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un peu capoté…

my life in pictures

We enjoyed our first macaron crawl so much, we decided to go on a second one! Luckily for us, macarons are all the craze. More and more shops are carrying them.

First, we hit up French Made Baking. We got a pack of six, consisting of four different flavours: Earl Grey, pistachio, passionfruit and salted caramel. We decided to save some for further comparison later and dove into the Earl Grey and other salted caramel. Melanie brought a knife this time, so dividing them up was much easier!

The verdict?

Earl Grey – Nice Earl Grey flavour

Salted Caramel – Delicious. Heaven. Nommy goodness.

Both macarons had terrific texture, with just the right amount of gumminess.

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Next, we went to Bel Café on West Georgia. After finishing off some soup, we got three macarons (starting with the green, going clockwise): pistachio, black sesame and cookies and cream.

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Again, we saved the pistachio for tasting later and then divvied up the other two.

The verdict?

Cookies and Creme – Tasty. My favourite from Bel Café! It really tasted likes cookies and creme.

Black Sesame, Yuzu – Interesting flavour, not what we expected with the name, “black sesame”. Tasty, though.

The next stop was Soirette Macarons and Tea on West Pender. They have an adorable little shop with great photographs of their macarons. They also had  a wide selection of beautiful macarons. We got six. Starting from the top left, moving clockwise, we got: cappuccino, pistachio, caramel fleur de sel, maple, Guinness and Earl Grey. We saved the caramel fleur de sel, cappuccino and pistachio.

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The verdict?

Guinness – Certainly  a novelty, but wasn’t what we expected to taste. It seemed quite chocolatey.

Earl Grey – A strong Earl Grey flavour (which I expect from a tea and macaron shop!), but I preferred the flavour from French Made.

Maple – Tasty and sweet. We had a debate about whether it was too sweet or not, but mostly agreed that sweet comes with the maple territory.

When Melanie cut into the second macaron and we all worried – it made a loud “crunch”. Sure enough, most of the macarons from Soirette had a hard outer shell and a gap of air between the shell and the part touching the filling. The texture was disappointing.

Finally, we headed over to Le Marché St. George for some macarons made by Kitchening with Carly. We got three flavours: pistachio, raspberry and lemon. Unfortunately, they came frozen. We decided to return to Melanie’s to let them defrost in time for the final tasting.

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There, we cut up all the pistachio macarons for fair comparison. We had one from each of the four stops, plus one from Thomas Haas – Sarah bought it yesterday for comparison’s sake.

The Pistachio Comparison

Here was our order of preference, from favourite to least favourite.

  1. Thomas Haas
  2. Bel Café
  3. French Made Baking
  4. Kitchening with Carly
  5. Soirette

The decisions were based on texture and flavour. Thomas Haas and Bel Café had the best pistachio flavours. French Made Baking didn’t have the punch of flavour, but the texture was consistently good. The Kitchening with Carly macarons were mushy, probably from being defrosted. The flavour from Soirette was too weak and the texture was off, too. The macaron was just too crunchy on the outside, with that funny air pocket.

We started to wonder. We really felt all day that French Made Bakery was the best… but could we really say so, based on the way their pistachio macaron stacked up? To test, we tried a passion fruit (from French Made Bakery) and the raspberry macarons (from Kitchening with Carly and from Thomas Haas), and found that French Made was better.

Finally, we cut up our favourite of the day, just to test to see if it was truly our favourite. One last bite of the salted caramel was enough to confirm that, yes, French Made has now moved into the number one spot for macarons. Admittedly, we are curious to try fresh Kitchening with Carly macarons, as the flavours for those were terrific, but the defrosting left us with mushy, wet macarons.

In case you are interested in prices, the macarons at French Made and Thomas Haas cost $1.75 and the macarons at Bel Café, Soirette and Le Marché St. George were $2, although I think that there is a slight discount at most places if you buy in boxes of six.

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