How can one small dome shaped sandwich cookie caused so much fascination and following? To add on, it is also interesting to know that even the pronunciation of Macaron (Mah-kah-rohn) is often confused with Macaroon (Mak-e-roon) – obviously the MasterChef judges should know better, right?
While we haven’t have the privilege of Sydney-based Adriano Zumbo’s famous Zumbarons arriving at the shores of Melbourne (we heard that it’s coming real soon!), the macaron phenomenon has since grown with the emergence of many patisseries in Melbourne like La Belle Miette, Cacao and LuxBite.
BEAUTIFUL CRUMBS : LA BELLE MIETTE
Please excuse the cracked macaron – due to my mishandling when photographing :(
Spotting La Belle‘s quaint French patisserie is easy as it is the only shop that screams Parisian at Hardware Lane. Described in French as ‘beautiful little crumbs’ and established in 2011, this macaron speciality store has been a smash, offering up to 20 flavours ranging from classic to mod-new flavours.
My favourites are the Salted caramel, ‘Bastille’ Moet et Chandon and Blackcurrant, Cherry Blossom & Sake and Hazelnut ($2.5 each). So far, I’ve only tried about 10 of them but I am definitely going to indulge myself in a boxful of the remaining flavours very soon. La Belle’s macarons come in uniform sizes and the crisp cookie shell is smooth and delicate. The crust of the cookie is thin and biting through the crust is effortless revealing the smooth and light filling. Flavours should shine through and La Belle’s did just that without too much sweetness. Yummy factor: +4
Also available at Collins Street, Church Street outlets and pop-up cart at Chadstone.
LUXURY MORSELS : LUXBITE
With their “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” motto on their shop front in South Yarra, Malaysian couple Bernard Chu and Yen Yee have gained sweet success with their macaron and Lolly Bag cake since the appearance in MasterChef Australia. With so much hype about this place, I finally got my hands on a few of their macarons.
LuxBite boasts 16 flavours featuring exciting South East Asian flavours like Kopiko, Ribena Lemonade and Pandan. Sometimes, they even have specials that is offered seasonally. I brought home a box of 4 ($11). Out of the 4, only Sour Strawberry shine through. The other flavours – Pandan, Bamboo Oolong Tea and Champagne & Griottine Cherry (special flavour) was either lost in translation or too sweet :( Would I come back? Hmm, not for the macaron, but I will try the much-raved about cake especially the Lolly Bag cake that is always sold out! Yummy factor : +3
CHOCARON OR MACARON : CACAO
As with many Patisseries that branch out of their specialty and into the macaron madness, Cacao did the same. Well known for their exquisite hand-made chocolates and their signature Hot Chocolate made from the finest Belgium chocolates, one can just spend their afternoon in one of their 4 cafe locations to enjoy them.
With close to 18 bold flavours, it wasn’t easy to decide but I went ahead and got a box of 4 ($10.5). The outer shell is not as delicate and smooth as La Belle’s but the ganache filling is light and closely imitates the flavour. My favourite ones are the NY Cheesecake, Peanut butter and milk chocolate and Vanilla Lavender. I will come back to get more of these macarons particularly the Pistachio and Violet & Cassis. Since my last visit, Cacao has launched Chocaron – chocolate coated macaron. For the chocolate and macaron fans, this combination is to die-for. Yummy factor : +3.5
Also available at St Kilda, Westfield Doncaster and Highpoint Shopping Centre.
While writing this post, I’ve googled a lot about Macaron. Here’s a very good article from Food Nouveau‘s All about Macaron which also has illustrated step-by-step recipe. Happy Reading and Happy Baking!
Now, I’ve shared my favourite macaron flavour. What’s your all-time favourite flavour?