Cake Girl has been a trifle slow to latch onto macaron mania. Put it down to chalky encounters with the fake flavours and sickly fillings that comprise the offerings to hapless tourists in Europe. But I have recently discovered that not all macarons are created equal and scrumptious ones do exist. The turning point was chancing upon this fine, immodestly-sized specimen. Made by Bordeaux Bakery, it was soft and chewy thanks to plenty of ground almonds with a ganache filling, creating an edible tipping point.
Clearly there is some mastery required to produce an aesthetically perfect macaron. Cake Girl’s first efforts tasted the part but fell a trifle flat …
… and the next, using a patty tin, not much better although compensated by lashings of ganache cementing the ragged wretches together. The recipe seems fine so more practice might be the answer.
Not to be confused with the coconut-laden variant known as macaroons, in Italy macarons are known as amaretti. Te Papa museum cafe apparently produces a very nice one using a beat-everything-together recipe that sounded too easy to ignore. The proof was in the pudding and did not disappoint. Crunchy on the outside, chewy in the middle and chocolate-ty on the bottom.
Cake Girl did attempt to acquire the real McCoy (strictly for comparison purposes) and waited (im)patiently in the queue only to be foiled by the cafe’s “no take-aways” policy. Clearly it was a mistake to assume one could pop into a Te Papa cafe to grab some sustenance and run. In the absence of a comparator, it seems only fair to declare my version superior and you can save yourself a trip to Te Papa by whipping up your own batch.
Post script (15 May): Cake Girl relayed her customer service experience to the Te Papa cafe manager, who remedied the matter by despatching this box of six amaretti cookies.
Cake Girl was most impressed and can now confirm the real thing rivals the homemade replica with its especially chewy interior.