Posts Tagged ‘French macarons

27
May
12

Macaron Bee opens. Georgetown becomes even more dangerous for the pancreatically challenged.

Not only are there a bunch of ice cream, pie, and cupcake places in Georgetown, but also more than a handful of European cafes (Paul, Patisserie Poupon, Dolcezza, Kafe Leopold) pushing buttery pastries. Last weekend, Macaron Bee entered the fray on Wisconsin Avenue. It’s a tiny boutique that sells only French macarons, like Macaron Cafe in NY.

Macaron Bee offers classics like coconut, chocolate, and pistachio--plus more exotic flavors like blood orange, lavender chocolate, and gianduja.

My haul from Macaron Bee. They carry about a dozen flavors every day, ranging from the expected (chocolate, pistachio) to the exotic (blood orange, chocolate lavender).

The owners are an Asian couple who seem to know their stuff when it comes to this fetishized French cookie. For $1.75, you get a macaron with just the right crunch, giving way to chewy centers and not-too-sweet fillings. The cookies’ consistency and flavors held up in sweaty 90-degree weather–even after a day in the fridge.

Macaron Bee is a few doors down from Patiesserie Poupon in Georgetown.

The store is a bit of a schlep up Wisconsin Avenue, a few doors north of Patisserie Poupon.

I do have a small beef with the fillings, though. For instance, I want a salted caramel filling in its namesake macaron. These had more of a buttercream, which threw me off. Macaron Bee fares better with the fruit (jelly) fillings and chocolate fillings, where the consistency doesn’t remind me of biting down on a pat of Land O’Lakes.

The inside of Macaron Bee is a macaron fan's wet dream.

Rows upon rows of macarons greet you as you enter the tiny store.

I was impressed with the attention to detail that went into making these cookies. The gianduja had chopped hazelnuts adorning the outer cookie; the salted caramel, salt granules; etc. Minor detail, but this helped me figure out which flavor was what when I left the store.

The owners’ meticulousness is also obvious in their packaging. The adorable boxes are made for gifting–check out those bees leaving a trail of macarons in their wake (above).

Macaron Bee offers your standard flavors, and some more exotic ones.

Flavors, clockwise starting at 9 o’clock: salted caramel, blood orange, chocolate lavender, coconut, raspberry, pistachio, blood orange, and milk chocolate passionfruit.

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02
Aug
11

Tout de Sweet and Sweet Lobby’s macarons go mano a mano

The basil-lemon from Tout de Sweet. Photographer & hand model extraordinaire: JDang

JDang bites into the Tout de Sweet basil-lemon macaron after our Sweet Lobby macaron bender. “OMG, Sweet Lobby doesn’t even compare.”

Ms. Cake: “Well, I wouldn’t kick Sweet Lobby’s macarons out of bed.”

JDang: “I would! I’d kick them out!”

Sweet Lobby's macarons. The passionfruit-chocolate flavor you need to try is the yellow one.

By way of explanation, JDang had arrived in DC on the HOTTEST G’DAMN DAY OF THE YEAR, yet that didn’t prevent her from schlepping down to Eastern Market to pick up some Sweet Lobby macarons (tagline: “The ultimate advocate for your sweet tooth”) for us to try. The best part is that she didn’t want them to melt, so she went straight back to the house to get them into the fridge ASAP. Now that kind of dedication, I admire.

While Sweet Lobby had some interesting flavors (Earl Grey, orange ginger, lavender), the quality was all over the map. Some were underbaked, resulting in a cookie-dough consistency; others were overbaked and crispy all the way through.* The exception being the passionfruit chocolate, which was awesomely delicious.

*Ideally the cookie part of a macaron should be crispy on the outside, chewy inside.

Tout de Sweet's macarons > Sweet Lobby's


09
May
10

Michel Patisserie macaroons, coconut cake from ACKC

Walking into ACKC, there’s temptation at every turn. I could have easily blown beaucoup bucks there, so I was lucky to leave with just these macaroons and cake.

Orange, passionfruit, chocolate & pistachio macaroons. The clear winner was passionfruit.

At $2/macaroon, expectations are high, especially for such a small cookie. While these were really good, with the perfect texture and density (crispy outer, chewy inner), the fillings were ho-hum–with the exception of the passionfruit one, the only one maybe worth paying $2 for.

If you’re crazy for macaroons, the ones from Praline in Bethesda are almost as good, larger, and cost just over $1. (I say just like that’s cheap or something.)

At $5/slice for the coconut cake, you’d do almost as well by getting a slice of birthday cake from Safeway and sprinkling some coconut on it. Coconut was more of an afterthought than the main act. If you want to try one of the cakes behind the counter at ACKC, I’d go for something else.

28
Apr
10

Best French macaroons in DC

Washingtonian magazine taste-tested them and here’s their top 4, from the May issue.

1. Adour, $22/dozen, 202-509-8000. At nearly $2/each, isn’t it weird that boutique cupcakes look like a deal in comparison?

2. Michel Patisserie, available at ACKC, 202-387-2626. Washingtonian recommends the chocolate and raspberry flavors. Pie V. Cake recommends the passionfruit (review here: http://bit.ly/bdKK86). $2 each.

3. Fancy Cakes by Leslie, 301-652-9390. These are $1.85 each and larger than your average quarter-sized macaroon.

4. Restaurant Eve, 703-706-0450. $8 for 6. They do a Guiness macaroon that’s actually supposed to be good.

Call in advance to order these babies from Adour.

If you can’t get a hold of those macaroons, or refuse to pay that kind of money for tiny French cookies, try Trader Joe’s macaroons at $4.99/dozen. Review here: http://bit.ly/8SkInT

03
Mar
10

It’s official. French macaroons are the next cupcake.

Or are they? I know of just a handful of shops that sell macaroons exclusively. They’re hard to make and keep crispy–texture is big, since you want the cookie part to have the effect of a meringue. Plus, their price (starting at $1 when you buy them individually, for a cookie barely larger than a quarter) makes $3 cupcakes look like a value.

Excerpt from the Salon.com article by Thomas Rogers:

But, even in their diminished form, the macaron is likely headed for a popular explosion. As YumSugar’s Susannah Chen point out in the Wall Street Journal, it has the makings of the next cupcake craze: “They come in different colors and flavors, and they’re indulgent, but they won’t wreck your calorie count for the day.”

Read the full article here: http://bit.ly/bMC9OH

Photo Source: Notes from My Food Diary. Click photo to view.

02
Mar
10

McDonald’s likens French macaroons to Big Macs

That’s right. The French macaroon, those little melt-in-your-mouth beauties, are available at McCafes in France. Apparently, the French aren’t happy about it. I can see why this ad (and the idea in general) might have them crying foul. Read the WSJ article here: http://bit.ly/9pTmGj

I’ve got mixed feelings. If these are well-executed (they’d better be decent if you’re selling French cookies to the French), then I’m not opposed to their being available on every street corner at a decent price. If they suck, then the French may have a case for beating us with baguettes.

27
Dec
09

Never met a macaroon I didn’t like

But I was disappointed by these from Starbucks, made by Chateau Blanc. Macaroons are supposed to be crispy on the outside. These are soggy, probably due to being transported from France, then languishing too long in the refrigerated case next to the tuna paninis.

Texture-wise, they have a nice heft and chewiness to them, if you can overlook the lack of crunch. With the exception of the raspberry, jam-filled macaroon (my favorite), the other fillings were mostly cream-based and somewhat lacking in flavor.

They’re $9.99/dozen, limited edition through the holidays. That’s what the advertising says, anyway. But at twice the price of the Trader Joe’s macaroons, might as well go for the Trader Joe’s. (Unless you like fruity macaroons. TJ’s only offers chocolate and vanilla. Read about ’em here: http://bit.ly/8SkInT).




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