Ok, so this is obviously not a recipe that I have prepared myself. I think that's pretty clear. You also know that up until this point, I have been baking everything on this blog and taking photos of everything that I've baked for this blog myself. Up until now…up until classes began again, at least.
I have to be totally blunt with everyone and just say that I know for a fact that I will have neither the time nor the resources to bake and photograph food that is up to my standards to put on this blog for everyone to see. I mean, right now, my work load isn't THAT bad…but by the end of this week, I'm pretty sure I'll start to feel a bit overwhelmed with all my assignments and readings that need to be completed. For instance, my Design I studio class met for literally thirty minutes on Wednesday, and by my next class (on Monday), I need to have working study models, sketches, and my portfolio somewhat organized for my professor to critique…oh boy. So yeah. By the time midterms and studio reviews begin to come around, I will be way too crazy, stressed, and sleep-deprived to want to bake anything, or write anything that is even remotely coherent. HOWEVER. I came up with a plan.
My new plan of action is to document something I do a lot on my own over the weekends anyway, which is looking up specialty bake shops all over New York City, and just trying out what they have to offer. I plan on going to new places all over the five boroughs of New York, and wherever else my weekend travels may take me…Boston or Washington DC maybe? Bear with me on this type of post, this is definitely a work in progress, an experiment if you will. I'm definitely going to continue to post as many recipes as I possibly can, and I will of course make sure that whatever I post is something that I can feel proud of posting. No rushed posts, recipes, or photos, promise.
But anyway. My first stop is the very well-known macaron shop, Ladurée. Ladurée is credited with coming up with the idea of actually sandwiching tiny almond-meringue cakes with a filling. I am so happy they came up with this fantastic idea. These macarons are, to put it simply, exquisite. The meringue cakes are very light, and the filling is not overwhelmingly sweet, and its intended flavor really comes through very nicely, in a manner that allows you to instantly recognize it, but will not completely overpower your taste buds.
Ladurée has several shops in Paris, as well as many throughout the world, and the one I visited in New York's Upper East Side only opened up very recently, I think it may have even been just last week! I first heard of Ladurée from my sister, who was lucky enough to spend a month in Paris over the summer on a photography trip. She brought us back a beautiful box of 20 or so macarons, in a very wide assortment of flavors. Needless to say, they were the best macaroons I had ever had. I was so excited when she told me Ladurée was opening up a shop in New York!
Walking into the shop is an experience. First, there were people outside taking photos of the beautiful window displays (like I was), and of themselves holding up their mint-green Ladurée shopping bag ( I didn't do that). When you walk in, you see a lovely little shop full of beautiful gift boxes, candles, fresh jams, chocolates, and perfumes. I wasn't able to make my way over until around 4:30 pm, but the line was still pretty long. I didn't mind the wait though. I wanted my macarons. The shop offers a nice selection of flavors, and you can purchase them individually or by the box (the box is an additional cost though). The macarons are a bit on the pricey side, at $2.70 each, but I obviously had to make an exception for Ladurée macarons. I decided to skip the box and I bought six macarons (chocolate, vanilla, raspberry, pistachio, coffee, and lemon) in a bag. It was definitely well worth the trip. They were delicious, and reminded me of the ones my sister brought home straight from Paris. Maybe one day I'll get to enjoy a macaron in France!
Ladurée is located at 864 Madison Avenue, between 70th and 71st streets in New York City.