Our latest flavour is Passion Fruit Hazelnut! They're made with butter cream that's been whipped with passion fruit compote and hazelnut paste, and they a have generous, crunchy sprinkling of freshly ground hazelnuts. We hope you like them!!
Our Father's Day flavour this year is a mouthwatering Bourbon Sour Macaron made with a rich, lemon-bourbon butter cream and fresh lemon zest! 🍋🍹 And in case our new macarons give your dad/you a hankering for the beverage itself, we found this quite charming and very informative video for you :)
Happy Friday! Our next flavour up is Rose & Lychee, handmade (always!) with Rosewater, Rose Preserves and Lychee Puree. These ones are a bit floral, a little tropical and, we think, really quite lovely!
A couple of quick food facts for you:
- The ancient Greeks, Romans and Phoenicians considered large public rose gardens to be as important as croplands such as orchards and wheat fields
- In the 1st century, fresh lychees were in such demand at the Imperial Court that a special courier service with fast horses would bring the fresh fruit from Guangdong.
It's the weekend! Which means YOU deserve a cheeky "Rum & Coke" Macaron covered in effervescent silver speckles :) If you were thinking of indulging in the liquid variety this weekend, you'll be happy to know that the Huffington Post has done some extensive research on the best rum to have with your coke. The full article and list of winning/losing rums is here, but this is the upshot:
First, we learned that high end rum does not make a better rum and Coke. The nuances in expensive rums are often masked (and sometimes altered) by the Coke, rendering it useless. Also, bottom shelf always tastes like bottom shelf — it’s somewhere in between that had the best results. Second, we found that many rums add their own unique flavor notes, like coconut or vanilla, that made the rum and Coke a different drink entirely. And third, we learned that bottom shelf rum is giving rum and Cokes a terrible name. Find out which rums make the best rum and Coke, and give this classic drink another goFirst, we learned that high end rum does not make a better rum and Coke. The nuances in expensive rums are often masked (and sometimes altered) by the Coke, rendering it useless. Also, bottom shelf always tastes like bottom shelf — it’s somewhere in between that had the best results. Second, we found that many rums add their own unique flavor notes, like coconut or vanilla, that made the rum and Coke a different drink entirely. And third, we learned that bottom shelf rum is giving rum and Cokes a terrible name.
Now you know.
Tiger Tiger, or "Tiger Tail'" is probably familiar to you as a frozen treat. It's an ice cream parlour classic, with swirls of orange and black and a unique citrus and liquorice flavour blend. "Tiger tiger..." (or, "Tyger tyger...") also happens to be the opening of one of the most famous poems ever written, The Tyger by William Blake. Mr. Blake did fantastic calligraphic illustrations for many of his poems, and we love the one he did for The Tyger! So what we're saying here is, you can indulge your literary and culinary inclinations at the same time this weekend :) We hope you enjoy them!
This week we're heading Mediterranean-wards with a juicy, herbaceous flavour concocted with fresh lemons and rosemary. As an ingredient, rosemary is a great opportunity for us to indulge in one of our favourite things here on this blog: antique botanical prints. Before you peruse our little collection below, though, DID YOU KNOW that the name "rosemary" derives from the Latin for "dew" (ros) and "sea" (marinus)? So basically its name means "dew of the sea". According to legend it was draped around the Greek goddess Aphrodite when she rose from the ocean. As west coasters we find that particularly lovely. So if you're heading to the beach this weekend, this is obviously the perfect treat to bring with you. :)
Blueberry Cheesecake Macarons! These blue-eyed beauties feature real blueberries and sweet cream cheese. They are *quite* a bit lighter than actual cheesecake, much easier to eat with your hands, and every bit as delicious! Now, we do love actual cheese cake. And we particularly love New York Cheesecake, but France of course has its own incredible version, in the Tarte Au Fromage Blanc from the Alsace region of France. We found a fantastic classic recipe on The Happy Foodie blog, by Racheal Koo, as well as this one below that incorporates applesauce, from Martha Stewart.
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast (from two 1/4-ounce envelopes)
1/2 cup warm water
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for bowl and pan
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) farmer cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces) creme fraiche, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, plus 3 large egg whites, room temperature, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup applesauce
1. Dough: Mix together flour, sugar, yeast, water, egg yolk, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook until a dough is formed, about 3 minutes. Add butter, and mix until incorporated, about 3 minutes (dough will be sticky). Transfer dough to a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until almost doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down dough, cover, and let rise 30 minutes. Refrigerate dough, still in bowl and covered, until firm, about 2 hours.
2. Punch down dough. Roll out into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough into a buttered 9 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom, pressing dough up to rim of pan. Prick dough all over with a fork, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise 30 minutes.
3. Filling: Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in lowest position. Whisk together 3/4 cup sugar and the flour. Whisk together farmer cheese, creme fraiche, egg yolk, salt, and vanilla; stir in sugar mixture, then butter, with a wooden spoon.
4. Beat egg whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Raise speed to medium-high, and gradually sprinkle in remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Beat until medium glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Fold half the egg whites into cheese mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining egg whites.
5. Spread applesauce in crust, and pour filling on top of applesauce. Bake 30 minutes, then check crust; if it is starting to brown significantly, tent edge with foil. Bake until crust is deep golden brown and filling is puffed, golden, and just set (it should barely wobble when very lightly shaken), about 25 minutes. Let cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack 1 hour. Unmold tart, and let cool at least 30 minutes. Tart is best served slightly warm but can also be served at room temperature.
We're kind of in love with our new flavour, Apricot Pistachio. First of all, a pistachio fact: remains of the Atlantic pistachio and pistachio seed, along with nut-cracking tools, have been discovered in the Middle East and dated by archaeologists to 78,000 years ago! The ones we use are somewhat more fresh. But one of our favourite things about macarons is how infinitely versatile they are, for such small, simple things. Not only are there endless flavour possibilities, but there's so much you can do with colour and decoration. We obviously went the marbling route with our Pistachio Apricot macarons, and we are really happy with the results. Marbling techniques might not be as old as pistachios, but they do date back over a 1000 years!
New to the patisseries this week! We have another sweet and boozy treat for you :) Rum—essentially spirits distilled from sugar—is one of the oldest beverages out there, and there are many different theories about how it came by its modern name. Here are a few of the possibilities!
- From the British slang term for "the best", as in "having a rum time.”
- From the last syllable of the Latin word for sugar, "saccharum".
- From the Romani word "rum", meaning "strong" or "potent". (This source as also been linked to the "ramboozle" and the "rumfustian", popular British drinks in the mid-17th century!)
- From the large drinking glasses used by Dutch seamen known as "rummers", taken from the Dutch word "roemer" meaning "drinking glass'.
And here are some other (kind of scary!) names rum has been known by over the years:
- Nelson's blood
- demon water
- pirate's drink
- navy neaters
On the seafaring theme, we want clarify we didn't make these macarons with Bundaberg Mutiny Rum, but we wanted to share these fantastic bottles with you anyway:
Macarons for the high-seas!
Happy Easter! Or, as we say in France, Joyeuses Paques! We just wanted to let you know our Easter Macarons are in the store—we have cellophane clutches of mini-macarons in Caramel, Pistachio, Chocolate, Raspberry, and Blueberry, as well as hand-painted Easter Egg Macarons in Triple Chocolate! We can guarantee they'll look adorable in any basket, and, as always, they're gluten free and made local with love.
It’s St. Patrick’s Day and we’re all stocked with Bailey’s Irish Cream Macarons (that are decorated with adorable tiny shamrocks!). And we have to say/warn you, they have a very nice little kick to them!
While Irish Cream is a liqueur made with whiskey, cream and (often) coffee, Irish Coffee is a cup of sugary coffee with thick cream floated on top. Wikipedia has this entertaining history of Irish Coffee, that involves 'flying boats':
Although different variations of coffee cocktails pre-date the now-classic Irish coffee by at least 100 years, the original Irish coffee was invented and named by Joe Sheridan, a head chef in Foynes, County Limerick but originally from Castlederg, County Tyrone. The coffee was conceived after a group of American passengers disembarked from a Pan Am flying boat on a miserable winter evening in the 1940s. Sheridan added whiskey to the coffee to warm the passengers. After the passengers asked if they were being served Brazilian coffee, Sheridan told them it was 'Irish coffee'.
And in France, just fyi, coffee with a little something added has traditionally been know as a Gloria—and was apparently a favourite of Balzac's.
Come celebrate your Irish heritage, your friend’s Irish heritage, your love of green, and/or your appreciation for small boozy desserts. And don't forget—there's only a one letter difference between Gallic and Gaelic 😀 Sláinte!
We're so pleased to have the opportunity to support BC Children's Hospital Foundation for this year's International Macaron Day. For every 12-Pack of Macarons purchased on March 20th, in all of our locations, we will donate $3 dollars to the foundation. And as a thank you to our customers we'll also add an extra Macaron to the box, for a baker's dozen! We hope to see you Sunday!
About BC Children's Hospital Foundation
BC Children’s Hospital is the province’s only full-service acute-care hospital dedicated to serving close to one million children living in BC and the Yukon. All children who are seriously ill or injured are referred to Children’s Hospital and are either treated at the hospital facility in Vancouver or, with consultation from Children’s specialists, in their home community. Last year, more than 86,000 children were treated at Children’s Hospital. In 2013-14 BC Children’s Hospital Foundation received donations from more than 118,000 people and had revenues of $92.2 million. Funds raised by the foundation are used to support BC Children’s Hospital, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children and the Child & Family Research Institute. For more information visit www.bcchf.ca and follow @BCCHF on Twitter.
With everything around us blooming and St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, we’ve got fresh, green things on our minds. Our newest macaron is made with spearmint from Vancouver Island’s own Happy Valley Herb Farm, which we have whipped up with butter cream. :)
Another one of those perfect matches! Our newest macarons mix peanut butter butter cream (any time you get to use ‘butter’ twice in a row you know it’s going to be good) with chocolate ganache. Consider these a grown-up version of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Because you know who we think would love them? ET. Yup. While it has been a while now since this very wonderful movie debuted we feel like the Original Alien’s affinity for Reece's Pieces—those tiny, sweet, salty, crunchy-shelled morsels—has been inscribed deeply enough on pop culture that everyone will appreciate the connection here :)
We are very committed to Macarons. This doesn’t mean we don’t have the deepest appreciation and respect for other pastries—particularly French ones! Invented sometime in the 1800s from a pastry that originated sometime in the 1500s, a Religieuse is… kind of like a snowman made out of profiteroles? It consists of two round choux pastries in different sizes, with the smaller one stacked on top of the larger. Each section is piped full of flavoured crème pâtissière, covered with ganache, and decorated with ornately piped buttercream frosting. ‘Religeuse’ actually means ‘nun’. The shape of the pastry is not meant to look like nuns, though, (that would be scandalous!) but rather a Pope’s Mitre (or, ahem, ‘hat’.) If you’d like to try your hand at them, The Guardian has a detailed recipe with photos for every step!
And if you’d like to kick things up (or down?) a notch, you could attempt a Courtesan au Chocolat: the fictional pastry from Mendl’s in Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel. A parody of the Religieuse, it has an extra choux-ball, making for a three tiered treat! Probably unsurprisingly, there are actually recipes/guides online. This one from Betty’s Magazine looks amazing.
Go on and channel your inner Agatha.
We're very excited to announce our 2016 Valentine’s Collection! Five specialty flavours with unique designs, available in a beautiful, ribboned gift box that has room for the entire collection—plus two extra macarons in your choice of flavours!
The Valentine's flavours are...
Cinnamon Heart: A white macaron decorated with tiny candy hearts.
Kir Royal: A deep pink macaron flecked with gold.
Mon Cheri (Chocolate and Cherry): A macaron based on the ‘heart eyes’ emoji!
Rose: A bright red macaron sculpted to look like a rose.
Strawberry: Mini heart-shaped macarons.
Passion Fruit: Mini-macarons in the shape of X’s and O’s!
The two extra macarons pictured above are Raspberry Coconut and Very Berry.
Here is a handy link to this very post, which you may wish to subtly share with with your boyfriend, girlfriend, or best friend: http://bit.ly/1UTPXaz
Bon Macaron has had an additional location this week, at the Aberdeen Centre Chinese New Year Flower & Gift Fair! And we have two special flavours exclusively for this event: Mandarin Liqueur and Red Bean. If you'd like to try them the fair is on all weekend and on Monday—come and help David (and Mona Lisa!) welcome the Year of the Monkey!
Some Monkey Characteristics!
"Occupying the 9th position on the Chinese Zodiac, the Monkey possesses such character traits as curiosity, mischievousness, and cleverness. Forever playful, Monkeys are the masters of practical jokes. Even though their intentions are always good, this desire to be a prankster has a tendency to create ill will and hurt feelings.
"Although they are inherently intellectual and creative, Monkeys at times have trouble exhibiting these qualities. When that happens, they appear to others to be confused. But nothing could be further from the truth as Monkeys thrive on being challenged. Monkeys prefer urban life to rural, and their favorite pastime is people-watching."
We will neither conform nor deny that David is a Monkey. But if you're a Monkey, the next question is... what kind of Monkey are you??
6 February 1932 - 25 January 1933 = Water Monkey
25 January 1944 - 12 February 1945 = Wood Monkey
12 February 1956 - 30 January 1957 = Fire Monkey
30 January 1968 - 16 February 1969 = Earth Monkey
16 February 1980 - 4 February 1981 = Metal Monkey
4 February 1992 - 22 January 1993 = Water Monkey
22 January 2004 - 8 February 2005 = Wood Monkey
8 February 2016 - 27 January 2017 = Fire Monkey
26 January 2028 - 12 February 2029 = Earth Monkey
12 February 2040 - 31 January 2041 = Metal Monkey
Here's what that means:
Metal Monkeys are determined and ambitious individuals and as a result, they’re often successful. Although they’re considered warm-hearted and very likeable, their preference in life is to be alone. Metal Monkeys are loyal to both their employers and their partners.
Water Monkeys are extremely sensitive and often feel hurt by the things that are said to them. They refuse to show their sensitive side to others and as a result, are extreme jokesters. If they can stay focused, they can succeed, but more often than not, they’re easily distracted from their goals.
The Wood Monkey’s exceptional communication skills enable them to interact well with others. They’re hard workers who have a keen understanding of the way things operate.
Full of strength and determination, Fire Monkeys are excellent at not only setting goals, but in meeting them as well. Others enjoy being in the company of Fire Monkeys, even though these Monkeys want the upper hand in every situation.
Always the community activists, Earth Monkeys have an inherent desire to live life the “right” way. They’re very dependable and they take their work and their relationships seriously. In fact, they put forth 100% effort in everything they do. In return, Earth Monkeys expect respect from others.
Happy New Year!
Chinese Zodiac details sourced from: http://www.chinesezodiac.com/monkey.php
We're already warming up for Valentine's Day... because we're French! And it's our job to be pro-romance :) Our first specialty Valentine's flavour is Cinnamon Heart!
This weekend we bring you watermelon! Watermelon is one of those distinctive flavours that brings you right back to childhood. (Or it does for us, anyway!) These macarons taste as bright and sweet as they look and the seeds sprinkled on top are sesame, which adds just a hint of nuttiness. And there are very few flavours that have such a classic, immediately recognisable 'look' associated with them—watermelon is just so simple and so much fun to evoke, visually!
Speaking of which, did you know that watermelon art is a thing?? We just found this out. BuzzFeed has 75 Watermelon Sculptures waiting for you right here. We're kind of blown away. We hope you will be too.
Let the adorable monkey puns commence! Because we're inviting you to swing on in for some Chocolate Banana Macarons!
We promise they are chimply marvellous ;)