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Ladurée Macarons (w/ photos)

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  • Silverlurker Apr 22, 2005 03:31 PM
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Los Angeles has a burgeoning macaron scene with two shops opening up in the past year; Jin Patissiere in Venice and Boule Patissiere in West Hollywood.

I've tried both and I have my opinions but I've been told that I should use as my litmus test the macarons from Ladurée in Paris. Yesterday a friend returned to L.A. with a box of Ladurée macarons. (link to photos below).

Their salted butter caramel is wonderful and that particular ganache, in terms of consistency, is unlike any other I have tried. The raspberry, rose and standard chocolate macarons seem to me consistently similar with none really jumping out.

My question is what flavors does Ladurée do best? Are there other international vendors known for certain flavors? Thanks!

Link: http://protosheigh.typepad.com/photos...

Image: http://protosheigh.typepad.com/photos...

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing these photos! The confections look absolutely divine; the palette of colors was stunning. It was apparent how much TLC goes into each macaron. Even the box was so tres chic! You have a very good friend there...

    Sorry that I can't answer any of your questions, as I've just started getting acquainted (and quickly falling in love) w/ this little cookie. Did your friend happen to tell you how many Euros for all of this?

    9 Replies
    1. re: Carb Lover

      Hi carb lover, thanks for your comments.

      I'd also like to know the cost but I feel too uncomfortable asking him and Ladurée does not offer online shopping with prices.

      Meantime, I hope that you report back on your macaron findings!

      1. re: Silverlurker

        Hi-
        Beautiful photos!
        I was in Laduree in Paris last month. The large macarons (about 3 inches across) were 3 euro each and the small ones (about the size of a silver dollar) were 6 for 6 euro. I don't remember if there was a discount if you bought multiples of the large ones.
        We bought an assortment of small ones and the chocolate and caramel were my favorite as well.

        1. re: Silverlurker

          Hi there, I was at Laduree near Madeleine yesterday with a friend, and he got a box as a hostess gift. It was "Taille 1", which held 20-24 petits macarons, and it was 35 Euros. If that gives you any idea as to price. Remember that this was Laduree, and they were in a box. If you buy the petits macarons just in a bag, they are cheaper, as then it's based on weight, not number.

          I think Laduree is known mainly for their macarons, but Pierre Herme is known for desserts in general, and in terms of his petits macarons, for his crazy flavours that he releases each season.

          I find that if you're looking for crazy flavours, then you go to Gerard Mulot. He has flavours like balsamic and pear, orange and cinnamon, etc., and his mint flavoured macaron will leave your mouth cool for a few minutes at least.

        2. re: Carb Lover

          I've read it's something like 10 macarons for E13.

          I've also just discovered this amazing... how does one define it? Pastry? Biscuit? Sweetmeat? Surreally enough, a pistachio macaroon in Barcelona.

          Do you think the recipe is substantially changed with each flavour, or do they have one superb recipe and just alter the flavourings? I suspect the former, just because it is so far outside of my sphere of culinary ability and patience.

          I think EPI used to give Herme's chocolate macaroon recipe, but it must have expired because it's not there anymore...

          1. re: kate

            Barring a visit any time soon I would like to see a photo of this pistachio macaron from Barcelona... Yum. Do they bake other flavors too?

            I know that one of our local macaron pastry chefs in L.A. (Michelle Myers) has indicated that Boule's macarons are made with almond flour and meringue instead of almond paste.

            1. re: Silverlurker

              Yes, they had other flavours; chocolate, vanilla, coffee and something with raspberry jam in the middle. The pistachio, however, was far and away the best. The others were too crunchy, whereas the pistachio one was crunchy, tacky, chewy - everything a good macaron should be. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture.Only the memory of paradise. Sigh...

              Nigella Lawson gives a recipe for pistachio macaroons in her baking book, although I've never tried them.

              The pastry shop was one or two blocks down (same side of the street) from Mercato Boqueria on La Rambla. Happy hunting....

            2. re: kate

              Thanks to you and others for pricing info. Sounds very reasonable for a nibble from the juncture of where a rainbow meets a sugar cloud! I searched online for a Laduree macaron recipe and came up empty. I did, however, find this linked article from 2001 which writes up a taste comparison of chocolate macarons from 5 different patisseries in Paris. Interestingly, Grande Epicérie de Paris in the 7th arrondissement edged out Laduree for this particular flavor!

              Link: http://www.discoverparis.net/newslett...

              1. re: Carb Lover

                Yes, my automatic response was: "I want that pot of gold! I want that recipe!!!". Even though I know it will never be as good as eating one in his Paris shop.

                EPI had it once, according to a very useful blog (see below), but it looks like it expired, as it's no longer there.

                However, I did manage to find it in the article linked below.

                Also go to the blog; she gives helpful tips that are in Herme's cookbook, but not in the recipe. And there are great pictures...

                http://www.aspoonfulofsugar.net/blog/...

                I've put the recipe in my "need some time and a clear head to get these babies right" folder.

                Now I'm dreaming of a trip to Paris....

                Link: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

                1. re: Carb Lover

                  Well done, carb lover! Excellent research. I am so excited. Going off to read now.

            3. I'm drooling!! Thanks so much for posting those gorgeous photos. I'd love to bring some home for friends, too, but was concerned with how long they stayed fresh. We'll be flying from Paris to L.A. and staying there 2 days to rest with family before returning home to Arizona. Any advice on keeping the macarons fresh for our friends?

              Thanks,
              Nina

              1. t
                torta basilica

                Fauchon's sells them at their store in New York, but I can't advise as to specific flavors as I liked them all & tried the fruit pate's at Laduree's instead of the macaroons - guess I've got to go back!

                Fauchon's might sell them mail-order, I know I asked & can't remember if it was the macaroons or the marzipan that they didn't sell.

                1. c
                  Caitlin McGrath

                  I'm really curious - what flavor is the super-dark one (looks almost black) in the center of the box?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                    I believe it was a quite stale blackcurrent violet. I stupidly saved it for last and the flavor had dwindled -- even from the ganache. Next time it'll be the whole box in one sitting.

                  2. Silverlurker, just came across this thread. In answer to your question, I believe that Ladurée is best known for their pistache & their rose flavors.

                    In answer to another poster's question, macarons don't travel very well nor do they stay fresh very long. A friend just brought some back to me from Stohrer's (rue Montorgueil in the 2nd) - they were wonderful but I could tell they were just a smidgen stale. Fresh macarons are matchless.

                    I understand the Hermés' macaron is considered by some to be superior to Ladurée (although he was pastry chef to Ladurée & to Fauchon in the past). They debate this hotly on Fodor's website. Here's a link to one thread:
                    http://fodors.com/forums/threadselect...

                    My personal favorite from Ladurée is the pistache. To buy just one of the small macarons 2 years ago cost 1.25€ each. And my kids called them baby hamburgers - LOL!

                    Link: http://fodors.com/forums/threadselect...

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: beatchick

                      I was in Paris in August and just managed to squeeze by a quick trip to Laduree on my way to the airport (there is NO way I was getting on a pane without my macarons fix)- their raspberry is great (with a lovely jammy center), and so are the rose and coconut, and of course the pistachio. I've heard Gerrard Mulot is THE macarons king, but sadly I didn't get a chance to test this out- I found a Paul store at his rue de Seine address-- has he moved or am I a total idiot when it comes to directions??

                      1. re: Merriam

                        Gerald Mulot is on the corner of r de Seine and r des Quatre Vents, between blvd St. Germain and St. Sulpice. Paul is on the corner of r de Seine and r de Buci, closer to the Seine.

                        1. re: Merriam

                          Gregory Renard, rue Saint Dominique, makes my favourite macaroons in Paris -- see pictures (and a review in French for now) at http://julotlespinceaux.blogspot.com/...

                          1. re: souphie

                            Souphie, I've been meaning to thank you for your recommendation to Gregory Renard. I read the blog and took a ridiculously long detour during an already ridiculously long walk back to my apartment (during the November strike) and found the chocolate fleur de sel and pistachio macarons completely worth the effort. I do love Laduree macarons, but I have to agree with you that Gregory Renard's are even better.

                      2. Ladurée's best to me have been the Pistache and rose/rosewater, but honestly, I loved Jin Patisserie's better. We had Ladurée's at Christmas and in Spring in Paris, but I truly believe, deep in my belly, that the lack of humidity in Venice makes a huge difference. Jin's were crisp and flavorful. Ladurée's and Pierre Hermes were both a bit 'gummy' comparatively speaking. I haven't had Ladurée's in august, though...

                        1. beautiful photos. thank you from NYC (I highly recommend the macaron at le Madeleine here in NY).

                          1. The macarons are all from the same recipe with different flavorings. I've made several flavors based on Patricia Wells' recipe in her Food Lovers' Guide to Paris. My personal favorite macarons in Paris are the chocolate ones (and also the coffee) at Maison du Chocolat. My favorite ones in France, however, are in Lyon at Bernachon on Blvd Franklin Roosevelt.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: ChefJune

                              Robert Linxe has a very elegant cookbook with recipes for the chocolate and coffee macarons they have la Maison du Chocolat.

                              1. re: f2dat06

                                Sometimes I think I like the coffee ones the best! I might have to go up Madison Ave soon and get some! Can't wait for November in Paris!

                            2. Having only tasted Hermes macarons (it was sort of a spiritual experience, really), I can't properly answer your questions, but I would be interested to compare the rose flavor of each, because I can't imagine anything more rose-like than the Hermes item. More research is needed!

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Marsha

                                Ladurée has created together with Sephora a line of beauty products. Among others, marcaron shaped soaps. The products will be available as from November 15, 2007 at Ladurée (Champs-Elysée branch), Sephora stores and Le Bon Marché.
                                http://www.laduree.fr/public_en/actua...

                                Maybe, nice gadgets to bring home for those who aren't too much into pastries (or calories).

                                1. re: Marsha

                                  Pierre Herme used to work for Laduree, so I would imagine the rose macarons from both places would taste almost the same. I also read somewhere that he invented 'Ispahan' (most perfect pasty on earth) while working at Laduree.

                                  Since I 'discovered' PH before Laduree, I have been a loyal fan since and wouldn't buy macarons from other places.

                                  17 days and counting before tasting them again....

                                  1. re: theskyflyer

                                    Six days for me! heeheeheehee ;>D

                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                      Turning quietly green ...

                                2. I did a macaron blinge while in Europe this past June. We tried about 9 different flavors of the Lauduree ones, and I have to say I didn't like any of them. The rose and violet ones were weird (not in a good way), and they were way too sweet.

                                  We liked the Luxumbergli at Sprungeli at Zurich better. They were fresher, lighter, less sweet and the flavors were true (their passionfruit was outstanding).

                                  For chocolate ones John Paul Hevin's macaron was very good as well.

                                  Close to home I had chocolate, vanilla and caramel macaroons from Bouchon Bakery (N. California) and they were better than Laduree.