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Cako

IMG_1069I had some time to kill in SF before going to a Giants game so I decided to stop by Cako-a Japantown bakery selling cupcakes and macarons.  I decided to get the kona coffee and red velvet macarons since I have never tried these flavors.  The consistency of the outer layer was perfect, however the flavorings didn’t live up to their names.  The Kona coffee had a little too much butter and so the flavor was overwhelmed by it.  The red velvet didn’t really taste like a red velvet cupcake.

I wonder what the raspberry and passionfruit ones taste like, but I would definitely skip these two flavors!

~V

Whole Foods

IMG_1067 On a recent trip for some ice chai tea latte at Whole Foods, I discovered the bakery section carries macarons.  It’s been way too long since my last post and decided the strawberry champagne and earl grey macarons would be great to review and revisit my macaron blog with.  The earl grey (on the left) was underwhelming with the early grey tea only coming into taste at the very last minute.  The strawberry champagne macaron, on the other hand, had a lovely strawberry buttercream that basically made the cookie.  I couldn’t taste the champagne taste, however. I would say skip the macarons at the Whole Foods Bakery-they certainly looked the part but were both a bit disappointing to say the least. Check out these macaron throw pillows: candy-cloud.com so cute! ~V

The Fillmore Jazz Festival is reason enough to head over to Pacific Heights early July in SF, but an added bonus is walking by the Fillmore Bakeshop where they have 19 different flavors of macarons on display.  These little puffs of sugary goodness are larger than a traditional macaron but smaller than the Bouchon ”mini cake”.  With some VERY unique flavors this bakeshop is well worth the visit.

There was a bit of a crowd because of the festival so my senses had to quickly make a decision on which macarons to pick up.  I looked for any flavors I hadn’t seen before and so of course the root beer, honey lavender, and peanut butter and chocolate were a must.  With three unique flavors in hand, I had an impromptu focus taste group with a few friends.

The chocolate and peanut butter macaron filling was pleasantly filled with real chocolate and peanut butter making for a very realistic taste inside the chewy macaron casing.  The honey lavender was heavy on the lavender and as a focus tester, Kevin exclaimed: ”it tastes like fruit loops”, which was quickly seconded by other focus groupers.  The root beer was perhaps the most intriguing of the three and worked perfectly given the creamy interior mimicking the ice cream in a root beer float.

I was partial to the chocolate and peanut butter macaron mainly because it melded a childhood memory with a cookie I adore now as an adult.  The Fillmore Bakeshop is NOT to be missed when visiting Pacific Heights in SF during any season.

~V

The mecca of macarons, Ladurèe, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and to commemorate, it has created a lovely cherry blossom macaron with the help of Japanese designer Tsumori Chiatso, who designed a lovely gift box to match the cherry blossom macaron as well as the ”incroyables” macaron-a tribute to the first macaron.

If you happen to be in Paris, NYC or Laduree’s other worldwide locations, stop by and try this celebratory cookie.  Additionally NYC is bringing back it’s Macaron Day (March 20th).  A number of macaron making bakeries and restaurants are participating.  Check out the link above for more information.

Hoping to review another Bay Area macaron joint soon.

~V

Happy Year of the Dragon!


Chuc Mung Nam Moi or Happy New Year!  I created these macarons using a ”foolproof” method, which has been the easiest and definitely most foolproof batch I have made yet (still only half turned out perfectly but better than nothing!). Find a youtube video recipe of these foolproof macarons here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPMmpBxvlyk

Wishing you all the best in this new year!

~V

Macarons a la Cocola Bakery

I don’t make it down to SJ enough, but for the macarons from Cocola Bakery-the drive down is worth it.  A friend of mine kindly induldged my macaron obsession by giving me a case of macarons.  I have to admit I felt a little skeptical when my friend pulled out  PACKAGED macarons-my first thought was ”hmm what if they are a few days or even a few weeks old??’.  This would ruin any chances of having an unbiased review.

I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find the four flavors: coffee, chocolate, pistachio, and raspberry perfectly chewy and quite moist.  The standout in the bunch would definitely be the raspberry, but for price, presentation and taste, Cocola Bakery’s macarons are up there with any SF macaron rival.

~V

Emporio Rulli

In a beautiful and elegant European cafe in a quintessentially Americana town, lies some unfortunately mediocre macarons.  Emporio Rulli is a situated in the lovely town of Larkspur, just twenty minutes north of SF (there is also a Union Square location and one in the SFO Airport).   Known for it’s beautiful cakes, the macarons were, however, less than stellar.  I purchased three: one lemon, one pistachio, and one purple one (which was supposed to be blueberry).  All three were on the dry side and lacked any of that delicious interior french macarons are famous for.

Stop by Emporio Rulli for the ambiance, a cup of tea, their cakes, but skip their macarons..

~V

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