A Little Bit of Paris Via NYC

by Lori on March 20, 2010

My hubby arrived late last night from a short trip to New York City. When he asked me what I wanted, I sent him a message with all the details: Go to Francois Chocolate Bar. 714 Madison Avenue 4th Floor, between 63rd and 64th. (212) 759-1600. Enter through the jewelry store (and feel free to pick something up for me in there while you’re at it). French maracons, assorted. Hurry home!

He called me while he was at Payard and gave me the run down on the macaron flavors of the day. I asked for two of each, and how about a slice of lemon pound cake? I did my homework beforehand.

Here’s what I got and I’m pleased that they made the journey home relatively unscathed.

Look at these babies!  I am in heaven!  I told my husband that the best macarons come from Laduree or Pierre Herme in Paris, but Payard’s macarons are just about the best you could get in the U.S.

So he got to chatting with the girl behind the counter who is an expat from Paris. My hubby asked her if she also made the macarons. Non, but her roommate is the pastry chef. Very nice! He also told her my sentiments about the quality of Payard macarons and she agreed and slipped a couple of extra ones into the box – no charge! Merci mon ami!

I couldn’t resist a quick bite of one macaron last night, but I restrained myself. I wanted to photograph them all before they started to disappear. I sampled the Vanilla Sesame with White Chocolate Ganache. Interesting. Tasty. Subtle sweet nuttiness. Enough to make me want to explore some more, but I waited for the morning and the daylight that comes with it.  The Vanilla Sesame is on the top of the heap and is balancing quite well without support.

Yuzu Citrus With Chocolate Ganache. You had me at Yuzu! If you followed me on my personal Facebook page (before I started this blog), you know my love of orange and chocolate. The intensity of the Yuzu is so incredible. My taste buds were all aflutter! The tangy sweetness of the citrus hits your mouth with such a loving punch and then the chocolate ganache smooths it all out. And the light crunch of the macaron’s outer shell followed by the delicate, soft inside…bliss!

Passion Fruit With Chocolate Ganache (the green one). No sloppy seconds here! The tropical passion fruit flavor comes through very nicely and is well-paired with the chocolate ganache center. Definitely a keeper and totally on my flavor radar now.

Chocolate With Chocolate Ganache (last one in the photo). The name pretty much sums it up. My kids loved the only two I had. But I got a little bite. Delicious. The chocolate is of the highest quality. You can tell immediately, and it is intense in a very good way.

Vanilla With White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Ganache. Now, I don’t know about you, but I love vanilla. This one is not plain or boring by any means. The flavor of the vanilla is strong, almost floral, and downright amazing. And all of the flecks from the vanilla bean in the white chocolate ganache let you know that they’re not messing around. Vanilla is a heavy hitter!

Arabica.  I can’t remember what this macaron is officially called, so I will just have to take another bite now and tell you more about how it tastes. Mmmm. It is coffee with coffee filling. I am not sure if it is actually a ganache, but it’s yummy! Bursting with coffee flavor, and definitely worthy of a second go around.  (Note: I actually have the Chocolate macaron perched on the coffee cup instead of the Arabica.  Probably due in part to the speed with which I was photographing these babies.  The anticipation was a bit much!)

Raspberry With Chocolate Ganache (the one at the end of the line). So there is always one girl who doesn’t get asked to dance at the party. This is the one. Not so great. I should have known, because of all the macarons, this one didn’t have the color and immediate recognition that the others had. The flavor wasn’t there either; maybe it’s not even raspberry at all.  I’m not sure.  I still have one left, and I will give it another try. Maybe my taste buds were suffering the same way your nose does when you’ve sampled one too many perfumes.

My husband eyed these little beauties while he was at Francois Chocolate Bar and got one for each of the kids and me. I can’t believe they made it home intact! Amazing, because they are fairly thin sugar cookies. I have such respect for decorated cookies and those that make them. Just look at the detail.  Strangely, I don’t have the patience to do it myself.

By the way, I couldn’t wait to sample the lemon pound cake before I photographed it. It’s good and it has that dark outer edge reminiscent of certain French pastries I’m familiar with. I wish I knew how to achieve that. I bet it was a little bit crunchy before the lemon glaze softened it up. The cake is light with a nice crumb. Very appealing but it pales in comparison to the macarons.

To my hubby:
Thank you sweetie for getting these goodies for me and the kids! Now where are you hiding that box from the jewelry store…?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle {Brown Eyed Baker} March 24, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Gorgeous macarons! And what a wonderful husband :)


Lemons and Lavender March 27, 2010 at 2:45 am

They were so yummy, and my hubby was so great to get them for me! You're right Michelle. He is wonderful!


Natalie April 1, 2010 at 8:47 pm

I love your "photo journalism" eye. Your photos are just great. I will have to get a quick "photo lesson" from you when I come visit again. Will have to plan a couple extra days for all of the cooking and photo instruction when I come to visit Laura again! LOL!!! 😀


Lemons and Lavender April 28, 2010 at 3:34 am

Natalie – Absolutely! Would love to do that, and thank you for the nice comments!


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