“The French macaron is a sweet confectionary made of two almond meringue discs stuck together with a generous layer of butter cream, jam or ganache filling. When baked to perfection, the outside of the shell forms a delicate crust to protect the inside, which remains soft and moist.” – French Made Baking
While their is much debate to when the macaron was born – some crediting an Italian pastry chef in 1533, others believing it to be created in a French convent in 1791 – it wasn’t until March 20th, 1995 that Macaron Day (aka Jour du Macaron) was established.
Pierre Herme, a French Pastry Chef, created it with the notion that people would come into the shop, receive a free macaron, and in exchange make a donation to a charity.
While this is easy for those who have shops, it poses an issue for those without one. Or does it?
Kitchening & Co., a business that doesn’t have a retail location, is getting creative in their charitable efforts. Taking advantage of their social media reach and online presence they are striving to raise funds in a different way.
“We really want one of the main focuses of our business to be around community, and ways that we can not only give back to, but give alongside the great people of Vancouver.”
Through a site called Chimp, they are donating up to $10,000 worth of macarons by “selling” a 12pc box of macarons for a minimum $10 donation (retail value $24).
“We’ve raised over $2700 so far, but we’d love to break through $5,000,” exclaimed Carly Wintschel owner of Kitchening & Co.
Orders can be placed at MacaronDayVancouver.com with all donations being tax deductible. Unless specified, orders will include an assortment of nine current flavours, such as Carly’s second favorite, the toasted coconut. On Macaron Day (Wednesday March 20th) orders can be picked up at Edible Canada on Granville Island and Urban Fare Shangri-La.
Kitchening & Co. is a small, family run business in Langley with the idea that “Good Food Brings People Together”. They use all natural ingredients, so you might not have the same bright color that other businesses offer, but you’ll have the same delicious dessert minus the artificial flavorings and dyes.
When asked what her favourite flavour was Carly responded:
“I’ve been known to be a bit of a bacon lover – long before everyone else in the world. We do up a bacon-salted caramel that right now is exclusively carried at Edible Canada; I’d probably take that one.”
OTHER PARTICIPATING BAKERIES
Owners David and Catherine Introligator offer macarons with 20 unique flavours including Matcha macaron with Black sesame ganache, lavendar and honey, and pina colada. They use organic flour and sugar, free run eggs from Rabbit River Farms, real butter, vanilla beans and rum, natural extracts, no preservatives, no shortenings and no artificial flavours. Just like them, their chocolate (Cacao Barry) is from France.
French Made Baking will be offering macarons by donation with 100% of donations and a portion of the day’s sales going to B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Soirette is hoping to give away up to 1,000 macarons (for a suggested donation of $2 each) on Wednesday. Signature flavours include: Caramel Fleur de Sel, Rocher, Malibu, Rose and Lavender. I had their macarons a few weeks ago and have been dying to go back, what better reason than Macaron Day.
Owner and head pastry chef Shobna Kannusamy will be giving 100 percent of donations, as well as 10 percent of the day’s sales, to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of B.C. and Yukon.
If you haven’t already had them, you’ll love the bright and colorful assortment of macarons that Bel Cafe makes including tasty flavours like Cassis, Key Lime Pie and PB & J.
Partial proceeds from sales of their macarons will be donated to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society Kids’ Picks, which provides healthy, ready-to-eat snacks to children aged 18 months to six years.
Last year Leonidas offered 25% off of their macarons for this glorious day, while this year they’re offering a $5 month long promotion that includes three macarons (out of 21 different flavors) and a cup of Mighty Leaf tea. They will be donating 15 percent of sales on Macaron Day to A Better Life Foundation, Mark Brand’s new meal program (website coming soon).
While you’re there save room for one of their delicious chocolate covered waffles.
Thierry participated in Macaron Day last year and will be celebrating again this year, this time with a limited-edition “Spring” macaron called “Cherry Blossom” ($1.95). The new flavour is a mixture of honeybush tea, honey buttercream, and Chef Thierry’s signature jam filling. Thierry is famous for his decadent chocolates and cakes, but he also makes incredible macarons. With unique flavours such as gianduja chocolate, lychee and pink praline, one of Thierry’s many flavours will definitely satisfy your cravings.
Thierry will be donating 10 percent of macaron sales on Wednesday to St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation.
Other great places to get macarons in Vancouver: J’adore les macarons (make or buy), Thomas Haas, Les Macarons de Katherine(online), The Urban Tea Merchant, Ganache Patisserie, Plaisir Sucré and Daniel Le Chocolat Belge.
What’s your favourite place to get macarons? Tweet me @kellyjean247 and let me know!
Thanks to Michelle Da Silva for her sleuthing to find the donation details on Bel Cafe, Leonidas and French Made baking.