*I am getting married this week – Wow! I am working, taking care of my small family, and also tying programs and please heaven let me have time to get a pedicure. This week is going to be cray-cray. In light of that fact, today I am featuring one of my oldie-but-goodie posts that no one got to read when I posted them because…well…I think I had 47 readers. Enjoy!*
Bakery opening! Woohoo!!! Is there anything quite so thrilling as entering a bakery? The savory scents of butter and flour in the air? The chocolate and fruit glistening before you? A whole place devoted to CARBS and DESSERTS???
Francois Payard Bakery recently opened in Soho, and when I was walking by before lunch, I popped in. Because what is a better appetizer than sweets? Am I right?
Payard is a very well respected French pastry chef with expensive and luxurious pastry shops all over the world. It is not unusual for a creation of his to go for over $60 a pop. Yikes! But this new incarnation is a much more casual, relaxed, and inexpensive one. Flavor stays, expense goes. Me likey.
It is a small space, but well laid out, with a glass pastry case lining one wall and a few small tables facing it.
You can also see the bakers at work through the plate glass wall! I love seeing bakers and chefs doing their thing-to me it is really seeing an artist at work.
The pastries all look gorgeous and the smell in that shop was DIVINE-it was reminiscent of a time before Splenda was part of our vernacular. Oh, sweet memories.
There was a huge selection of savory goods too-creamy quiches, cheese laden sandwiches, and even pissaladiere-my FAVORITE use of caramelized onions! But I had my eye set on one thing and one thing only:
The coffee macaron
A macaron is a cookie made out of egg white, almonds, sugar, and whatever flavoring you like-anything from plain old vanilla to passion fruit to chocolate chili! Then you take two of those cookies and sandwich them together with a rich ganache-it can be a different flavored ganache, complimentary to the cookie flavor, or it can be the same flavor ganache. These cookies are crispy, light, very sweet, and very rich all at the same time. People are obsessed with them. They are the Justin Bieber of the cookie world.
They are often small, like the size of Nilla wafers. This was closer to a whoopie pie in size. NICE. And the taste?
Oh sweet Caffeine Deities, bring me to your lair and let me live with you. This was COFFEE! Rich, deep, sweet with butter and sugar, slightly salty from the almonds, and just barely bitter from a true, well roasted coffee bean. Seriously…these were to DIE for. Taste wise at least. Texturally…this was not the macaron I am used to. Fluffy and soft versus light and crispy, this did lack the necessary crunch that makes a macaron a macaron. But the flavor was really so delicious, I can overlook that. The ganache was LITERALLY the stuff of dreams. Thick and rich as nutella, powerful and flavorful as an Italian espresso…this was some seriously outstanding ganache.
Not a cheap place-$4 for a macaron-but what do I always say? Ya get what ya pay for, kid! And here you pay for world class ingredients, made fresh every day, right in front of your eyes. My only regret about this place is that I didn’t get 2 macarons. Will I ever learn?