There are plenty of amazing options when it comes to sweet treats in Saratoga; just walking down Broadway you will pass the confectionary sights and smells of Kilwin’s, Plum Dandy, Mrs. London’s, Saratoga Sweets, and Saratoga Gelato, just to name a few. There’s one place, though, that’s located off of the beaten path of Broadway with offerings of house made, authentic French pastries, cakes, cookies, espressos and other breakfast and lunch delicacies. The bakery, or pâtisserie, is called TC Paris and their relocated storefront and café is located in the new Grand Pavilion Hotel on the corner of Lake Avenue and Pavilion Row.
Nestled into the lobby of the new hotel, the pâtisserie is small but cozy with a few tables and high tops for seating. A small glass case displays their famous rum cake and a freshly baked dark chocolate pecan pie and the counter holds a basket of hand-sized cookies. The case isn’t full or overwhelming, however, and that’s for a very good reason. Executive Chef Paul, who bakes all of his products in the TC Paris kitchen on Henry Street, makes most of his creations to order. These creations include decadent cakes of various flavors including mocha, red velvet and the aforementioned rum with countless variations of homemade buttercreams, curds, preserves and custards. In addition to these cakes, TC Paris offers custom-made wedding cakes and, in an ode to their French influence, house made crème puffs, which can be ordered by the tower. Yes, crème puff towers.
All of this decadence aside though, the main attraction at TC Paris truly is their French Macarons. Boasting on their website that they specialize in the largest assortment of authentic macarons in upstate NY, the bakery offers up to 47 different flavors of the delicate cookies, which rotate throughout the week and the year. TC Paris doesn’t just make macarons from any old ingredients either; they ship their water directly from France just to make the meringue cookie that creates the classic sandwich confection- now that’s authentic.
Today’s selection of macarons was Café au Lait, Pumpkin Spice, Gingerbread Eggnog, Lemon and Très Vanille; all of which are made with various premium ingredients like house made Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla extracts, eggnog mousse, lemon zest, 100% cocoa and Italian meringue. I had to try the Café au Lait, one of their most popular, as well as the seasonal Gingerbread Eggnog and I’ll be sure to be back to try many of the other flavors advertised on the website such as lavender and milk chocolate & earl grey…
The Café au Lait macaron is literally the light coffee drink in a chewable form. Made with French Sumatra fresh roasted coffee and a hint of milk froth, the meringue is delicately crisp on the outer edges with a slightly dense middle and filled with soft caramel-colored, creamy coffee filling. The perfect size of the macaron also makes for a delightfully sweet treat that isn't overbearing. As you go in for your first bite of the Gingerbread Eggnog macaron, you can smell the toasty cinnamon and nutmeg spice and you can instantly taste the holiday spirit. I'm generally not an eggnog person but the warm flavors here combined with the texture of the cookie are just right. The French macaron is something of a legend in the world of desserts and TC Paris certainly knows the tricks of the trade.
[Quick tidbit of information: the authentic French macaron should not be confused with the coconut and dark chocolate macaroon that is often seen in and around cookie baskets this time of year. Although the macaroon is a great cookie for coconut lovers, I urge you to try the unique meringue macaron if you haven’t already!]
In addition to their macarons, their cookies definitely deserve some if not equal attention. I had to try to the “New Yorker”, whose glimpses of pretzel and chocolate chip were calling to me. The cookies are soft, dense and delicious and this particular one has ribbons of sweet caramel coursing through it along with the best surprise of them all, crisp potato chips. This is a sweet and salty lover’s dream cookie and its comes highly recommended by me.
If you are looking for a fabulous hostess gift for your upcoming holiday party, a stocking stuffer for your loved one or a fancy dessert for after Christmas dinner, TC Paris’s macarons are available to order on their website in packs of 10 and available at the café by the cookie and depending on the flavors of the day. The café also offers freshly baked croissants, Uncommon Grounds espresso and bagels, Saratoga Tea & Honey products as well as various sandwiches and beverages. Consult the website at www.tcbakery.com for all offerings and contact information or follow them on Facebook.
Get down there and try a macaron today- you can thank me later.