Well perhaps you’ve heard of Carol Gillott.  If you have been following Mad About Macarons, I’m sure you have.  She is the talented American artist behind the popular blog, Paris Breakfast.

Sketch letters of water-colour prints by Paris Breakfast

Carol is real food lover.  Now living on Ile-Saint-Louis in Paris, she paints Parisian dreams and manages to take you on an imagined stroll through Paris.

She does this through her imaginative and colourful monthly Paris Sketch Letters.  They celebrate all kinds of French seasonal food each month and you’ll discover that she has a particular penchant for macarons and pastries.  When your package arrives from Paris, you’ll discover all sorts of petits additions – such as ribbons, perfume testers, and business cards from Parisian cafés and shops.

Sketch letters by Carol Gillott of Paris Breakfast blog

Paris Sketch Letters come in different subscription packages and this month there is a holiday special for the month of December!

December holiday special sketch letters by Carol Gillott

Delivered to you from Paris by Carol Gillott

Order a subscription on ETSY and get a watercolor print of a box of macarons with your name on it!
It’s not too late to receive the personalized macaron print in time for the holidays (Hanukkah and Kwanza included).

They’re ready to ship out TODAY! If you want to personally give the 1st letter, Carol can send it to you and the rest to the gift recipient.

Parisian Macarons presentation box watercolour print by Carol Gillott

I’m changing my name to Sue, the lucky macaron girl!  I’m off to make some macarons, then.

Oh, and just a wee whisper in your ear … you’ll be seeing a bit more of Carol around here soon;  I can’t wait to tell you about an exciting project. That’s a promise…