Oh La La! Macarons From Paris, With Love

Could this be the beginning of a new Washington dessert trend?

Kyle Samperton

Move over cupcakes, there's a new dessert trend in town. Put down the treats that evoke a long-past childhood -- it’s time to indulge with classic French sophistication. Macarons, the feather-light confections,  have been slowly infiltrating the city, and they're now available at Adour at the St. Regis (923 16th St. N.W.).

The man behind the macaron is Adour's pastry chef Fabrice Bendano, Parisian-born and 2010 RAMMY award nominee for Pastry Chef of the Year. Do a quick background check and you'll immediately discover that Bendano is the real deal. He's a former pastry chef de partie at Alain Ducasse's famous restaurant in Monaco, Le Louis XV, and at popular local French restaurants including Les Halles, Citronelle, Bistro du Coin and 1789.

By the way, in case you're wondering about the difference between macarons and macaroons (note the extra 'o'), macarons are sandwich-style pastries with a sweet center layer; the treat's made from egg whites, almond flour, granulated sugar and confectioners' sugar. Macaroons, meanwhile, are usually dome-shaped cookies made mainly with almond paste, eggwhites and ground or powdered nuts, and usually contain shredded coconut.

We're talking about the former: Based on the construction of an Oreo, but sweet, pillowy and whisper-weight. You can get your hands on some of those macarons-à-porter in an array of seasonal flavors, at $20 for a dozen. But you'll need to order 24 hours in advance, so plan accordingly.

Serious pastry enthusiasts can sign up for lessons from the pro himself. On Aug. 8, Bendano is teaching a private lesson ($75) for 10 people right in the Adour kitchen. Under his guidance, learn how to craft raspberry macarons and roasted warm apricot sable with twist berries. Or, in his Sept. 5 class, you can produce your very own lemon macarons and orange tian. Best part? Take home your tasty creations and earn bragging rights among your friends. To reserve your space, call (202) 509-8000.

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