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Macarons – The delicate French invention.

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#1 delights

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 08:35 AM

Sometimes on monday morning,during the few hours where I don't work I like walking in the 16th district of Paris,especialy "à la muette",where I was living many years.
I've discovered a japanese shop (without mistake of myself it is called yamasaki).
Here you'll find some delicious macaroons,pure ,with lemon,with pistachio nut,and others----
Really very good!
This shop is one of my favorites!
I think that the macarroons are back in style and it gave me an idea by creating a recipe of macarroons.
I thank you of this reading.

The macaroons with pralines
Mix 5 ounces of broken pralines with 7 ounces of granulated sugar.
Mix it with 2 white eggs whisked with cream.
Make little heaps of paste on a plate garnished with aluminium paper.
Roast thermostat 2,for 25 to 30 minutes.
Then put the aluminium paper on a wet pastry board,the wetness being capable to unstick the macaroons.
It tastes even better with orange tea.

The result is quite good,but I am so gourmand!
I tank you of this reading.
Philippe raynaud
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Les D�lices de Daubenton-Paris

#2 helenas

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 08:43 AM

Jaymes, dream on: where do you get pralines here? I understand those are Lyon specialty and not available in US. I have a lovely recipe from Gavroche book for Pralines Roses tart, but i need those red sugared almonds...
Delights, do you plan to carry them in your store to sell us some? :raz:

#3 menton1

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 08:57 AM

Ca va, delights! So jealous of you living in Paris!! On the sujet de macaroons, I have heard that the absolute best are the ones at the Ladurée Tea Salons. I hear that they make a couple of dozen flavors. They even tried Ketchup flavor last year, but it flopped. Qu'est-ce que vous pensez de Ladurée? A la prochaine.

#4 Bux

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 08:46 AM

It was Hermé who was pastry chef at Ladurée after many years as pastry chef at Fauchon. His own macarons at his own shop now may be the paragons of all macarons. A note of caution to American readers here who are interested in making macarons or macaroons. "Macaroon" is the translation of the French "macaron," but there is no resemblance between what is sold as a macaroon in the states, and what it sold as a macaron in France, or for that matter in the few places in the states where you can get real macarons. Payard Patisserie on Lexington Avenue in NYC, comes to mind, but there are others. Macarons have been discussed elsewhere in eGullet.

Praline is another word that means quite different things in Belgium, France and the U.S. I believe we have also had discussion on this subject as well.

Perhaps another note that the andouille of Louisiana bears no resemblance to the andouille of France is in order as well. It's another subject that's been covered elsewhere on the site.
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#5 kitwilliams

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 10:58 AM

Thank you for sharing your recipe, Delights. I made my praline yesterday afternoon, using both hazelnuts and almonds. You stated "5 oz. broken praline" which, I assumed, should be ground to a paste, no? And then mixed in the sugar and slowly added the egg whites. I had a nearly perfect, stiff, macaron dough but thought it a little too stiff and added a tad more egg white which ended up being a tad too much and my dough was now a batter and far too loose. :sad:

Obviously I know my error. Question is (to all of you), what can be done with a too loose macaron batter?
kit

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#6 menton1

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 11:07 AM

It's my understanding that the Macaron started in Nancy, Lorraine, and was named after "les Soeurs Macarons" who were Benedictine Nuns!! They apparently baked these cookies and created copious amounts of them for the residents of Nancy. Anyone have more info?

#7 Louisa Chu

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 01:52 AM

Obviously I know my error.  Question is (to all of you), what can be done with a too loose macaron batter?

Unfortunately nothing - throw it out and start again.

We just made macarons on Wednesday and our chefs explained that there's really nothing that can be done with a macaron batter that's fallen - and that this happens all the time in professional kitchens as well. Also if macarons crack while baking there's nothing that can be done then either - just eat them. :smile:

The consistency of your batter when you pipe it should be that of magma - is how the chef described it - thick but fluid.

I'm curious as to how this recipe will turn out because I can't see how the cracked praline will work with such a delicate batter. Please let me know.

#8 kitwilliams

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 10:16 AM

Obviously I know my error.  Question is (to all of you), what can be done with a too loose macaron batter?

Unfortunately nothing - throw it out and start again.

I'm curious as to how this recipe will turn out because I can't see how the cracked praline will work with such a delicate batter. Please let me know.

I couldn't bear to throw that batter out and thought that perhaps I could bake it off in a cake pan and could have a chewy macaron layer in a cake, like a meringue layer. It didn't work for me this time but might it have worked if I had baked it for a longer time at a lower temp?

With the translation of the original recipe, I believe Delights meant for the praline to be ground to a paste for use, don't you Lou? That is what I did, anyway. (Is that correct, Delights? I wish I were in Paris so I could visit your shop for a demonstration!)
kit

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#9 Louisa Chu

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 10:53 AM

kit, sorry because I should have done this first but I just re-read delight's recipe more carefully and I'm sorry but this will not make the macarons that I was thinking of - the French macarons that one sees classically at Laduree. So I cannot answer your question as I'm not quite sure what these should be like.

If you'd like a recipe for the kind of macarons pictured here at the Laduree site, then please let me know and I'll post it.

#10 kitwilliams

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 01:19 PM

kit, sorry because I should have done this first but I just re-read delight's recipe more carefully and I'm sorry but this will not make the macarons that I was thinking of - the French macarons that one sees classically at Laduree. So I cannot answer your question as I'm not quite sure what these should be like.

If you'd like a recipe for the kind of macarons pictured here at the Laduree site, then please let me know and I'll post it.

So can anyone advise of anything that would compare with Delight's macarons?

And yes, Lou, I'd love your Laduree-like recipe! Thanks!
kit

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#11 Bux

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 02:05 PM

Lou, can you offer us a good description of a what is meant by "praline" in French? I've looked for the definition and recipe I thought was posted by Klc, but possibly, I wasn't looking in the right place.
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#12 menton1

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 02:37 PM

A "praline" in France refers to either a sugar covered almond candy, or just a plain chocolate candy filled with a chocolate mousse; In francophone Africa, praline can refer to a sugar covered cashew candy.

The only difference in the US is that we sometimes refer to a praline as a piece of chocolate filled with crushed nuts (of any kind).

#13 kitwilliams

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 05:05 PM

Bux, my understanding of praline (as far as pastry is concerned, not confectionery) is caramelized, toasted almonds and/or hazelnuts which are often used as pieces of brittle for decoration in desserts or, more commonly, ground to a powder for use in buttercream, decorating the exterior of cakes, etc. Or if you continue to grind them further, the powder becomes a paste and that paste is used somewhat like almond paste, for flavoring cakes and pastries and for making macarons, no?!
kit

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#14 Louisa Chu

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 05:38 PM

Here's what we made at Cordon Bleu. We're given ingredients only and then we write our own recipes. It was in my shorthand and I've tried to clarify but please feel free to let me know if you need further explanations.

The macarons are best baked in a conventional - not convection - oven. Prop the oven door open a few inches during baking to release steam. If you must use a convection oven, then preheat the oven to 180C then immediately reduce the temp to 160C at baking.

MACARON ANIS-FRAMBOISES
RASBERRY FILLED MACAROONS WITH ANISE FLAVOURED PASTRY CREAM

Macaroon
300 g powdered sugar
180 g ground almonds
150 g egg whites
30 g sugar

Bake at 160°C

Pastry cream
250 ml milk
3 egg yolks
60 g sugar
12 g flour
12 g cornstarch

Light anise cream
250 g pastry cream
3 gelatin leaves
15 ml Pastis (aniseed flavoured drink)
250 ml whipping cream

Rasberry coulis
500 g raspberry purée
75 g powdered sugar
lemon juice

Finish
fresh raspberries



Prep bag with medium tip and magnets.

Tami ground almonds then weigh and add to large bowl. Sift powdered sugar then add, whisk to uniform then turn to papered plaque. Mount whites, add sugar and seal. Add red food colouring to pale raspberry pink and whisk uniform. Have partner fold paper lengthwise then gradually add almonds and powdered sugar to whites while folding well with spatula. Have partner turn paper over and magnet corners. Seal and work to fluid and shiny. Scraper sides down then over. Pipe from top, about 3 cm, sealing point to side, staggered rows. Bake about 15 minutes. Remove plaque from oven and pour some cold water under paper, rest several minutes then metal scraper off carefully, cleaning scraper often, to papered grill, face down. Set aside to dry.

Pastry cream. Soak gelatin leaves. Just boil milk with half of sugar. Blanche yolks with remaining half of sugar, then add flour and cornstarch. Add some boiling milk to yolks and whisk well, then whisk all back to pot and cook. Turn out to clean bowl.

Light anise cream. Measure out warm pastry cream then add squeezed gel leaves and whisk smooth. Add pastis, whisk smooth and set aside. Whip cream, whisk in then set aside.

Coulis. Add some purée to small pot, add sugar and heat to melt sugar. Add all back to remaining purée in bowl, add lemon juice to taste, whisk smooth then chill.

Plate. Pair macaron top and bottom. Pipe some cream to plate, stick bottom, pipe center spiral, no cream showing from side. Place best raspberries around at edge, then fill center. Place macaroon top. Deco plate with coulis.

#15 Louisa Chu

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 06:07 PM

In French patisserie praline is a smooth paste made with sugar, water and either hazelnuts and almonds, almonds only or hazelnuts only. It's medium caramel brown, thick, smooth, shiny and tastes a bit like a very sweet peanut butter on its own. It's a staple item that's almost always purchased premade. It's used as a flavouring for everything from chocolate fillings to pastry creams.

We've never made it but a chef did in demo - mostly to show us how even an experienced pastry chef cannot achieve the same perfectly smooth consistency.

Here's are two recipes.

PRALINE 50%
500 g sugar
200 ml water
EITHER 250 g skinned hazelnuts and 250 g blanched almonds OR 500 g almonds

PRALINE 30%
500 g sugar
100 ml water
300 g hazelnuts

Cook sugar and water to 110C. Add nuts. Crystallize then stir until caramel forms and nuts are coloured. Spread immediately to well oiled plaque and cool. Add food processor and grind well.

#16 Louisa Chu

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 06:17 PM

The praline rose however is a completely different thing. It is in fact a vibrantly pink sugared almond, bumpy surface and are the origin of what I knew as a kid in the States as French burnt peanuts. It is a very distinctive colour in the French psyche.

Edited by loufood, 01 February 2003 - 06:20 PM.


#17 Jaymes

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 08:46 PM

A "praline" in France refers to either a sugar covered almond candy, or just a plain chocolate candy filled with a chocolate mousse;  In francophone Africa, praline can refer to a sugar covered cashew candy. 

The only difference in the US is that we sometimes refer to a praline as a piece of chocolate filled with crushed nuts (of any kind).

And the only OTHER difference in the U.S. is that half of the U.S. (the southern half) refers to a "praline" as a sugary patty candy, light to medium brown in color, either chewy or creamy, most often made with pecan halves.

And for which, New Orleans is famous.
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#18 Lesley C

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 07:26 AM

Loufood, I don't understand a lot of your macaron recipe. You never mention "faire tomber l'appareil" which means overwork the mixture so that it loses its body, an essential step in making macarons.
What does the line "Seal and work to fluid and shiny," refer to?

#19 elyse

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 05:04 PM

>>A note of caution to American readers here who are interested in making >>macarons or macaroons. "Macaroon" is the translation of the >>French "macaron," but there is no resemblance between what is sold as a >>macaroon in the states, and what it sold as a macaron in France

What is the difference? You're not talking about coconut macaroons, are you?

Kit - I'm glad you tried to ressurect the mistake. I would have tried a smaller version or a souffle sort of thing (I would strain out the chunks and see if it would re-inflate [probably wouldn't] or whip some new whites and fold the old ones in?), or mixed it into a cake batter. I am vehemently opposed to throwing out food unless it's seriously spoiled by age. I hate when teachers say that there is nothing to be done. Something can always be done. It may not be what you wanted or expected, but it may become something fabulous. Don't anyone jump on me for the souffleish idea, it's just off the top of my head, and I'm no expert. I say, never say never.

I just lost this and re-wrote it, so if it posts twice, sorry. Also, can someone tell me how to quote a SECTION of a post? I can only quote an entire post.
Thanks.

>>I have a lovely recipe from Gavroche book for Pralines Roses tart

Willing to share it?

Edited by elyse, 02 February 2003 - 07:07 PM.


#20 Bux

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 10:49 AM

elyse, yes, when I hear "macaroon," I think of coconut macaroon. When I hear "macaron" I think of the very light and delicate little (well sometimes big, these days) French petit four. Where are you and how widely are French style "macarons" available in pastry shops in the U.S.?

One can often do something about a recipe that's gone astray, but quite often the final result will be a more than a compromised version of the intended result. Professional chefs usually have a pretty good idea when something they are doing will not become something fabulous and they may have good reason to regard great food as something other than what is created by chance or accident. They may also see the cost of the ingredients as a minor factor in relationship to their time and decide the best advice is not to throw good time into a botched start. They will also see the finished product as reflecting on their professional reputation. You are of course entitle to disagree with them in relationship to time and ingredients. I just question the vehemence of your opposition.

But I actually responded to let you know that when you quote an entire post, you can edit the post in the lower box, or even in the text entry window if you do a preview, and delete text that's irrelevant to your reply. All that we'd ask is that all who do that remember to try and keep the context.
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#21 kitwilliams

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 02:02 PM

As far as trying to resurrect my mistake, all I invested in it was a little oven heat. It didn't work, so out it went anyway, although I nibbled on the exterior which got nice and crunchy! But next time I try macarons, if I go to far with the egg whites I just may try your idea, lou, of folding the batter into some beaten egg whites. Might be worth experimenting!

And as far as coconut macaroons go, well, I need absolutely no practice with those! And dip the bottoms in bittersweet chocolate!
kit

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#22 Louisa Chu

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 02:56 PM

Loufood, I don't understand a lot of your macaron recipe. You never mention "faire tomber l'appareil" which means overwork the mixture so that it loses its body, an essential step in making macarons.
What does the line "Seal and work to fluid and shiny," refer to?

That's it. Work the mixture until it "flows like magma" to quote our chef. At the correct point it will be fluid and shiny. I thought it would be more understandable than faire tomber l'appareil! :unsure:

Edited by loufood, 03 February 2003 - 03:06 PM.


#23 Louisa Chu

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 03:05 PM

But next time I try macarons, if I go to far with the egg whites I just may try your idea, lou, of folding the batter into some beaten egg whites.

kit, not my suggestion but elyse's. I think in that situation that the batter would just be too heavy for the whites.

#24 elyse

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 03:09 PM

I'm in NYC, and think of macarons or macaroons as the French things, and the coconut macaroons as coconut macaroons. I don't travel much these days, so I don't have any idea what's happening in the rest of the country.

Why am I vehemently opposed to not trying to save mistakes? Because I think there is too much waste in the world, and excess it too easy to acquire. Plus I hate hearing that I CAN'T do something. I don't really mean that futzing with the mistake will give you the same results, or something fabulous, but in my book, it's worth a try. Of course in a professional capacity, it makes no sense unless you're in the kitchen specifically for these futzing purposes, but I was under the impression that kit was at home, and she HAD asked for advice on what to do with it rather than tossing it.

Kit, was your reputation at stake? I'm glad you liked the crunchy outsides. That's why I would have made them smaller-more crunchy edges. Actually, I probably would have cut it up (the one you made) and put it back in the oven. Am I going to be kicked out of eGullet for this?

I hate my coconut macaroons. Over the summer, I tried three different recipes in one day, and don't like any of them. One was Fred's, one was Cook's Illustrated, and one was the sweetened condensed milk kind. Nothing came close to the kind I'm trying for. I'm trying to make some that are very chewey, and buttery tasting. Bruno Bakery used to make these. Last time I had them there, they were awful, but Biagio (owner) told me to come in and try again, on him. Any comment on the coconut front? Or is that a different thread.

And Bux, thanks for the quote info. I'll use it next time!

Edit: Lou, I'm pretty sure someone else suggested it before me. May have read it on a different thread though. Has Laduree cornered the market on macarons? Am I missing something?

Edited by elyse, 03 February 2003 - 03:18 PM.


#25 kitwilliams

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 03:30 PM

kit, not my suggestion but elyse's. I think in that situation that the batter would just be too heavy for the whites.

thanks for correction, Lou, sorry for neglecting you Elyse!

And yes, the mixture was heavy but, not expecting a meringue-like result, could the egg whites just give it a little more airiness so that it would bake up a little lighter than the gooey mass I had previously? I recall making a cake from "The Art of the Cake"...let me go get the book...okay. Oh my gosh, this is very funny. Now that I look at this recipe, Croix de Lorraine, it is very like the mistake I made with added stiffly beaten egg whites! If you have the book, check it out on page 54! It even has crushed praline added! Anyway, what I remembered about this cake was that the almond/sugar/egg white mixture was, indeed, very stiff and then had to fold the egg whites into it. Not easy to do without deflating the egg whites too much. And in reading the introduction to the cake it says, "The batter for this cake is almost like a macaroon batter..." too funny! I'll have to try this again!
kit

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#26 Bond Girl

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 12:40 PM

Okay, I know that at one point in my life, I've actually succeeded in making chocolate versions of these little cookies, but recent attempts have resulted in something resembling what a Macaron should be. They are either cracked, over dried, or so gooey that they fall apart. What's worse was that they lack the shiney eggshell like sheen. I'm working with the Pierre Herme recipe, but am willing to try others. Does anyone out there have any ideas and tips? I appreciate any suggestions thrown this way.
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#27 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 08:09 AM

It's been several years since I've made macarons. I used to make them alot. I tried just about every recipe published, or so it seemed. My favorite is Herme's. But I did have to make some changes. I added more dried egg whites and less fresh, that made a huge difference in my piping consistancy and the look of my finished product (it looks like his photo). When I baked his recipe exactly, they were much flatter and didn't look like his photo.

I didn't have a gram scale at the time I was making these so I had to convert all his recipes. Sorry about the weird decimals, to some extent you have to guess where .86 lands on the scale. When guessing, lean toward a drier product.

I changed Herme's macarons:

19.75 oz almonds
33.86 oz. xxxsugar

10.20 oz. whites
.75 oz. powdered whites

Follow his proceedure. I found it was better to use the hotter oven temp.'s in the "sole" oven description (even though I was using a convection oven at the time). Although he doesn't mention it in the "sole" dirrections, make sure to double your pans.

#28 Louisa Chu

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 08:19 AM

I have a friend staging at Pierre Herme now. For the first 5 weeks almost all she did was macarons. BG and Sinclair, how are you making them? Does PH's recipe call for drying? They dry theirs for 3 days before baking. I can get more specifics from her as well.

#29 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 08:42 AM

Loufood, I'd love to know as much as you can find about about anything at Herme's! I think his work is brilliant.

As for drying, I've followed recipes with and with-out. Following what-ever the recipe called for. I think that making macarons is really about hair splitting details, technique and recipe. The smallest detail makes a noteable difference in your finished product. As to dry or not- and how long to dry, it is something you have to discover in each recipe.

If I've dried them before baking, I've never done so for 3 days! On silpats or parchement (I'd guess parchment would let them dry too much)? Only a couple hours at the most, I have always followed dirrections on this step, then either liked the recipe or never repeated it.

I can (think I) understand how he's arrived at that length, but I've never done that much experimenting. As a pastry chef I've never had a job that would allowed the type of in depth study of repeated product production that happens in a bakery situation.

#30 Bux

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 09:24 AM

Two cents from a non-baker. I realize "macaroon" seems to be the accepted English translation of the French "macaron," but I find the French macaron so different from the coconut macaroon that I think it's often misleading not to adopt the French spelling for that cookie to distinguish it from the macaroon.

For what it's worth, Dorie Greenspan, co-author of Desserrts by Pierre Herme and Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme says (in her Paris Sweets cookbook)

Unfortunately for us, real French macarons are hard to find in America and difficult to make at home. However, as soon as you get to Paris, you can do what Parisians do: taste-test the macarons of the city's best pâtisseries and find your favorite. Then, like a true Parisian, you can say, "I always buy my macarons at [fill in the blank]." There's nothing that will make you feel more like a native than having a trusted--and superior--supplier of something luxe and luscious.

I've posted that not to dissuade you from trying to make your own professional quality macarons even though excellent ones are available in NYC, if not all over America, but just to remind you of how hard they are to get right--hard enough that Dorie didn't include a recipe in Paris Sweets, just a reminder to try them when in Paris. Of course we are looking forward to saying "I always get my macarons from Bond Girl." :biggrin:
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