Happy Easter, everyone! Ah, the celebration of all things pastel, and the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of spring. Even if you don’t celebrate Easter religiously, I hope everyone was able to enjoy the long weekend with some yummy eats and adorable Easter themed things like chocolate, marshmallow, bunny, or Easter egg desserts! Or in my case, Easter themed macarons. OH. MY.GOD. Macarons decorated like baby chicks and Easter eggs with lemon and custard filling! Check out Ate by Ate’s Facebook page and you’ll know exactly what I mean. They’re one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen (and so yummy), courtesy of Daniel et Daniel in Cabbagetown just for Easter. And speaking of macarons, I FINALLY get to share more from my day of adventure on Macaron Day. I know I’m really late but I figure since we’re still waiting on baited breath to find out how much we raised for Red Door Family Shelter, my Macaron Day escapades are still very much relevant.
March 2oth was truly one of the funnest days ever. I feel so incredibly lucky and grateful to have been a part of this day and event – to buy macarons till they were coming out of my ears, to meet shop owners, to take photos, and to know that I was contributing to a really great cause. My boss was very gracious in allowing me to take Macaron Day TO off as a personal day and I sure as hell made it count. This day has meant more to me than I ever thought it would. When Bonnie recruited me as a Macaron Day Ambassador back in February, I knew it was going to be a fun and exciting experience, but I never thought it would be this much fun. Myself and the other girls were able to get involved in ways we never would have had we not been Ambassadors and it was crazy just how much we were plugging it on our blogs, on Twitter, and on our Macaron Day Facebook page (yup, that was me laying the smackdown on the Macaron Day TO Facebook page on a lot of those posts with Bonnie and Sonya while Mardi, Amy, Vickie, Vicky, and Sandi plugged away on Twitter!)
It felt so good being that focused and the adrenaline just kicked in – editing photos, finding content, seeking out updates and posting on the Facebook page 7 times a day. And on that Wednesday, my heart felt so free hopping around town visiting patisseries, getting on and off the subway left, right, and centre, collecting macarons and tucking them away in my Hello Kitty tin lunchbox (yes, that’s right, I carried a number of macarons in a Hello Kitty tin lunchbox – they needed protection from getting squished and crushed!), and eating them ALL DAY LONG!
I made 5 stops this year; 1 more than 2012! I started out east and went straight down Yonge Street, hitting up a bunch of spots I didn’t hit last year. It was my first time going to Patisserie La Cigogne and Rahier Patisserie, both on Bayview Ave. just south of Eglinton. Patisserie La Cigogne took my breath away with their gorgeous display case of colourful macarons, petit gateaux, pastries, and baked goods. It was cold out that day but the beautiful sunshine that streamed in through the front windows just made everything that much brighter and happier. I picked my free one, Caramel (I got to choose whichever flavour I wanted from their entire display case!) and then I bought a set of 6 in a nice box.
A bunch of photos later, I walked several shops down to Rahier where I had one of the nicest conversations with the cafe owner, Anita, and picked up my free one (a delicious, fruit concoction of raspberry with lychee, rose, and cream!) and another half a dozen. Interestingly enough, Rahier is one of the few patisseries in the city that charge their macarons by weight. There’s no $1.50, $2, or $2.50 type of pricing. Anita explained to me that because everything was made my hand, it was fairer to price them by weight than to price them each. And they turned out to be incredibly reasonable in price! Half a dozen only came up to around $9 (because I’m basing this from memory only, I’d say $8-$10) and there were so many beautiful colours and flavours to choose from including lime, green tea, strawberries and cream, and my personal favourite, CINNAMON HONEY!!
I then jetted to La Bamboche on Manor where I gave Michel (organizer of Macaron Day TO and owner of La Bamboche) a big hug and saw chef Stephen on my way out. I’ll be doing a separate post just on my macarons from La Bamboche after this one so sit tight! I hit up Yorkville Espresso Bar afterward (not before taking a macaron break inside the underground PATH of Hudson’s Bay Centre though), nabbed their adorable espresso macaron and took some photos of chef YJ preparing macaron batter in the Yorkville Kitchen Studio!
And then finally, I ended my macaron collecting at Petit Thuet at Yonge and King where I was flabbergasted by their gorgeous, rainbow display of macarons that spanned over half the cafe! Now, I know Petit Thuet went about Macaron Day a little differently this year. Instead of offering a free macaron to every person who made the request, a single macaron was $2 which went straight to donation, or 5 for the price of $4, meaning that the 5th was free. And 20% of all purchases (not just macarons, but all) made at Petit Thuet would be donated to Red Door Family Shelter.
I know some people took issue with this arrangement (a free macaron is a free macaron and they should have honoured this) while others couldn’t care less about it – the event is to benefit Red Door Family Shelter, period, and people shouldn’t be petty about the arrangement for the sake of a free macaron. I have my own opinions about this which I actually don’t wish to divulge here, but I felt like mentioning it because it wouldn’t be fair to pretend like it didn’t exist or to gloss over it. I picked up some fantastic ones during this last collection though, my favourite being the Blueberry Cheesecake!
Stay tuned for my photos and post on La Bamboche a la Macaron Day! And of course, the final numbers on how much we raised for Red Door Shelter this year – I can’t wait to find out! We should be getting results some time in April so let’s hope we exceeded last year’s total of $6500 and met our goal of $8000!