Sunday, June 26, 2011

J'adore Macarons - French Macaron Review Part 2

Ever since I had heard of macarons, the name Laduree was always something I heard or read about. The nicest photos online were that of Laduree.

The only macarons I had tried in New Zealand were by Ma Cherie and for the time, they were good. Then I tried making my own and enjoyed the ones I made more. But I really had no idea what they were "supposed" to taste like.

Laduree Stall in Heathrow Airport in London

Our Europe trip started with two weeks in Holland but our flight actually landed in Heathrow Airport in London and transferred to Amsterdam. In those couple of very jet lagged hours at the massive Heathrow terminal 5, I managed to find a macaron stall, not just any macaron stall, a Laduree macaron stall!

My First Ever French Macaron Experience: Laduree
I bought three flavours: Salted Caramel, Green Apple and Vanilla.
Salted caramel was very decadent and oh so delicious! Vanilla was melt in your mouth gooood! The filling was to die for and it left me wanting to re-create this at home (goodness knows how!) Green Apple, however was not a nice experience, it tasted like I was eating an oily gummy candy, too sweet and weird!

My first impression of French macarons:
They seem very moist compared to the ones I had tried in NZ, not cheap either! At Heathrow Airport they were 1.60 Pounds each!

Laduree Shop
Me Outside the Laduree Restaurant in Paris

My Laduree Experience:
After walking miles and miles I can't begin to tell you just how sore my feet were (seriously, I have to see a Dr now because my left foot is screwed up!) But when I saw Laduree, glowing, all pastel green and golden, I couldn't have cared less about my feet! I took some photos by the entrance and of the window displays (AMAZING window displays!) Then entered into heaven.

Laduree Macaron Tower
Macaron Tower Display in the Window of Laduree

I walked into Laduree and starting clicking away, taking photos until someone told me not to. There were macaron towers, desserts, chocolates, pastries and macarons galore! I ordered a box of eight. My first thoughts were *exciting I'm getting a Laduree box* Then, I had to pick eight flavours! How to choose?! I chose Blackcurrant Violet, Orange Blossom, Almond Morello Cherry, Vanilla, Mint & Strawberry, Dark Chocolate, Coconut and Melon. I also bought a raspberry and rose dessert called Ispahan from Laduree, this looked amazing and I was scared to eat it because of it's beauty!

Strawberry Display Inside Laduree (they're all edible desserts!)

After a long, long day in Paris we got back to our hotel where me and my husband starting devouring these delicious macarons, I wrote a little journal entry about each one:

Laduree Macarons
Macarons from Laduree
From top to bottom:
Blackcurrant Violet: Mmm nice and tangy! Sharp taste and a bit of sour, this is my second fave I think!

Orange Blossom: Delightful! Tasted like a sort of cream in the middle, similar consistency to it too. Nice light flavour -perfect!

Almond Morello Cherry: Yum! Much like the Blackcurrant Violet this one has a lovely sweet tangyness to it. Cherry is always one of my faves though, so I'm a little bias!

Vanilla: This was nicer than the one I had at the airport, those were a lot softer in the middle than these fresh macarons.

Mint & Strawberry: Surprisingly nice, refreshing, not too sweet. Almost a jelly-like centre.

Dark Chocolate: Just like a brownie, these remind me of the ones I made, mainly because of the dark choc ganache. Mmm I could eat a plate of these for dessert!

Coconut:Wowzers! Totally my fave so far, nice light centre that's like the middle of a Bounty Bar or coconut ice but not as sweet.

Melon: Weird filling, feels like I'm eating a melon oil essence. Think I'll give this a miss next time I'm in Paris.

Ispahan Raspberry Rose Dessert from Laduree

Ispahan (Raspberry & Rose Dessert):
Delicious fresh raspberries on a raspberry macaron base with a creamy rose flavoured filling and more raspberries inside. This was a little hard to eat but well worth it once I got in. Me and hubby ate the top off first then took turns biting the base and oh-my-gosh! YUMMY! SO yum and SO worth six Euros!

The Verdict: Laduree:
I love Laduree macarons, I can now say I've tried them and they're the best that I've tried. They are slightly chewier than the other macarons I tried while in Paris. The shells stay in tact when you pick them up and have a definite almondy taste, the fillings are lighter and not as filled as Peirre Herrme. The flavour choices were great, heaps to choose from so I REALLY want to go back and try them all now!

Laduree macarons
My Laduree Bag and Macarons (I kept them!)

Hope you enjoyed my review of the real French macaron, I know I loved the taste testing! Next stop for me  is the Dizengoff Cafe in Ponsonby where my friend, Danelle, tells me there are some amazing macarons to try! See her post here about the exciting flavours she tried.

Au Revoir!

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