A Sampling of Desserts at Bouchon Bakery, Shake Shack, and Mitzy’s Awesome Macarons

[I’m supposed to write about my brunch with Helen at Shopsin’s that took place two Saturdays ago but I don’t feel like it. I’ll post it once it’s ready to go…]

Last Thursday when I gotten my free sandwich from AQ Kafe, I walked over two blocks to the Time Warner Building to visit Bouchon Bakery for something sweet to cap off my lunch. When I peered in their refrigerated pastry case, I saw something I haven’t eaten since I was a wee lass, Ho-Hos.

Bouchon Ho-HoThat’s one fancy Ho-ho…

Knowing that Chef Thomas Keller likes to play with desserts and nostalgia (for example, their TKO is an upscale version of the Oreo cookie and the Nutter Butter) with pretty good results, I thought I might as well give it a try. Just looking at it before starting to ingest this baby, it’s quite large and promising.

Sliced Bouchon Ho-Ho

When I took a bite, I was relatively disappointed. Bouchon’s Ho-Ho is definitely elegant but the ratio of vanilla-specked whipped cream to cake is practically 3:1. Don’t get me wrong, I love whipped cream but it was overkill for my preference. The cake was moist and chocolate-y as the crisp, chocolate coating (due to tempering) was good. I think what threw me off was the fact that I’m expecting the original Ho-Ho, which obviously doesn’t work out.

Pumpkin Pie-OH-MY! (Really)

After my work day was done I headed over to Shake Shack since I had time on my hands until I have to head over to the Serious Eats office to pick up macarons from Mitzy. (I’ll talk about that later.)

Pumpkin Pie-Oh-My! Concrete Pumpkin Pie-Oh-My! Concrete
Pumpkin Pie-Oh-My! Concrete

Despite the fact that’s it’s almost 5 PM, the A-line (the line for burgers and everything else) was quite long. I would estimate a 30-minute wait by the time I would be ordering, if I felt hungry enough to eat a burger. But it wasn’t my craving. I wanted (or desire?) their Pumpkin Pie-Oh-My! concrete. Even though I had to linger for 15 minutes or so, it was worth the wait.

The dense, creamy vanilla custard blended with chunks of nicely spiced pumpkin pie. Not too sweet, not too heavily spiced that I was in custard heaven. Also the amount of whipped cream wasn’t off the wazoo compared to what I ate earlier at Bouchon.

There's a tree house...?
There’s a tree house?

But while I was taking my time eating my concrete and people watching around the park, I realized that there’s a tree house. That struck me as…odd. Since when was this up?

Mitzy’s Macarons of AWESOMENESS!

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’ve been graced by Mitzy‘s macarons. She came in from New Jersey to drop them off at Serious Eats’ office. Here’s a photo splodge of the macarons she gave me to sample:

Vibrant colors...
Macarons lined up Innards

In case you haven’t her post about her class with the legendary pastry chef Pierre Herme, I suggest you to read it. She has learned a lot from this man (or should I say, pastry god?). She’s inspired to start a macaron business hence the reason why she (along with Robyn and a few other lucky people) trying out her delightful experiments. I’m seriously grateful to be her guinea pig.

I have no doubt that she would crush pretty much all of the competition in NYC. Each time I’ve eaten her macarons, they keep getting better and better. The crust is perfectly thin and crisp. The crumb is fluffy, not too moist and flavorful of whatever flavor it supposed to be (like pistachio actually taste like a pistachio, not some alcoholic almond flavor). The fillings are spot on in terms of sweetness. I cannot find a flaw in these macarons except wanting more of them. Now I feel like I’m going through macaron withdrawal since I’m hankering for one now…

Bouchon Bakery
10 Columbus Circle, 3rd Floor
New York, NY (map)

Shake Shack
Southeast corner of Madison Ave & 23rd Street
New York, NY (map)


I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.

  1. stinkerbell says:

    I have to say I am a lurker but after years of living in Paris and now NYC(and just a few blocks away from both La Duree and Pierre Herme’s boutiques while in Paris with at least once weekly visits…) I had to hop out and say I am absolutely jealous about the macaron tasting.

    if there is one french thing I would love to know how to make those would be it (second would be Kayser Canneles!) but at least this can give me hope that I will find something that really resembles (Bouchon is NOTHING near) a real macaron :)

  2. Tara says:

    So much tastiness, all in one day! It is too bad that the Bouchon Hoho was such a disappointment. It shows you looks aren’t everything, no? I have to say I agree, there looks to be far too much cream in there.

    The custard makes me wish (again) that we had Shake Shacks in Canada.

    I cannot get over the gorgeous hues of the macarons! Just so vibrant. Thanks for sharing all of this.

  3. thewanderingeater says:

    stinkerbell: Nice to hear from you! I envy the fact that you lived in Paris (my dream to visit someday) and you LIVE near Laudree AND PH?! Waah…

    Anyway, I do agree with you that Bouchon’s macarons are NOT real French macarons. Textures are off (they tend to be very chewy and almondy) and they’re humongous (the American portion size; bigger doesn’t always mean better).

    VeggieGirl: Definitely!

    M+Y: I have to backtrack on what you’re referring. But yeah, the Bouchon Ho-Ho looks very enticing but it’s a FAIL. :(

    Kathy: I wish she opened her bakery/business by now! I’d totally be her usual customer. I’m officially addicted. Hahaha…

    Tara: Yeah, looks aren’t everything but it does count a bit.

    The concrete (or custard) is very good. This is the only place in NYC that we could get this stuff.

    You’re welcome and thanks for reading! :)

  4. Carolyn Jung says:

    That Ho-Ho looks sooooo gourmet! But then, it is from Bouchon Bakery. I know what ya mean, though, it DOES look like an awful lot of cream. I, too, love cream. But do you want a giant mouthful of cream and nothing else? I think not….

  5. thewanderingeater says:

    giz: I love Bouchon, too! I’ve written too many posts (27 or so – I know, scary) for this place already.

    mysweetestday: Thanks!

    Carolyn: I agree. I might as well get myself a bowl of whipped cream if I wanted that much.

    Gordon: Her macarons are divine! I can’t wait for it either.

    Megan: Umm…I guess? I’m not too sure which you’re referring to.

  6. Mitzy says:

    Tina, thank you so much for mentioning my macarons on your blog, I’m very flattered :-)

    About the pumpkin pie concrete that you got, does Shake Shack have that flavor everyday? I didn’t see it on the custard calendar and I’m on a “mission” to try good pumpkin desserts :-)

  7. Mikey V says:

    I picked up some macaroons at bouchon this week, along with a TKO and the tuna sandwich… the macaroons and sandwich were yummy, and the tko… i couldn’t even finish it after 2 bites… i think i went into it with the same thought you did with the ho-ho’s… i was expecting something even yummier and delicious then an oreo, and that just cannot be…

  8. belltowngirl says:

    Love your your food blog and everything about desserts!! Very detailed and to the point and crisp pics! I am new food blogger so I am in experimental stage :)

    – Crystal

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