Finally! A macaron worth blogging about

Finally! A macaron worth blogging about.  I used to blog about macarons all the time.  I think macarons, done well, are blog worthy.  A lot of my earlier material centered on where to eat macarons around the world (here, here, and here  as an example).  Then it sort of just petered out.  Maybe I haven’t found an inspiring macaron lately.

I am proud to say, macarons are back on Lamb411 and boy did I unearth the mother load today!  I had four superb macarons at Strangas Dessert boutique in Copenhagen.


Not only were the macarons superb, I think they might go down in my books as some of the best macarons that I’ve ever eaten.  These were better than Laduree, which has not been very impressive my past two visits to Paris.

I chose four flavours to taste: Basil + something, lemon and violet, salted caramel and mocha. The meringue possessed the right balance of crunchy and chewy and the flavour combinations were intense and bold (especially the basil).

021313 Copenhagen February 2013

The Strangas Dessert boutique is cosy (it’s Copenhagen after all ) with its white brick walls, three candle lit wooden tables and pots of sugar.  But you don’t just come here for the macarons- although for me, that was the main draw.  Nikolaos Strangas, the head pastry chef and owner of Strangas, is a master and artist when it comes to making delicate, French inspired desserts.  I had a chance to meet and briefly speak to Nikolaos this afternoon and not only was he very personable and charming, it sounds like there are a lot of exciting projects on his pastry table.  I added him to Instagram to keep track!

IMG_0766 IMG_0778 IMG_0779 IMG_0760 IMG_0761 IMG_0762


021313 Copenhagen February 20131

I have to return and sample what was in the adjacent display-I saw a nice looking cheese cake for starters…


Strangas Dessert Boutique · Åboulevard 7  Copenhagen


Butter Avenue

Between manicures and shopping for wedding decor, I managed to squeeze in a brief visit to Butter Avenue in Toronto to sample macarons.  Butter Avenue, located on Yonge Street just south of York Mills, opened the beginning of  2012 by Calvin and Tina.  Butter Avenue is both a shop for macarons as well as other delicate desserts such as pain au chocolat, tarts, cookies, and chocolates.  There is plenty of room to enjoy a treat in the shop’s all white, minimalist interior and modern furniture.

Calvin was behind the counter when I arrived and he helped me select four macaron flavours: Earl Grey, Sea Salt Caramel, Dark Chocolate and Lemon.

In my opinion, no one should eat macarons alone, so I brought along my trusty side kick (my mom) to help me taste test. Butter Avenue‘s macaron were good but not my favourite in the city.  The Earl Grey and Salted Caramel were taste-bud blowing (aka delicious) the two best in terms of flavour but I thought the meringues were a bit too hard on the exterior.

However, to be fair, the night before I indulged in a couple macarons brought fresh from Laduree  in Paris by a visiting cousin; the taste still imprinted on my palate.  That being said, a harder exterior is best avoided.  You want the crunchy chewy balance.

I would certainly go back for a  fix and Butter Avenue’s macaron towers are showstopping in the front window. My mother was tempted to order two mini towers last minute for the wedding.  🙂

Here are some other people who blogged about Butter Avenue:

1. BlogTo Butter Avenue

2. Amy’s Food Adventure: Butter Avenue Patisserie & Cafe

3. CJ Noms: Butter Avenue

4. Sammylicious: Butter Avenue

5. Allure of Simplicity: Butter Avenue



Chantal Guillon Macarons

As a macaron lover, I thought I would do my duty and spread the word about a new macaron shop on the street.

For all you macaron lovers out there who happen to reside within driving distance to Palo Alto – there is a new macaron patisserie in your neighbourhood- Chantal Guillon.  I received the notification email this morning (see below) and thought I would share the news.

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3

This is the second Chanthal Guillon macaron shop (the other one is in San Francisco). Her macarons look divine and you can sip on the fragrant teas of Mariage Freres while enjoying a macaron or three!

Speaking of which, I am getting on a plane tomorrow to head home to Toronto and I look forward to sampling a few macarons myself at Butter Avenue.


Art Sucre: Berlin

When I was in Berlin two weekends ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the creative, talented bakers behind Art Sucre, Berlin’s newest baking duo supplying the market with a much needed dose of macarons.  When I walked in, Nina, who trained in France, was focued on pipping out heart shaped macarons for a Valentine’s day order.

I spent an hour with them “talking shop”, getting a tour of their kitchen and got to sample some of their delicious macarons such as coconut, chocolate, pistachio, vanilla, cranberry-kirsh, lemon and cafe latte to name a few.  The macarons I tasted had the right balance between a crispy exterior and a soft, chewy interior and the ganache or middle fillings had a distinct, fresh and flavour not in the least bit artificial tasting that you get with an overly commercial operation.

From my own research in the city, outside of Galeries Lafayette Berlin, it’s pretty hard to find a good macaron, or any for that matter in Berlin. I mean, which city should be without a  trusted macaron shop to dazzle guests with trays of colourful macaron when throwing parties, or simply for your own personal macaron fix?  I know I am at a loss in Prague when I am craving macaron.  The commercial stuff you get from Paul just doesn’t cut it in comparison to something freshly made.

Back to Art Sucre, owners Frank and Nina have been in business for about a year and are moving towards becoming THE place for macarons in Berlin.   Something unique about their business is their savoury macarons.  In addition to the sweet flavours that are typical of a bake shop, Art Sucre also makes a line of savory macarons that are perfect with a glass of wine accompanying an aperitif for a cocktail party or after work drinks.  With flavours such as thyme and lemon, spicy parmesan, wasabi and beet and blue cheese and quince I am sure Art Sucre’s savory macarons will make it on every bride’s, hotel’s and hosts list of new and desirable items to serve to guests.



Adriano Zumbo

There is nothing I like more is a renegade pastry chef with a strong aesthetic and fearless attitude toward pushing the boundaries of flavour combinations and tastes. Enter Adriano Zumbo, the Australian native who studied locally and in France honing his sugar obsession into beautiful things.  He is probably best known for his macaron and offers sensational flavours such as coconut, green chili and lavender, lychee, passion fruit and tonka bean and salted butter caramel.   On the more daring side, he did a pig’s blood and chocolate macaron.

After participating on Master Chef in Austrialia, Zumbo has become a household name beyond his start in Balmain (a suburb of Sydney).  Now the owner of four locations, The Star, Patisserie Balmain, Patisserie Manly, and Cafe Rozelle, Adriano is patissiere-entrepreneur to the max.  He has even branded his macarons calling them Zumbarons, a smart tactic to get customers to keep him top of mind.  If you can’t make it to Sydney to check him out, Adriano recently published a book, dedicated to his world of sugar, titled, Zumbo; I would highly recommend it- however the recipes don’t look easy.


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bottega louie macarons

It’s been a while since I have reviewed a mac-spot, so I’m filling the void. 

When I think of macarons in Los Angeles, I think of Paulette which I have blogged about before.  Apparently, Bottega Louie has been off my radar, until now.  What an establishment!  Bottega Louie is a serious macaron contender in Los Angeles, among other things.  The review in the LA Times states that Bottega Louie is “big portions, big crowds, and big noise,” the LA Weekly review states “it tries to be all things to all people and succeeds,” however the 2277 reviews on Yelp screams “quality food,” “quality service” and “trendy.”

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