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The Macaron with Madame Macaron MKE

When it comes to macarons, Madame Macaron says, “Patience is a virtue.” We only need three ingredients to make these delicious cookies, but the level of precision involved is similar to doing a science experiment.

In this video, our Anthony Karls learns that it takes patience and detail to master a good Macaron. Toren Engseth aka Madame Macaron MKE shares her passion for this delicate and yet complex desert as she walks Anthony through how Macarons are made. You can order them from her business or come in with your family and take a class.

Once known as ‘priests’ belly buttons’ because of their appearance, macarons were made popular in France in the early 19th century. In 2016, Toren Engseth embraced the title of “Madame Macaron”, built her business from the ground up, and is now one of the biggest providers of macarons in the Milwaukee area for catering events, supplying grocers, and teaching classes.

Toren is fascinated with all things color, texture, and form, as her previous career was that of an interior designer, managing several shops in Chicago. Becoming a macaron chef was never a goal she had set for her life, as she says, “It was all a happy little accident”. She discovered that she had a talent for making a great product, and when a friend gave her the nickname “Madame Macaron”, it stuck!

When it comes to macarons, Toren says, “Patience is a virtue.” Though one only needs three ingredients to make these delicious cookies, the level of precision involved is similar to doing a science experiment. Teaching kids’ classes is one of Toren’s favorite events to do because the transformative process really captures their imagination. “It’s a whole different process for the experienced bakers, because macarons are their own thing,”, she says, “ so everyone is learning at the same level. It’s a neat way to bring people together.”

Cooking classes are a popular activity for families to do together. The time spent working towards a common goal and problem solving helps to build stronger relationships. Whether it is a mother and son team, or a father and daughter team, learning something new in the kitchen is, as Toren puts it, “a gender-neutral experience that brings everyone onto a level playing field.” Making food together gives us a chance to focus on the little things and live more in the moment, focusing on the task at hand. The American Institute for Cancer Research has said that cooking with our children results in an increase of cultural awareness, creativity, curiosity, teamwork, and problem-solving skills, all of which will follow them into adulthood.

Baking can also be a helpful stress reliever and confidence booster. Knowing that you have been successful at a task that is as technically challenging as a macaron can give you a boost in confidence and a sense of accomplishment. Baking can also relieve stress, due to the control and concentration needed throughout the process. Toren has seen this many times firsthand, not only with adults who have experience, but also with children who are being introduced to baking for the first time. Toren describes this as, “It’s almost a Zen kind of thing, where you just have to be focused, which can be a nice reprieve for people under a lot of stress.”

At the The Box MKE, Toren has built a business of not only making amazing macarons, but of teaching others how to make them as well, no matter the age group. Toren’s story of perseverance and determination is one we can all see ourselves in. As Toren says, “It takes time to master the details”, and her passion for her product is evident in every macaron, having been painstakingly handcrafted by Madame Macaron herself.

This interview was conducted before Covid-19, and as such some service provided may have changed. Please contact Toren Engseth at Madame Macaron MKE

The Box MKE or Madame Macaron MKE
311 E Wisconsin Ave,
Milwaukee, WI, 53202
414-551-5021 or 414-315-5086

At Sterling, we believe the final foundational piece to a strong family is time together. When we speak of family time, this is not just time around each other, but more importantly, time free from external distractions. We believe spending time together engaging in conversation in settings such as family dinners at home, playing old fashioned board/card games or settings such as “around the campfire” digitally free and disconnected from the outside world are critical to building a solid foundation.

Flourishing Families is a Sterling Series aimed at highlighting organizations in our community that support and build up strong families.

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