For those of you who celebrated Valentines Day on February 14th, I hope you had a great time. My husband and I decided to try a new cafe that I had seen in Lincoln Park, Chicago called Sugar Fixe. The cafe serves hot drinks and desserts but specializes in macarons.
I love macarons. Firstly, I want to differentiate macarons from macaroons, which are made of egg whites, sugar and dried coconut shreds. Macarons are made of egg whites, sugar and almond flour.
In my opinion the look of a macaron is emblematic of the city with which they are associated, Paris. The delicate cookies are dainty, round, colorful and chic. A brief history of this delightful treat is found in www.seriouseats.com which states that the macaron was brought to France from Italy around 1533 by Catherine di Medici(Queen of France) and her pastry chefs. Originally the macaron was a single cookie . It was not until the 1900’s that Pierre Desfontaines, of Parisian pastry shop Laduree, took two cookies and filled them with ganache creating macarons as we know them.
A perfect macaron should have a thin crisp sweet outer shell with rich moist ganache inner filling, which should melt in the mouth.
The Sugar Fixe cafe is an airy space, minimal and contemporary in decor. On Valentines evening they were doing an event called Chefs Tasting Macron Flight. Ten macarons were served with Spanish cheese and almonds. Macarons come in many many flavors but this evening the flavors were two chocolate, two passion fruit, two chocolate dipped strawberry and two strawberry. All of this was washed down with glasses of sparkling rose cava. My favorite was the passion fruit. The flavor was rich and tropical. With sub zero temperatures outside, I was grateful even for a second, to be transported to a warmer climate.
The mild cheese and sparkling rose complimented, not competed, with the sweetness of the macarons.
I urge anyone reading to find a bakery that sells macarons and try them. I can pretty much guarantee you, that you will experience a pure moment of happiness when you eat a macaron and you will not be able to stop at just one.
Sugar Fixe. 958 Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60614