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un peu capoté…

my life in pictures

I posted this to my facebook page: First attempt at macarons – uh, not so good. More research needed before trying again. My friend Sarah responded by stating that she had done a croissant crawl, suggesting we do the same with macarons. Melanie took the challenge and created a list of bakeries that made macarons. She (wonderfully!) organized our outing… the great macaron crawl was happening!

We met at The Urban Tea Merchant, where we decided that we would order four macarons (at $3.90/macaron), splitting three immediately amongst us and taking one to go for later.

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We chose (from left to right) Napoleon (black tea with French spices, hints of vanilla and chocolate), Grand Wedding (black tea with passion fruit and coconut), Lemon Bush (red rooibos with wild citrus fruits) and Earl Grey Fortune (darjeeling with bergamot). We decided to save the Napoleon for later, since it’s the Urban Tea Merchant’s best seller.

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We decided that the Grand Wedding macaron was delicious, with great texture and flavour. The Lemon Bush was also amazing – one of my personal favourites from the day. The Earl Grey was good, although not our favourite flavour. We couldn’t really taste the earl grey.

Next, we walked about ten steps and went into Thierry. They had four flavours to offer at the time (at $1.75/macaron), so we got one of each: lemon, maple, blackberry and coconut. We also ordered some coffees and croissants – hey, we can’t exist on macarons alone!

After our experience at the first location, we were a little let down, decided that price really did reflect quality in this case! The macarons weren’t consistently sized. The fillings weren’t quite as full flavoured, and sometimes stuck in our mouths a little bit. We saved the coconut macaron for later and headed to our next location.

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We found ourselves at Cho Pain – I love the name of that place. There were only two macarons left in their shelves, so that’s all we ordered. Thank goodness. We couldn’t quite figure out if the shelves were empty because the bakery hadn’t bothered to restock from the day (or more) before, or if all the good ones were taken, but the macaron we ate was brittle and rather tasteless. We ended up (*gasp*) throwing out the second one!

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Disappointed, we headed to Ganache, a bakery with so many beautiful cakes on display. I ended up taking pictures of inspirational cakes with components that I’d love to try on my own cakes one day! They only made and sold mini macarons, so we bought a box of nine minis.

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There were three coffee, two strawberry, two lemon and two chocolate. We all tried the coffee first, deciding not to save any for later. We found the texture to be off – in fact, all the macarons were hollow inside. Taking a bite was next to impossible – it would crumble. We split the rest, each deciding on a flavour we didn’t need to try. I had the lemon and the strawberry, finding both a little too strong on the extract taste. I missed the true lemon flavour from the first location.

We made our way to Sarah’s car so that we could drive to Kits for our final location – Thomas Haas. By this point, we were very hungry. We ordered sandwiches – I got the smoked salmon. So very tasty, and I don’t normally enjoy sandwiches all that much! I think it was the use of the brioche. And the dill crème fraîche. And the salmon. You get the idea!

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After eating, we ordered our last round of macarons.

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As you can see, we got six this time. The macarons were $1.75 each, but a set of six cost less than $10 before tax. We chose pistachio, champagne, mocha, cassis, passion fruit and kalamansi.

We cut them up, just like the other macarons.

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We also cut up the macarons from The Urban Tea Merchant and Thierry, opting to eat the coconut macaron from Theirry, knowing that we wouldn’t like it as much as the others. The general consensus was that the Thomas Haas macarons were very good, even though we liked the Urban Tea Merchant ones better… but that we would likely return to Thomas Haas for the combination of great taste and price.

My favourites from the day:
Lemon Bush and Napoleon – The Urban Tea Merchant
Pistachio and Mocha – Thomas Haas

I had a terrific time with Melanie, Sarah, and way too much dessert. We’re all looking forward to our next crawl… even if we don’t know what it is just yet. Ideas?

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