Celebrate Vancouver Macaron Day on March 20, 2013

Photo credit: Thierry

Photo credit: Thierry

Macarons, two airy sugary almond cookies glued together with a cloud of creamy filling, are worth celebrating. That’s why the French invented a holiday around the bite-sized treat and it’s soon here. Vancouver Macaron Day 2013 takes place Wednesday, March 20.

Macaron Day combines French macarons and good causes. The international event was created five years ago by the esteemed Relais Desserts International Association to raise awareness and funds for charity. Today, cities including Paris, Toronto and New York and more each have their own version.

In Vancouver, where we have a talented array of French expat pastry chefs and skilled Canadian bakers, there are many opportunities to donate and join the macaron fête.

On Macaron Day, Chef Thierry Busset of the Thierry Chocolaterie Pâtisserie Café will be offering a limited edition spring-inspired “Cherry Blossom” macaron featuring a honey bush tea shell, honey butter cream and Chef Thierry’s signature cherry jam in the centre. 10% of proceeds will go toward St. Paul’s Hospital.

Kitchening & Co. – another contender for Vancouver’s best macarons –  is donating macaron proceeds to charities doing work in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. You can order a 12-piece box (value $24) for a minimum donation of $10 and pick up the cookies at Edible Canada on Granville Island, March 20. Meanwhile French Made Baking is giving away macarons in shop on March 20; they’re collecting donations for B.C. Childrens’ Hospital Foundation.

More details and Marie Antoinette-worthy macaron glamour shots after the jump.

Macaron 101

Macarons were invented by the French around 1791. What makes a good macaron? An almond meringue with a crisp shell and a softly ruffled foot that creates a crunchy prelude to decadent, flavourful filling. Or: A darn good pastry chef.

In order for a macaron to maintain the holy trinity of a gravity-defying feel, crunch and cream, the utmost precision is required during mixing/sifting the ground almonds and superfine sugar, as well as beating the egg whites. Humidity is key; air bubbles are fatal. Epicurious attempts to demystify the process here. But basically, this is one of the trickier desserts to attempt baking at home. I prefer to leave these i-pod coloured delicacies to the pros and use home baking for kitchen sink cookies.

Macarons by Thierry including salted caramel and lychee. Photo credit: Thierry

Macarons by Thierry including salted caramel, pink praline and lychee. Photo credit: Thierry


Lychee macaron. Photo credit: Thierry


Salted caramel macaron. Photo credit: Thierry.

Vancouver Macaron Day takes place Wednesday, March 20 2013. Bon appétit!

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