In addition to a rotating cast of about 10 macaron flavors and 15 cupcake offerings, the shop also offers loose teas, shortbread cookies and even a savory treat, a parmesan-spiked hazelnut-thyme cracker, that begs for a glass of wine to drink with it.
Timothy mans the store, while Winnette continues working full time at NIH. But the one thing she won’t leave to the baker whom the siblings hired are the macarons. She makes them herself, either before or after work.
Exquisite care goes into each. The shells contain only four ingredients: egg whites, almond flour, powdered sugar and granulated sugar. Combining them, though, is the tricky part. “It’s all in the technique,” she says. The final product must have a smooth top and a little ruffle on the bottom edge, known as “feet” or “pied.”
After baking, the gems are aged for 24 to 48 hours, a process that allows them to soften and their flavors to meld.
And for all the attention lavished on the macarons, the Sweet Lobby’s cupcakes aren’t exactly chopped liver. Lemon cupcakes are made with cream steeped in fresh lemon zest, and the chocolate features Valrhona, a fudge filling, and a whipped ganache frosting crowned with chocolate pearls.
The siblings have found that they’re going through so much citrus zest that they’re planning to introduce some kind of juice offering to make use of the naked fruits accumulating in the kitchen.
Winnette is diplomatic when it comes to the inevitable cupcake-vs.-macaron debate, even though she’s clearly a macaron partisan at heart. “There will always be a place for cupcakes and their nostalgic perfection,” she says. “But the macaron ...”
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
Roll Call has launched a new feature, Hill Navigator, to advise congressional staffers and would-be staffers on how to manage workplace issues on Capitol Hill. Please send us your questions anything from office etiquette, to handling awkward moments, to what happens when the work life gets too personal. Submissions will be treated anonymously.