Macarons are magical. Feather light, sweet and pretty (who can say no to those lovely pastel colours?), they are full of endless possibilities. Commonly filled with ganache, buttercream or jam sandwiched between the little meringue-based chewy discs of pastries made of egg white, icing sugar, granulated sugar and almond powder, they melt in your mouth and melt your heart.
Macaron is characterised by its smooth, domed top, ruffled circumference (referred to as the “foot”), and flat base. It is mildly moist and easily melts in the mouth. A really good Macaron has a crunchy shell, and great sensation that you get from the combination of flavours such as olive oil and vanilla.
After completing Diplôme de Pâtisserie at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in Paris last year, my dear friend Anne has picked this particular pastry to specialise in. Many of us have had the pleasure to sample her amazing talent, but she has decided to share her Macaron with a wider audience via her new venture Jouer Patisserie.
Earlier this month, Anne catered for an event at the hip jewellery/accessories shop The9thMuse, which was opened by my lovely friends Charlotte and Jing. I was excited to check out the leather goods by Halo, and even more excited as the world finally has a chance to taste Anne’s Macarons and Mini Baba au Rhum.
The Macarons were a great hit with all the fashionistas and foodies present. They were about 1/4 smaller than the usual fare you will find at patisseries around town, but the shells were of a perfect crunchiness, and so light and moist that I could easily finish half a dozen in a row. The unique flavours were clearly influenced by Anne’s Asian roots and her French culinary training.
The flavours Anne chose for her public debut were: Osmanthus & ginger; Kaya & salt; Ispahan & ginger; Caramlised fig & vanilla. My favourite was actually the Kaya & salt (the little green ones) as I loved the savoury-sweet combination. Oh so buttery. All the other flavours were also really good, though the ginger in the yellow Osmanthus Macaron didn’t come out as strong as the Ispahan version.
Anne also brought along some Mini Baba au Rhum, a rich, light currant or raisin studded yeast cake soaked in a rum or kirsch syrup. It’s said to have been invented in the 1600s by Polish King Lesczyinski. The cake itself was rather plain but coupled with the (very very) strong rum shot in the glass it gave a real kick. Not for the faint-hearted.
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Note: If you really must save Macarons for another day, you can store them in plastic in the fridge. But it’s best to just eat them, and get some more for another day.