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Jun 27, 2013 06:39 PM

Caramel macarons?

Henri Charpentier no longer sells its macarons individually, you know have to buy an assorted box. I only want the caramel ones! They are the easily the best of any I've tried.

Does anyone else do a good caramel macaron? I did a taste test years ago, but this time around I'm not finding many at my usual depachika. I guess the macaron boom is over? I'm in Tokyo, Ikebukuro and Shinjuku are where I usually shop but willing to go elsewhere.

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  1. Macarons have become so mainstream that I think they have lost their exclusive/chic image. Even my local Family Mart sells a range of seasonal macarons! At the moment the trend in women's magazines seems to be Showa era okashi and organic bakery products.

    There are plenty of places where you can pick up individual caramel macarons - Sadaharu Aoki is my personal fav:

    Sadaharu Aoki:

    Various locations, including a shop in Isetan, Shinjuku.

    Pierre Hermé: Infiniment Caramel.

    Also has various locations, including Isetan, Shinjuku, but I prefer the Aoyama boutique.

    Laduree: Caramel au beurre salé.

    Laduree stores are sprouting up like Starbucks. There is a store on the first floor of Lumiere, near the south exit of JR Shinjuku station.

    Dalloyau: Caramel au beurre salé.

    They have the full range of macarons at the Ginza and Jiyugaoka locations. I can't remember if the shop in Tokyu Store, Shibuya, has the full range, but I'm pretty sure you'll be able to pick up some caramel macarons there.

    11 Replies
    1. re: wekabeka

      Thank you! I no longer have the time to shop around (or the stomach for taste testing) so this is immensely helpful.

      I remember Sadaharu Aoki's were my least favourite macarons sampled, odd as I like his other stuff. I seem to recall that Pierre Herme's were my second favourite, so I'll try those first. I really should have taken notes (Prasantrin did but I'm having trouble finding them, and they may be out of date by now). Will also give Laduree a try next time I'm in Shinjuku or Ginza.

      1. re: BlueLotus

        Hi there! Coincidentally, I just browsed through your blog a few days ago to see how you were! I can't believe how big S is now!

        My favourite other than Henri Charpentier was Chez Cima at Isetan Shinjuku, conveniently located right by Henri LeRoux which has my favourite salted butter caramel everything else.

        I'm glad you posted--I would have been very disappointed if I tried to buy a salted caramel macaron from HC and found I couldn't get just one!

        1. re: prasantrin

          Hi Prastrin! Shuma's 3 years 9 months and just started daycare today. I've almost forgotten I have a blog, but thanks for having a look. How have you been?

          I was really disappointed about HC, those macarons were my favourite treat in the world. I'll try Chez Cima next time I'm in Shinjuku.

          1. re: BlueLotus

            Holy smokes! Time certainly does fly!

            I'm good, but back in Canada. Don't know if that's good or bad (and it's been three years already!).

            Chez Cima macarons are good caramel macarons, but they don't have that dark caramel flavour HC ones do. So it's not as much of a punch of caramel (which is what I loved about HC). It's more of a refined caramel flavour.

            I'd skip Dallayou. Waste of money, imo. Lauduree are better than Dallayou, but something is still not quite right with them. Francois Payard (in Seibu) had good lemon macarons, but I think when I went there were no caramel ones. I would try those ones if they were available.

            1. re: prasantrin

              I admit that Dalloyau's macarons are my least favourite amoung the list I posted (the range of flavours is a little pedestrian IMHO), but I wouldn't dismiss them completely; taste is a subjective thing, after all.

              1. re: wekabeka

                True, but her previous posts lead me to believe BL's tastes and mine coincide--at least with regards to caramel macarons. I know I regretted spending the Y200 or whatever on Dalloyau's macaron, but ymmv.

                (neither of us care for Aoki or Herme--and we disliked Herme for the same reasons which are uncommon as most people rave about Herme, we both loved HC, etc.)

                1. re: prasantrin

                  Wekabeka, I really appreciate your input! I should have made it clearer that I have really extremely specific tastes and they happen to be the same as Prasantrin, which I found out by doing a similar taste test to one she had done (years ago).

                  What I love about Henri Charpentier's caramel macarons was a really deep caramel flavour, not too sweet, with a firmer filling and crust with a perfect balance of crispness and meltiness. I don't like over-stuffed macarons, soft gooey fillings, and outsides that are too soft or too firm.

                  My god do I ever sound picky!

              2. re: prasantrin

                Thanks! I guess I'll have to get my caramel fix from actual caramels, and learn to love other flavours of macaron.

        2. re: wekabeka

          Wekabeka, I went to Pierre Herme but I could tell by looking at them that they were the ones I didn't like so much. Way too much filling, and too soft and gooey as I recall. Pierre Herme's chocolate is wonderful so I'll stick to that.

          I ended up trying Sebastien Bouillet (next to PH at the Ikebukuro Seibu), which had two kinds of chocolate covered caramel macarons and and regular. Nice but not what I'm looking for. Will try Dallayou and Laduree next!

          1. re: BlueLotus

            Have you tried the macaron of Fabrice Gillotte ? They are expensive, around 280yens each!! The caramel macaron is better than Sebastian Bouillet in my opinion, even the macaron is not perfect, the filling is caramel butter, but the best recently I've had !

            1. re: Ninisix

              No I haven't Ninisix. Macarons are already so pricey, so 280 isn't bad. Will give Fabrice Gillotte a try, thanks.

        3. For those who can read Japanese, or get by with a google translation, this is one of many interesting blogs by macaron connoisseurs (fanatics?) in Japan. Around 500 shops reviewed.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Hiyodori

            Thanks Hiyodori. Wow, 4 1/2 stars to Planetes, which is right in my (out of the way suburban) neighborhood! Never tried theirs yet as they only have a few flavours at a time, never anything I am interested it.

            1. re: BlueLotus

              As the author of this blog gives Henri Charpentier a miserable 2+ (your beloved caramel were amongst those tasted), and Pierre Herme 5 stars, it will be interesting to hear how you get on with their recommendations. But regardless of whether your tastes align or not, the area map is definitely a useful resource.

              1. re: wekabeka

                I know! Obviously very different tastes at work here. I'm guessing this person is not hugely into caramel and prefers a softer, gooey type of macaron.