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[La Maison du Chocolat] All About ChocolateMay 22, 2012

mieko14 reblogged this from Sesame's World of Macarons and added:
My macaron-obsessed sister-in-law sure knows a thing or two about these delicate French pastries. She's on a mission to sample the best that NYC has to offer before she moves to Seoul next week, and I am more than happy to follow her adventures (and can't wait to see the amazing treats she finds in Korea!).

 

Just a couple of weeks ago, my friend got assigned to another flight to NYC, so we had a nice, long date. We started off the day by eating ramen at Menkui Tei, and after doing some shopping, we decided we needed something sweet. My friend told me that after our experience at Ladurée, she got hooked onto macarons. Of course, that meant we had to have macarons. I yelped the nearest macaron shop, and since I hadn't tried this place before, we began to walk to La Maison du Chocolat.

The one we went to was at the Rockefeller Plaza, although there is one at Wall Street and another in the Upper East Side.

 

Apparently, this store's specialty was chocolate, so I was curious as to what kind of macarons it would carry.


Rows of macarons!!! I couldn't resist this scenery and took a picture, but a lady came up and told everyone, "No photography please." Meh.

 

I bought a box of 6, which cost a total of $16.50. That's $2.75 per macaron.

I got passion fruit, coffee, caramel, pistachio, raspberry, and lighter dark chocolate.



The colors are really pretty! Earthy colors, fitting to a store whose specialty is in chocolates.

What's unique about these macarons is that the fillings are all chocolate. However, they have incorporated various extracts into the chocolate according to its flavor - for example, the chocolate filling for the caramel macaron tastes like caramel. Also, I don't know if this is because the filling has melded and seeped into the macaron hats, but the hats have a strong flavor too.

Well, here goes the tasting!

First off, the lighter dark chocolate. Wasn't too unique, so I don't have much to say.


Next, coffee!! This was one of my favorites, as it had a nice, rich coffee flavor that wasn't too bitter nor too sweet.


Rasberry. I love berry-flavored chocolate, so this was also pretty good.


Passion fruit. Not a big fan of passion fruit - it has a sort of bitterness that I can't get used to.


Pistachio. Didn't taste much like pistachio, so it was a bit of a disappointment, since I love pistachio macarons.


Caramel! This was pretty good. I loved how the chocolate filling tasted like caramel and had a sort of gooey texture that is unique to caramel.


OVERALL


The macarons of La Maison du Chocolat were nice quality and tasted good. However, the store doesn't carry a great selection of flavors. I'm not talking about HOW MANY flavors, but the VARIETY. But then again, this place specializes in chocolate, thus the flavors are centered around that and the macarons are all filled with chocolate.

Besides the whole texture of the macaron hats, which is key to a great-tasting/feeling macaron, the fillings are what essentially delivers the flavors. So in that sense, I've become an anti-fan of chocolate ganache, which, with its strong flavor and sweetness, covers up other flavors. While La Maison du Chocolat incorporates different flavored chocolates to fill their macarons, chocolate is what you taste the most. As much as I am a lover of chocolates and macarons, I sort of got tired of eating these macarons.

But still, these are good macarons to have if you are craving something chocolatey! The next review will be on the macarons from Cha-An!

Sneak preview:


Earl Grey Macarons with Honey Buttercream FillingApr 09, 2011

Inspired by the visit from my sister-in-law, I set out to make a batch of macarons all by my lonesome. Flying solo didn't seem like such a scary thing until I was actually in the midst of whipping the egg whites, and then all of the insecurities began bubbling to the surface like the air in the froth I was creating. Is this bubbly enough to begin adding sugar? Is it glossy enough? Are these peaks stiff, or should I beat it just a minute longer? Well, my friends, I'm sorry to say that these were by no means perfect. They were more the consistency of meringue than chewy macarons which tells me I needed to press more air out of the batter and possibly add a little more almond meal. But they were tasty, so expect v2 to follow soon! For the recipe, read on.

MacaronsApr 07, 2011

Relationships often have early omens that signal whether they are meant to last. When I met my husband in college, it was clear that our mutual love for Star Wars (I know, I know -- nerd alert!), amusement parks, late night runs to Jack in the Box, and practice of couch potatoism were harbingers of a long life together. But oddly enough, what sealed the deal was meeting his parents. It happened at an elegant Chinese banquet restaurant over the largest meal you have ever seen. His dad took charge ordering for the four of us, and soon four 5-course meals appeared followed by five or six additional heaping platters. We had so much food, the waiters couldn't fit it all on our table. We had so much food, boxing it up in doggie bags seemed like a futile effort. We had so much food, his mom got violently ill later that night. I knew I was in love with him, but I guess I kind of sort of fell in love with them, too.

Then I met his sister, and all of the pieces fell into place. She shares my love of baking (though she shares their dad's scientific curiosity and patience, whereas I am impatient and want it to work the first time), and within the last few years took up the task of creating the perfect macaron. Mind you, she has been a full time grad student living on her own in NYC, so where she finds the time I have no idea. But her creations are lovely, and while she was visiting this past week, she taught me her fine art.

Macarons are highly temperamental, and every macaron maker has their own advice on ingredients and temperature, but everyone will agree that it's all about the technique. From the consistency of the meringue to the airiness of the batter, the only way you can expect a result anywhere resembling a macaron is to master proper folding and piping. But one taste, and I knew that this, too, was a relationship worth pursuing! For a recipe and photos of our creations, read on.

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