Cooking Class: L'heure du Goûter – Favorite French After-School Snacks with Mardi Michels

Cooking Class: L'heure du Goûter – Favorite French After-School Snacks with Mardi Michels


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The school day in France is long, so when school lets out, children need a little something to tide them over to dinner – which isn’t served until around 8:00 PM). Entre le goûter. The only time when it’s socially acceptable to snack during the day, le goûter does not quite have an equivalent in other countries.

It’s a small sweet (never savory) snack that can be eaten on the go, perhaps en route to extra-curricular activities. If you don’t have the option to pick up a packet of store-bought French cookies or pop by the boulangerie, register for this class where you will learn to make 3 classic recipes: Financiers à la Pistache (Pistachio Financiers), Biscuits “Lunettes” (Jam Sandwich Cookies) and Torsades au Chocolat (Chocolate Custard Puff Pastry Twists).

Led by food writer, French teacher, and cookbook author, Mardi Michels, this interactive lesson will have us whipping up these tasty, easy snacks like an expert. Participants will come away with an understanding of how to bring a little bit of French flair to their own after-school snacks.

For the Pistachio Financiers (makes 12):

  • 1/4 cup (57 g/ 4 tablespoons) salted butter
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (30g) pistachio flour (or pistachios ground in a nut or spice grinder)
  • 6 raspberries, halved (optional)
  • icing sugar, to serve

For the Jam Sandwich Cookies (makes 10-12):

For the cookies:

  • 3/4 cup (113g) all-purpose flour 
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) salted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar 
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For filling and assembly:

  • Icing sugar 
  • Jam of your choice 

For the Chocolate  Custard Twists (makes 6):

For the pastry cream:

  • 1/3 cup (80ml) milk
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon (15g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • For the twists:
  • 1 x sheet store-bought puff pastry (8 oz, 225g), thawed but chilled
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped semisweet chocolate or mini chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten for egg wash

For the glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Special equipment needed: 

  • 1 x oval cookie cutter approx. 7 cm (2 3/4-inches) in length
  • 1 x plain piping tip 1 cm (1/2 inch) in diameter (I use Ateco #805)
  • Small metal sieve (for icing sugar)
  • 1 x 12-cavity mini muffin pan

Mardi Michels is a full-time elementary school French (and cooking!) teacher and the author of eatlivetravelwrite.com where she writes about culinary adventures near and far. Mardi grew up in Australia, lived and taught in Paris for over five years, and now calls Toronto home. In 2014, Mardi and her husband purchased a home in Nérac (southwest France), which they operate as a vacation rental property. They spend as much time in France as they can! Mardi also teaches (mostly French) cooking and baking classes for adults and children (currently online!). Her first book, In the French kitchen with Kids, was published in 2018 (Appetite by Random House).

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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