Monday, 8 February 2010

macaron vs macaron

Just a little post to excite you on a Monday morning.

Oh there is a new kid on the block in London town, perhaps the King of the Macaron Pierre Herme.  You may have heard me bleat on about the wonderful Laduree.  Indeed they have reigned supreme in my estimations for a long time now.  I try and taste them wherever I go from the market to high end patisserie but I have always come back to Laduree.  They are innovative with their flavours and one is simply never enough but when I heard about the new little Herme concession in Selfridges I did get rather excited.

So my wonderful Bean was out wandering and had remembered reading about the new concession and felt it was time for a tasting.  He came home laden with goodies and we sat down with a pretty plate, knife and a spreadsheet all at the ready!  Over a number of hours we indulged and indulged some more.  Here are the results!  They are making my mouth water again but my sugar headache stops me!

Salted Caramel
A firm favourite of mine.  The Laduree example has a delightfully caramel texture filling.  Not too sweet and with an excellent burst of saltiness.  This is in comparison to the Herme which has a more mousse-like filling.  Top marks to Laduree yet Herme will never offend!

Rose and Quince
A fabulous innovation by Herme.  Rose confectionery can often be far too sweet but with the addition of the quince it turns into a thrilling treat.  This is in comparison to the simple Laduree rose which is delicate without too much sweetness.

Chocolate
The Bean is the chocolate aficionado in our little house.  So I defer to his judgement in this case.  The Herme has a delectable bitterness which evolves slowly whereas the Laduree is full on chocolate from the plate!  I think we enjoyed the Herme slightly more.

Strawberry and Balsamic Vinegar
This concoction by Herme was not up to par.  I thought I would be wowed by this combination.  As a true English girl there is seldom anything more thrilling than strawberries bathed in balsamic vinegar.  Yet in this case the vinegar was far too prominent.  Maybe this was because I was savouring every morsel.  A strong strawberry note came towards the end so perhaps eating this one whole is far more satisfying.

Vanilla
Perhaps the standard by which all macarons should be measured?  Both were of a very high standard yet the Herme does edge out Laduree with a powerful punch of vanilla and is not as sweet as it's competitor.

Finally, Sesame Nougatine
The same word crossed our lips when we tasted this Herme mix.  This tastes like Japanese!  The sesame was intensely strong.  Too strong for me but for those who enjoy a strong sesame kick this is the one for you!

So who wins?  Well the Herme macarons are innovative, larger with a mousse like consistency which tingles the tastebuds.  Yet I have adored Laduree for some time and whilst sometimes you do hit a dud with them I do think they still reign supreme!  But do not take my word for it.  Go forth and taste.  My next plan is to perfect a home recipe!  Watch this space.

Also because of all the excitement and most probably the sugar rush I completely forgot to take any photographs of the macarons of deliciousness and so you will have to imagine the prettiness and feast your eyes on the mediocrity that is my photography of a couple of salted caramel cupcakes from Crumbs and Dollies upon we also gorged the day before! The perfect combination of sweet and monstrously naughty salt crystals!








All by my own clumsy hands!

11 comments:

  1. anna, you're making hungry, which is not good, since it's my bedtime. those cupcakes look divine. i have to agree though...salted caramels are my favorite.

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  2. all sound very sweet and delectable! and cute cupcakes :)

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  3. Mmmm, Anna this post is excellent. I am yet to try a Laduree macaroon, I know I know, my head is hanging in shame. So now I have two places to go try, which is even more exciting! And if you do get a new recipe, share away, I'd love to try making some myself too!

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  4. Would you believe, before blogs I had never heard of macarons? Only macaroons, the humble biscuity-almondy item. Not half so nom-able.

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  5. You're taunting me with your beautiful cupcakes. I can't stand it anymore. Must get cake. Now.

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  6. Anna,

    I love reading your comments and have been meaning to say 'hello' and this post has made me. I love salted caramels - to the extent that if I was to ever have a blog I may just call it that!
    Keep Writing,
    ra

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  7. I've never had a macaron and I now HAVE to find some. Strawberry and balsamic was a really strange combination for me to get my head round, it just seems all wrong but tastes so good.

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  8. People, people, people. I think I need to arrange a little macaron and champagne party! Seriously! We should totally do it!

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  9. what a delightful thing to read before breakfast! i have been searching the streets of london for macarons. and now, i know a few to try!

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  10. mmm macarons...
    we've got some decent ones in LA, at paulette.
    though I don't get over there nearly often enough.
    they definitely don't have such adventurous flavors as salted caramel and strawberry and balsamic though!
    I tried making them once. it's not the easiest thing ever. they weren't pretty but they tasted yummy. so much butter though...

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So, I really love all the sweet and/or informative comments that you lovelies leave. Yet if you feel the need to be unnecessarily rude or offensive I will delete your comment and not feel bad about it. So just be constructive alright! Hugs to all you wondrous others.

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