Discover Downtown: La Petite Délica

     

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    Several years ago, I spent a couple of days in Paris, France.  It was there that I discovered the delicious dessert, a macaron.   I had never seen them in Lexington before, but since then, this fabulous miniature sweet treat became available here—at a small boutique specializing in this beautiful delicacy. 

    Today, macarons have definitely made their mark on the dessert scene locally and internationally as a fun alternative to traditional cookies and cakes, but at La Petite Délicat, macarons are the main event.  Their adorable shop is located in Chevy Chase.unnamed (2)

    The sweet boutique is owned by Sylviana Herrin, who discovered macrons herself in 2012 when she was looking for a fun and unique dessert to make for her daughter’s second birthday party.  After searching for the right macaron recipe, reading several blogs and making a number of failed batches of macarons in her home kitchen, she finally got the recipe right!   And they were fantastic.  The petite macrons were a hit at the party and they quickly became her family’s favorite dessert.  Herrin fell in love with the process of making macarons and then her passion grew into creatively decorating them and finally, selling them.  “I started my macaron business on Etsy three years ago and started selling them at Farmers’ Markets.  People loved them and I rallied that no bakery here in Lexington is dedicated to selling them.  I wanted to be the first one in lexington who opened a bakery that specializes in French macarons,” Herrin said.  She has been making macarons ever since and now loves to make delicious desserts that double as fun conversation pieces too!   She opened her La Petite Délicat location on South Ashland in late 2015 after searching for the perfect location for more than a year. 

    If you’ve never tried a macaron, here are the details!  It is a type of small circular cake or cookie, typically made from almond flour and meringue filled with choices of ganache, buttercream, caramel or jam filling. They’re also sometimes dipped in chocolate. You can find them in all different types of colors and flavors, but typically they are beautiful bright colors, like pink, blue, purple or yellow.  If you haven’t tried one, you are missing out, as they are the perfect combination of textures: slightly crispy on the outside and soft, yet chewy on the inside.

    unnamed (4)La Petite Délicat carefully handcrafts these beautiful macaroons that are visually appealing and delicious at the same time. They create their macarons from scratch using the finest ingredients available including hormone free eggs, real butter, the finest chocolate and no preservatives.    You can taste the quality in every bite.  They come in a variety of flavors including strawberry buttercream, hazelnut, raspberry, rose water, blackberry, pistachio, s’mores, salted caramel, dark covered, vanilla buttercream, red velvet, lemon, espresso, Earl Grey, peach buttercream, bourbon pecan and my personal Le Petite Délicat favorite: cookies and cream.  These tasty little treats literally melt in your mouth.  Did I mention also that they are gluten-free?

    The sweet shoppe creates custom design macarons including monogrammed treats for any occasion including weddings, birthdays, anniversaries or other special events.  They also make macarons that look like Disney characters, ladybugs, pumpkins, snowmen, wreaths, penguins, Easter bunnies and more.   Whatever your vision is, they will try to make for you.  They can also construct macaron towers for you to serve at parties in lieu of or in addition to traditional cake.  Individually, the fine petite confections come in adorable boxes that are protective enough that you can even ship the macarons in the mail!  They make great gifts.unnamed (3)

    Macaron-lovers also have the opportunity to make them at home, thanks to Herrin.  In addition to creating and selling her perfected recipe to the public, she offers classes at La Petite Délicat so that patrons can make their favorite treats at home as well.  “My passion for baking macaroons started when I failed 37 times in attempting to create the perfect beautiful macarons.  Making macarons is challenging.  Precision and correct technique is very important.  When I failed so many times, I was challenged to get it right.  I finally created a perfect recipe and I stick with it,” Herrin said.  The classes are held in the commercial kitchen on-site and are perfect for a girls’ night, date night or birthday party.

    In the store, you can also find Nate’s Coffee, incredible ice cream sandwiches made with their macarons and stuffed with Crank + Boom’s ice cream, fresh loose tea and Kentucky-sourced strawberry jam from Mrs. Toad’s in Louisville.

    Check out La Petite Délicat online at www.lapetitedelicat.com or in their location at 445 South Ashland Avenue.

    – ML

    Originally published in TOPS in Lex magazine July 2016. Photos by Sylviana Herrin.

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