Despite living next door to Baltimore practically my entire life, I have a long, long list of places I still have yet to explore. From restaurants to museums to everything in between, it often feels like as soon as I cross one place off, another two pop up. But you won’t find me complaining! What a wonderful dilemma.
Yet while it’s an ongoing struggle to find the time (and the funds!) to experience all the Charm City spots on my list, one place was never in question – Sacré Sucré. This French-style pastry shop has been at the very tip-top since it opened in early 2018.
While I’ve sufficiently stalked their Instagram, drooling over the bakery’s photo-worthy interior almost as much as the unbelievable pastries in their display cases, I had yet to to venture into the shop.
Thankfully, my trip to Paris next month has me in the mood for all things French. When I saw a macaron-making class advertised on their Facebook, I immediately texted a very good friend of mine, whose love of macarons rivals my own.
So on Friday, I skipped out of work a bit early, headed downtown, and stepped into HEAVEN ON EARTH.
Sacré Sucré offers a small but robust coffee and tea menu, and a variety of macarons (from standard flavors to the gourmet).
But the pièce de résistance? A long, glass case filled with modern pastries that are more works of art than they are desserts.
Naturally, I stocked up on exquisite treats to take home with me . . . The Planète Bleu, an outer space-styled domed dessert made of blueberry mousse, blueberry compote, tarragon and Valrhona orelys namelaka, and almond shortbread. The Girard Petite Gateau, a long, slender creation of Caribbean dark chocolate mousse, pineapple preserves, pineapple and cilantro cubes, and pressed chocolate sablée. All the more unusual macarons: Earl Grey, fleur d’oranger, strawberry basil, yuzu, mango and jasmine, and dark chocolate blood orange. (For the record, you absolutely must try the Earl Grey and the dark chocolate blood orange!)
And while the next several days of indulgence were alone worth the trip, the real treat was the three hours spent in the bakery’s pristine kitchen, learning from the shop’s co-owners and pastry chefs.
Macarons are notoriously difficult to make: there’s the challenge of the meringue; the fine line between creating hollow, crunchy shells that shatter upon first bite versus the desired chewy texture; the proper amount of rise – not too flat and not too puffy; perfectly matching shells with just the right amount of filling . . . I could go on! Everything from humidity to overworking the meringue and almond flour mixture can affect the outcome. So I was a bit apprehensive about the class being too much of a challenge.
Thankfully, Sacré Sucré’s owners are practically macaron wizards.
It was easy to follow their instructions, gentle guidance and corrections, and tips and tricks honed from making thousands and thousands of macarons. (It helped that they plied us with wine and cheese the whole time).
I found myself jotting down notes on the recipes they provided us to take home. (We made chocolate and lemon macarons, if you’re curious). You certainly won’t find advice as helpful as theirs in your average cookbook!
It was a very fun and deeply informative class. I now have enough confidence to attempt to make macarons at home . . . Though that certainly won’t prevent me from swinging by Sacré Sucré ASAP! After all, I have to try out all the things I didn’t get a chance to eat!
In short: GO CHECK ‘EM OUT!
Take a class, and take some of their almost too pretty to eat desserts home. Emphasis on the ‘almost.’ 😉