A Toast to Macarons

Over the past few years, I have developed a love of macarons (unfortunately, I can’t remember when or where I first tried them). I’m not yet at that stage where I seek them out wherever I go (“We must find some macarons on this trip!”), but if I come across them, I find them hard to resist. The colors and flavors! The mixture of light and crunchy! Now, I don’t claim to be a macaron expert — I can’t tell you why this macaron is better than that macaron. But I have had some excellent ones in the past few months. I’m particularly fond of the ones from La Maison du Chocolat, even if they’re a bit on the pricey side. Actually, let’s just recognize that macarons are always a bit on the pricey side. When I was in London, one of my flatmates was kind enough to give me a small box of (delicious!) macarons from Pierre Hermé for my birthday. Hermé, widely considered to be an expert in the macaron field (just see this article from The Guardian), doesn’t just make your average pistachio or chocolate macaron. Some of his flavors include the éden (peach, apricot, and saffron) and the dépaysé (made from matcha green tea, azuki red bean, lime, and ginger). Pretty fancy, huh? If you happen to be in Paris, Tokyo*, or London, be sure to seek out some of these French delights. I wouldn’t mind the chance to go to Paris just to try some from Ladurée (who originally created the macaron as we know it today).

I would, at some point, like to make macarons myself, or at least attempt to make them. All the recipes I’ve read note that they are not easy to make, and it’s the exception, rather than the rule, that you succeed on your first go. I think I need to become a little more comfortable in the kitchen before I attempt them, but I’ve had these grapefruit and white chocolate ones from Desserts for Breakfast saved for a few weeks now, just in case I do decide to make them one day. I should probably start out with a more basic recipe, though, as beautiful as the grapefruit ones are. If any of you have good tried-and-true macaron recipes, I’d love to hear about them.

Until I gather up the courage to make macarons myself or Pierre Hermé opens a shop here, I’ll gladly settle for Macaron Café.

Colorful macarons from Macaron Café

Are they the best macarons I’ve had? No, not really. But they definitely do the trick, as does their vegetarian sandwich. I’ve been there twice with a friend, and I’ve gotten the same sandwich both times. With so many macaron flavors to choose from, though, surely, I’ll have to return. Try a new macaron, try a new sandwich. Be sure to check out the gallery of all the café’s different macarons! So creative.

*Speaking of Tokyo: Via Liberty London Girl, I found out about the fundraising event Cakes for Japan, which took place in London last week. I know the event a) was abroad and b) has passed, but it struck me as such a nice way to raise money for the recovery efforts. A more mature bake sale, if you will. I know that I definitely would have made an attempt to go were I not across the pond. Japan holds a special place in my heart, and it’s really something how people have come up with so many different ways to support the relief efforts.

All photos taken by Taking of Toast.

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2 thoughts on “A Toast to Macarons

  1. Went to Macaron Café back in January with my mom and was sorely disappointed. Quality seems to have gone down quite a bit since I had last been there! But I can confidently vouch for Ladurée, which I am obsessed with. Mmm mmm good.

    • That’s disappointing! I’ll admit the macarons there aren’t great (and I think I may have liked the one I had over the summer more than the one I had last week), but I still enjoyed my sandwich! Guess we’ll have to start a campaign to get Ladurée or Pierre Hermé to open an outpost in NYC.

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