Macaron Day Recipe + Dessert Pairings
In 2010, chef François Payard and the macaron maniacs at his five New York City pastry shops declared the first day of spring “Macaron Day NYC,” coinciding with the annual “Jour du Macaron” in Paris.
The event, now in its sixth year, takes place on Friday. Customers can snag a free macaron at 15 participating New York City area patisseries, including Bisous, Ciao. Macarons, Bouchon Bakery and Chantilly Patisserie.
You can also spread the love with a gift of these charming Parisian cookies. Portions of the day’s proceeds will support City Harvest, a charity that contributes to over 500 community food programs.
“I think the macaron has captivated the world with its pastel colors,” says Payard. “You buy with your eyes first, and then with your stomach.”
Payard, whose pastry chefs produce about 10,000 macarons a day, lauds the cookie’s versatility.
“I love how macaron shells can be used as cake decor and can be filled with ice cream for the perfect ice cream sandwich,” Payard says.
Not based in Paris or New York City? You can still raise a toast to the melt-in-your-mouth macaron at home, thanks to this recipe by powerhouse pastry chef Kristin Menton of A Voce Columbus.
Bonus: star sommelier Olivier Flosse (a Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40 alum) offers beverage pairings, and outlines drinks to match other decadent desserts.
Courtesy Kristin Menton, pastry chef, A Voce Columbus, New York City
Yes, you can make opulent macarons at home, though it may require a little practice to master. This French macaron method calls for ingredients that can be found at a specialty or gourmet grocery store.
2¼ cup powdered sugar
1 cup hazelnut flour
1 cup almond flour
7 large egg whites, preferably a day old
1¼ cup granulated sugar, divided into thirds
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Mix powdered sugar and nut flours in food processor until very fine. Sift mixture and discard any large pieces of nuts. Set aside.
In stand mixer with whisk attachment, whip egg whites on high until they start to become foamy.
Add a third of the granulated sugar. Continue to whip until egg whites begin to turn opaque. Add another third of sugar. When egg whites form soft peaks and hold shape, add final portion of sugar. Whip until semi-firm, creating meringue.
Fold meringue into flour-sugar mixture with rubber spatula. The batter will be very grainy and thick at first. Continue folding until it becomes shiny, forming thick ribbon when pulled up from spatula. The mixture should not be runny, but don’t over mix.
Transfer mixture into piping bag with round pastry tip. On parchment paper-lined baking sheet, pipe into small circles, about the size of a quarter. (Tip: trace quarters on back of paper with pencil to ensure even sizing). Hold pastry bag perpendicular to tray to prevent oval shapes. Let macarons dry uncovered for around 20 minutes, or until dry to the touch and begin to lose shine.
Bake for 9 minutes, rotating pans at halfway point. Let cool completely before removing from parchment.
For the dark chocolate and sea salt ganache:
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup Valrhona 66% Caraibe chocolate
1 teaspoon sea salt, like Maldon or Fleur de Sel
Boil cream in small saucepot. Place chocolate in a small bowl, and pour cream over the chocolate. Let mixture sit for 1 minute. Whisk together, then add salt. Let ganache cool in refrigerator for 20 minutes (ganache should be firm, but not hard to pipe). Transfer to piping bag. Pipe small amount between two macaron shells, then place together. Yields approximately 75 macarons.
Sommelier-Approved Pastry Pairings
Olivier Flosse, beverage director of MARC USA Ltd, a restaurant group that includes A Voce Columbus and A Voce Madison in New York City, gives pairing advice for the hazelnut and chocolate macarons.
Wine: Clairette de Die AOC from the Rhône Valley. “This wine shows green apple flavors and fragrances, and is crisp and light on the palate, which will provide a refreshing balance to the macaron.”
Liqueur: Limoncello. “The fresh, sweet and, of course, citrusy tang of limoncello will offset the nutty richness of the hazelnut and cocoa in these hearty macarons.”
Beer: Rogue Ales’ Hazelnut Brown Nectar. “This Oregon ale has a sweet aroma and a malty, toasted-nut flavor. The finish has a touch of bitterness, which will balance nicely with these rich hazelnut macarons.”
The treat: Tiramisu
The tipple: Faretti Biscotti Famosi Liqueur. “This unique liqueur from Northern Italy, near Lake Como, has many layers. Sweet and delicate, with hints of nuts, citrus and anise, it will perfectly match the recognizable flavors of the layers of the mascarpone and almond liqueur.”
The treat: Orange Flower Panna Cotta
The tipple: Averna Amaro Siciliano. “This herbal liqueur is produced using a mixture of herbs, flowers and citrus rinds. It will offer a perfect balance between the sweetness and richness of the panna cotta, and will sing on your tongue.”
The treat: Stuffed zeppole (More specifically, Italian doughnuts filled with raspberry jam and Gianduja, a chocolate-hazelnut spread.)
The tipple: Ca’ del Bosco Brut Cuvée Prestige Rosé from Franciacorta (or other sparkling wine from Northern Italy). .“With its enticing pink color, this sparkling wine offers refreshing fruit, and its long finish will complement both the rich jam and the hazelnut-chocolate paste inside the doughnut.”
- 1Hazelnut Macarons with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Ganache
- 2Icing on the Cake: Bonus Pastry Pairings