Monday, June 14, 2010

Macarons from Ladurée, Paris

Macarons is one of the pastries I grew to like because of the blog. To be frank, without the intent to blog about these hamburger look-alike pastry, I would not have know so much about it and just labelled it sweet and overpriced.

Macarons from Laduree, Paris

And if you talk to any macaron lovers, Ladurée and Pierre Hermé are names you will not missed. So you can imagine my excitement when I received a box of 20 Laduree's macarons. For those who are new to these 2 major players in Paris, one is known to be the inventor of these classic French treats while the other is known for its creative flavours. Judging from the posts on the internet, it seems that Ladurée adopts traditional flavours with textures that are considered to be best while Pierre Hermé comes up with beautiful concoctions of flavours with the use of olive oil, saffron, wasabi, etc.

These are very delicate, given its egg shell-like crust and moist interior, they were damaged pretty badly after a long flight. Moreover, this was bought on Friday and I only received them on Monday. Fret not, they are really good. I couldn't resist the temptation any longer and I pop almost 9 macarons in a go. Since I have left them out at room temperature for about an hour or so, they were soggy when I first consumed them.

As I mentioned in my previous post, it is never easy to achieve a strong flavour in a macaron and hence the key often lies in the filling. The filling Ladurée adopts is smooth ganache filling and though the flavours are traditional, each mouthful are bursting with flavours.

A closer look at Laduree's macarons

Often, my choice of flavours would be rose and pistachio and these flavours doesn't disappoint. Despite not eating it fresh from the shop in Paris, the crisp crust, the meaty core, the flavour, the innards, everything about it is so perfect. So it is more of choosing the right flavours to suit individual preference.

One of the main highlights of Ladurée lies in the flavours, in general for most macarons, the first bite is often sweet, leaving one to figure out the flavour but Ladurée's flavour strikes distinctively even on the first bite. Rose, pistachio, caramel and vanilla are more distinctive in its fragrance and texture while fruity flavours such as raspberry, citron and liquorice have melt-in-your-mouth effect, like a tangy candy (or a pear sweet as Yuan described) diffusing its flavour in the palatte. When having it chilled, the chocolate macarons are chewy with the essence of chocolate lingering in the palette.

Geez, I am so like a kid, receiving my present from Santa Claus.

Ladurée, Paris


ice said...

Lucky you. (:

I haven't tried Ladurée's but those who have tried both Ladurée and Pierre Hermé's macarons noted a distinct difference in sweetness & textures of the macaron shells.

I always prefer ganache fillings, that's why Pierre Hermé is excellent. ET Artisan's blackforest, SweetSpot's green tea & pistachio stood out because of the ganache fillings too.

Anonymous said...

I've tried both and I still prefer pierre herme's to laduree's.

Pierre herme has a greater variety of flavours and his macarons are more moist than chewy. So it all boils down to personal preference I guess, whether you prefer it more chewy or moist :D

And I find that macarons are best consumed when the temperature is 10+ celsius or the whole ensemble will be too soggy!

Fen said...

Ice: Yea, I gathered the same information while surfing the internet. Pierre Herme was out of the way for my colleague so she got me lots of Laduree's macarons.

I am not very particular when it comes to fillings but rather I would prefer a strong flavour to cover up the sweetness. Looks like it is time to drop by ET Artisan but darn, they close at 6pm which is also my knock off time.

Rachel: Lucky you to try both. I saw your wall of fame for macarons and wow... there seems to be many interesting ones which I have yet to try. How is Luxemburgli and Macarons (not sure if that is the name of the patisserie) compared to Laduree?

I am not sure if I will like Pierre Herme since I prefer the flavours to be simpler. Hopefully I will have an opportunity to try.

I understand what you meant by soggy ensemble, that was how it tasted for the first 5 macarons but the flavour compensated for this shortcoming.

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