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Wednesday 6 January 2010

Who does the best macaroons?

Small, perfectly formed and absolutely heavenly. The macaroon might rival the mascara wand as the best invention to ever grace Domestic Sluttery HQ.

We've told you how to make them, but now I'm curious to see where your favourites are from. I know you're all expecting me to Laduree, and they're lovely. Certainly the prettiest, although sometimes a little bit too sweet for my tastes. But my winning macaroons are from Chinese restaurant Yauatcha. They might be all about the dimsum, but their patisserie is wonderful.

And a special mention goes to Paul as well. Considering it's a pretty standard chain, they turn out some yummy treats and their large praline macaroons are my own special treat. And because they're bigger than most, you only eat one. Rather than scoff a whole box of little ones. Don't you dare tell me you've never done that.

Alas, there's always one spanner in the works, and for me, it's Belle Epoque. They might look pretty, but the macaroons I bought for a New Year Party just didn't have the wow factor like they should. Too chewy. And dry. Not impressed. In fact, I was utterly disappointed. If I remember rightly, there was even a couple left over at the end of the night.

So where are your favourite macaroons from? Is Laduree the clear winner? Or have you got somewhere else that you've been keeping a secret? Tell us, so we can try the yummiest treats!

Flickr image from Uggboy's photostream. Laduree if I'm not mistaken.


  1. the best ones i've ever had were at Pret-a-Portea at The Berkley Hotel! Yummmmm! And they were in the Marc Jacobs colours of the time. Happiness!!! x

  2. I am a HUGE macaron fan. Ladurée are unquestioningly wonderful and their salted butter caramel, vanilla and bitter chocolate flavours are all awesome. However, for the fruity ones I would go to Yauacha every time. The beautifully perfumed flavour combinations are breathtaking and original. Yum!

  3. Yes, how could I have forgotten Yauatcha! I love their macaroons, although Laduree's come close second.
    I quite like Maison Blanc ones, too.

  4. I'm looking forward to trying the Pierre Hermé macaron next time I'm in Paris... but the Ladureé vanilla and sea salted caramel are indeed divine!

  5. Have to second the special mention of 'Paul', their pistachio macaroons are so yummy, I always pick one up at Paul's on St Pancras International to eat with my coffee on the train home. And the bakery in La Noue on the Ile de Re had a very tasty selection in two sizes

  6. I'm an American, so when I think of macaroons I think of those I grew up with - the lovely moist chocolate-dipped coconut variety. (You can look them up on Wikipedia if you're not familiar with them.) I have to admit, I've never tried French kind (above), although I've lived in London for four years now!

  7. this is the biggest coincidence as, over New Year, myself and a group of my friends went to London for 3 nights and topped off the holiday with macaroons from Paul. And oh yes they were the chocolate and praline big ones and a nom nom nommed them down - might as well finish the New Year face feeding on a high!

  8. Here in Barcelona, the most delicious macaroons are at Bubo, in the Born district - stunning jewel colours, strange exciting flavour combinations, and you can buy them in individual little boxes to take one as a treat to a friend!

    Though the more traditional macaroons from Hofmann's Patisserie (also in the Born, and attached to the famous cookery school) are also exquisite, light and airy and pale in baby colours.

    Now I'm hungry...

  9. This has my mouth watering! Must definitely make a special trip to Paul next week and pick up the praline macaroon.

    Have you seen Richard Corrigan's recipe for Almond Biscuits in The Clatter of Forks and Spoons? They are incredibly simple to make, and turn out like rustic macaroons.

    500g ground almonds
    300g caster sugar
    seeds from 1 vanilla pod
    4 egg whites
    50ml Amaretto

    Oven to 160C. Mix almonds, sugar, and vanilla. Fold in unwhisked egg whites, along with booze. Place small spoonfuls of mixture on baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for 10-15 mins until golden. Cool.

  10. Pierre Hermes are the best, the chocolate passionfruit ones are amazing. I had some from Paul before that and was so disappointed - just sugary

    1. Totally agree on Paul. Very disappointing, sweet and very bad service. At least on the Georgetown location.

  11. Was in Paris over the weekend and to my surprise the Mcdonalds have a 'McCafe' and do macaroons. I HAD to go in and try all of the mini ones and were actually very good (caramel being my favourite). So much so I nearly missed my Eurostar because I had to rush back to buy some more!

  12. Pierre Herme macaroons are divine.
    Paul's large coffee macaroons come second when they are fresh, but I gave up buying them because they are often not. If not fresh, they turn chewy.

  13. @Anonymous--
    You are an idiot. Why the hell are you even reading a food blog if you are stupid, trashy, and tasteless enough to even set foot in a McDonald's?? And to mention their noxious, vile offerings here, saying they are so good...right. I suppose if you read a blog article about an amazing seafood restaurant in Oslo, you's have to get your two centys in ...'Oh, the chippy around the corner from me is just amazing!!'
    Just stay home in Hull the next time you have a weekend off and patronize the Mcd's there... Leave Paris, real food, and the finer things in life to people with class and taste who would not be so cultureless as to go to a MCDONALD's in Paris.

  14. I agree with Anonymous (no. 2). Who the hell goes to Paris and eats at McDonalds?? I think all of these idiots who travel to other countries and then eat the same old shite they eat while at home and sit around in english pubs drinking English beer should just stay at home.
    Leave the traveling to those of us who know how to enjoy a foreign culture!!
    BTW...McDonald's almost didn't make it in Paris, because the French know better than to ingest such foul crap. The only reason they manage to stay afloat there at all is because of the BRITISH and AMERICAN TOURISTS, who go there because they want pictures to show their friends back home...,(OMG you guys. We ate at McDonalds's in Paris. It was so cool. The menu was in French and everything.)These same tourists are the ones who want to experience another culture, but complain about how strange the food is and flock to fast-food restaurants, fake 'Irish' pubs, and cheap, awful eateries owned by expats.
    I think that all of these awful restaurants in Europe that cater to loudmouthed Americans, British, and Australians should be shut down. Then these people would be thoroughly unhappy traveling in Europe, and would only visit each others' countries, leaving Europe free for those of us who actually appreciate the diversity of Europe's cultures.

  15. Lenôtre in Paris doesn't seem to be mentioned much, and they were already doing macaroons before they became fashionable. Their pistachio ones are to die for! Creamy but not sickly, and very well-balanced. Divine, I highly recommend.


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