The Macaron list of 2011

Here’s an updated list of my favourite macarons. Instead of listing them by place, I’m listing my favourite macarons because consistency in quality is so difficult to get nowadays!

1. Jewels Artisan Chocolate for their black palm island salt macaron and raspberry macaron

Chef Then may be well known as a chocolatier, but I actually adore her macarons much more. Not every flavour is mindblowing but they are all pretty good. Expect to find more than one flavour in her fillings, and most have soft centres. Black palm island salt for example, has a salted egg centre while her raspberry has a tart raspberry center. Word of caution though, do eat your macarons at the cafe itself because they don’t survive well. They are very well-aged so I never found the quality to be as good when I keep them for more than a day. Also I find consistency a bit of a problem. Had issues with their salted caramel macaron which was so uncharacteristically bad.

Price: $2++ for 1, POSB/DBS cardholders get 10% off

Review #1, #2

2. ET Artisan Sweets for their blackforest (brandied cherry middle), green tea (adzuki red bean middle), yuzu (yuzu custard middle), pumpkin (seasonal, pumpkin puree middle), vanilla bean (with valrhona chocolate pearls), and chocolate hazelnut (with crispy feuilletine)

My first impression of ET wasn’t that spectacular, but I quickly became a convert after tasting their macs again after more than a year. Throw out all my criticisms in here because I seriously think that their macs taste much better now.

For one, ET ages their macs for at least 2 days. The flavours are always rotating, and there are seasonal flavours. I’m always excited to find out what’s new when I’m there! Most importantly, they are consistent in terms of quality- no such things as airpockets in shells, overtly chewy shells or flavourless buttercream. I really should stop waxing lyrical about ET now, but just bear with me for few more seconds okay?

Besides the yuzu flavoured buttercream, ET also makes a yuzu custard centre that really accentuates the citrusy sweet flavour of the yuzu. This is no doubt one of their most popular flavours.

Pumpkin is the latest addition that is still selling in the shop. Other christmas flavours were rum raisin and hot chocolate which unfortunately aren’t being sold anymore. Pumpkin puree is mixed in the buttercream, and the mac has an additional gooey centre of pumpkin puree. When the friend brought macs for our christmas party, everyone was fighting to get a bite of this!

On the left is green tea which is absolutely delicious IMO because it has all my favourite flavours, namely green tea and adzuki red bean. The green tea is much stronger now, so green tea fans rejoice! It’s miles better than jewels’ green tea mac, trust me. Oh and for those vanilla purists out there, you will be glad to see that ET’s buttercream for the vanilla mac is speckled with vanilla beans. I believe they use Madagascan vanilla beans but don’t quote me on that. And a little update, they used to use valrhona but now they use Michael cluizel chocolate.  It’s still really good so no worries.

And if you haven’t yet noticed, ET has changed their packaging! The motif now has an adorable baby blue background and gold foil detail on the leaves. Without a doubt ET has the prettiest packaging that can rival even laduree at almost half the price. If you are planning to give the macs as a gift, you can get them to tie a ribbon for you, and request a pretty paper bag to go along with it.

Prices have increased but trust me it’s still very affordable. Their macs are almost 1.5 times the size of jewels, no kidding.

I’m a huge fan of ET now. Though I buy their macs at least once every 2 weeks I bet i’m still not their number 1 customer. They have such a huge following that their macs (esp the popular flavours like blackforest) fly off the shelves literally. Please make a trip down if you haven’t!

Price of 1: $2.50, 5 in a box: $12.50, 6 in a box: $15, 12 in a bigger box: $30

Past reviews: #1, #2

3. Canelé’s Rose, Fleur de Sel Caramel, and chocolate feuilletine [Update 3/6/2012: Canele has changed their pastry chef recently. I was actually quite excited about the new flavours they came up with but gosh, have you seen them recently? They are quite hideous, messy feet and ugly piped shells. And I tried their christmas flavours. They were quite horrible, gosh]

Oh gosh canele, where should I start. Such a love-hate relationship I tell you.

I love their chocolate flavours I really do- more than ET’s and Jewels. But with the recent management change, I’m not sure if I’ll still like them.

I got their christmas flavours, pistachio cherry on right and yuletide stollen on left. They were unbearably sweet, so much so I had a persisting headache which lasted the rest of the day. The flavours were basically masked by the artificial sugary taste. Creative yes, but as the Singaporean rhetoric goes, “it’s too sweet!!”.

That said I used to like the aforementioned flavours (refer to title), but KIV this all right. We’ll see how it goes when I try them again.

Prices: Christmas flavours were an eye-popping $3 each, normal flavours go for $2.50

Past reviews: #1

Macarons Overseas

France:

Sad to say I never had the chance to try other places besides Ladurée and Pierre Herme in france but the next time I go I promise to be a little more adventurous in my macaron hunting. I totally agree that Pierre Herme is bordering on being overpriced so my goal next time would be to find more affordable ones! That said, Pierre Herme is still my favourite because of his ingenuity and consistency in quality. Laduree sells one of the prettiest boxes but they come with a hefty price tag. Their macs are delicious as well, all very refined in flavour though pierre herme still edges out by a bit IMO.

Past reviews of PH: #1, #2, #3

Past reviews of Ladurée: #1, #2

Sydney:

Adriano Zumbo also tops my list for macarons. His shop is the only reason why I want to visit Sydney! He also has a mind-boggling array of flavours, out of which I have only tried a fraction of. 

Past review: #1

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