10 ways we serve and eat macarons in Paris
Macarons seem to be synonymous with Paris, and it’s true that these tasty treats can be found just about anywhere in the French capital. In case you haven’t tried them yet, macarons are delicate French sandwich cookies made with almond meringues and traditionally filled with a decadent ganache or fruit preserve.
Making the perfect macaron is no easy task, and takes most people years to get it right. The ratio of almond flour to egg white has to be exact to ensure pillowy cookies and flavor is super important. Too much or too little flavoring easily ruins a macaron. Plus, macarons have to be positioned just so in order to bake off correctly.
Sounds like a headache to me! But Parisian pastry chefs have mastered the macaron and serve up some of the best in the world. So just how does one serve macarons? Well, that depends! Here are 10 ways we serve and eat macarons in Paris to give you some ideas.
1. Macarons with afternoon tea
Afternoon tea in the U.K. is called goûter in French, and is celebrated pretty much in the same fashion. A late afternoon pause for a sweet treat and something to wash it down.
Tea and macarons are a classic pairing, and thanks to Ladurée’s popularity, you’ll find just about every tea house in the city serves them together. If you have the chance to go to a high tea in Paris, you’ll find an array of flavored macarons on your table.
2. Savory Macarons
Savory macarons are a surprise the first time, but can be delicious if executed correctly. The concept is the same, but no sugar is used in the meringue and the fillings are savory too. Classic fillings include things like foie gras, gravlax and crème fraiche, and even Wagyu beef. This is becoming one of the most popular ways we serve macarons in Paris!
3. Macarons all on their own
One of the most popular ways to eat macarons in Paris is all on their own. Yes, really. Nothing else. Macarons are great all on their own, they are one of those treats you can enjoy without anything else. And they’re delicious this way!
One thing I’ve come to appreciate about the French way of cooking is how they really let the individual flavors shine through. This can be seen in anything from a simple two ingredient sandwich to a macaron. Basically the belief here is that if you use good quality ingredients, you’ll get more flavor out of them and you don’t need much else.
4. A tower of Macarons
What could be better than one macaron? A whole tower of them! At some point, a pastry chef somewhere had the brilliant idea of creating a macaron tower for an event. From there, the phenomenon took off, and today this is one of the most popular ways we serve macarons in Paris!
You can spot macaron towers at fashion week parties, corporate events and even some vernissage. If you want a custom tower, you can order your own from Ladurée or the Grande Epicerie. Decorative and delicious, macaron towers are a hit no matter where they are.
5. Macarons and Champagne
Elegant and delicate,it seems macarons and Champagne are a match made in heaven. A glass of bubbly matches perfectly with the light airiness of the macarons. Every macaron shop in Paris has Champagne on the menu for this very reason. Fruit flavors and savory macarons usually pair best with Champagne. Cheers!
6. Ice cream topped with Macarons
You’ve probably spotted an Amorino gelato stand if you’ve spent any time strolling around Paris. There seems to be one on every corner, but who can blame them? Their gelato is pretty tasty. It’s actually thanks to Amorino that we serve macarons with ice cream in Paris! They have all the classic flavors available: chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, caramel, coffee, raspberry, etc. So if you’re feeling extra gourmand, ask for a macaron (or two) with your gelato!
7. Giant Macarons
Regular macarons are most common, and are about the size of a €2 coin. Giant macarons are becoming more and more common, however, and you can find them in just about any bakery nowadays. They are the same taste and texture, just a larger size so you can share (or not). My personal favorites are from the Grande Epicerie and Ladurée, their flavors are so rich!
8. Cocktail style Macarons
Now if you think you’ve heard about every possible kind of macaron, think again. Cocktail macarons are popping up in boutiques around Paris. Basically, think boozy macarons. The macarons come in various flavors such as sangria, cosmopolitan, etc. and each one comes with a dropper of liquer you can inject into the macaron. Certainly quite the conversation starter at any cocktail party.
9. Macarons in a cake
Plenty of French pastries and cakes have macarons incorporated somehow. The Ispahan cake from Ladurée comes to mind, a raspberry macaron topped with chantilly, lychee, rose and another raspberry macaron. Delicious and decadent.
Another array of famous Parisian cakes with macarons comes from Left Bank pâtissier, Gerard Mulot. There are several variations on the classic macaron here, all of them sweet and rich though.
10. A café gourmand with Macarons
If you’re indecisive, a café gourmand is a great dessert option. Most cafés and restaurants in Paris will have a café gourmand option, which is a coffee served alongside a small portion of the days desserts. A macaron is usually included too! This is a great option if you want to try a few things but don’t want to go overboard on the sweets.