Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pierre Herme Macarons

so i actually managed to shamelessly take many, many shots of their macarons while i was browsing and waiting for my turn inside. strangely enough they didn't stop me, i secretly think they closed an eye since i did it in a rather discrete manner. my mom however, was stopped the moment she tried to get a shot of me in the middle of transaction. lol.

i really love how the macarons are displayed and place. here's a little food for thought, pun completely intended; do you know why macarons are stored in this manner, and not laid flat on its shell? honestly it's only professionalism that they store macarons in this manner. yet i do see cafes or places which sell macaron (some even atas i.e. high-class places), storing their macarons on the shell. like literally placing it flat and it absolutely peeves me. :<

for a very simple reason; macarons are yummy for their crunchy shell but chewy centre. the shells after baked are completely dried out and actually crispy like cookies. what gives them the chewiness is its fusion with the filling. which is why after filling, it is said that they key is to store them for 24 hours int he fridge after filling before consumption to ensure the optimal fusion - i.e. for the moisture from the filling to be absorbed by the shell, giving you that nice chewiness. the longer the filled macarons are stored, the softer the macaron will be eventually.

by storing them on their sides, the moisture from the filling will be able to be fuse evenly between the two shells rather than seeping into one shell more than the other.

once, i actually told a store guy (somewhere in Changi Airport) that they shouldn't display/store the macarons in that manner and explained why. they were gracious about it and agreed and said that they understood but they left it as it was, weeks after i returned. ._. totally cannot understand.

this, by the way is 37 euros. why is it stored this way? i have no idea. i'm guessing it's too big to be stored any other way.

so i got us 7 macarons - weird number actually. i thought they would come in 6 or 8. oh well 7 is the number of perfection. (: they actually had another anniversary packaging which costs alot more. legit paying for the box but i mean i didn't see a point obviously. so i went with the classic packaging.

Right to left: Chocolate Passionfruit, Chocolate, Jasmine, Raspberry, Lemon, Salted Caramel, Citron+Fruit?

The chocolate, was just chocolate. Again, it's hard to go wrong with chocolate, so it's hard to impress with it too i would think. nothing extraordinary. tasted like.. chocolate. lol.

it may be because i'm not a chocolate fan much myself. but my mom is. and all she said was, tastes like chocolate. lol. nothing extraordinary.

The salted caramel was okay. i'm not a fan of cream fillings. and it's weird because i'm more used to the actual caramel being the filling rather than it being incorporated into a cream.

The chocolate passionfruit tasted like chocolate and passionfruit. as in these flavours honestly didn't wow me or anything. they tasted like what they said they were. which isn't a bad thing. but it wasn't exceptionally impressing. what was impressing and somewhat interesting however, were the flavours i tried the next day..

The raspberry literally had a berry sandwiched inside. if i don't recall wrongly it's yoghurt and raspberry. pretty nice. 

ah the lemon and yoghurt. i was quite excited for this because i like almost anything lemon. and lemons are sour right? so they're supposed to balance out the sweetness from the macaron. well this didn't do quite that. it wasn't bad. it was interesting. my brother said they tasted like dishwashing liquid. lol. like Mama Lemon. after he told me that i felt like i was going to blow bubbles right out of my mouth after taking a bite. lol.

This is actually my favourite. and the one that left the most impression on me. Jasmine. well maybe it's cos i'm a flower person and i honestly didn't expect the jasmine flavor to be strong enough. like a very subtle hint of jasmine yknow. but to my surprise, the flavour was overwhelming. not so much in a bad way. maybe at one point in time i felt like i was eating flowers but i liked it hahahahaha. very fragrant and light. something that i'd definitely go back for. the rest of the flavours... not so much.

right. i'm actually here finishing the post because i'm a little distracted about my hair. i got it cut the two nights before. not at my usual hairdresser (he would be so upset) lol. but i liked the way the guy did the fringe. just that i'm kinda annoyed that he cut the crown of my hair short at the back to 'fringe' it. i like having thick hair. but it was giving me a headache cos i had a lot of hair. and long. it wasn't cheap either. oh. i also changed my parting hahahaha. which is really a first. i say i'm gonna do it all the time but i never really do. so change is good i guess. or i know i'll never really be able to do it. and i ALWAYS tell zhijun that i'm so bored of my hair and i will do something different every single time after i cut my hair. and she'll say that i say that ALL the time but i don't really do anything about it. so i have now. hahahaha. even though i'm not sure if it's a good idea a month before flying to Korea. cos this isn't really Korean-hairstyle. ah i don't know. but hair has been cut and hair will grow. it just takes time. again. waited for my skin. now for my hair. but nah i don't hate it. i'm not sure if i like it. but we'll see. (: i will grow to like it i hope. and be used to fringe falling down on the other side of my face. meanwhile let me reminisce my old hair (yes i totally hated the fringe in Europe but i'm actually mildly missing it now). here's a shot of my hair at its messiest in photos.


Prague before bed *^^*

okay end of selfies heh heh heh.

stuff to write next: Europe and Shopping!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Macarons & The Best Macaron: Forrey & Galland Chocolatier

i apologise again to those who have emailed me during the period 26/06/13 - 13/07/13. i went traveling in Europe before ending at Nottingham to attend my brother's graduation. which explains my late responses.

i have also been insanely jetlagged (it is almost 1am since i am reediting and working on this post right now.) and fighting with some extremely severe stomach cramps with some gastric. so much so that i called in sick for work yesterday (Wednesday). honestly the cramps left me wondering if i was going to die because i couldn't walk properly and after the doctor's i took some pills which i think i am allergic to and i ended up being terribly nauseous, unable to focus and almost in hallucination (i don't know how to describe it.. white flashes of light when i turn my head and severe giddiness). it was so bad i threw up after i got home from tuition that night. ah well.

so it has really been awhile (it feels) since i posted something more food-related. i had wanted to blog about my Europe trip in general but since this is, more of a baking blog (i realised it evolved somewhere along the way lol), i decided to post about the best macaron i tried (in my life thus far). this is really my own opinion and what satisfied my tastebuds the most. and i had also tried Pierre Herme in Paris as well as Laduree in England (somehow i never spotted it in Paris) but i saw many in England.

Also, for a fair comparison, i usually go straight for the salted caramel macaron. they are usually the classics among the various brands. in my opinion Forrey & Galland had the best salted caramel macaron i ever tasted, but they disappointed me with their chocolate macaron. then again, it's hard to go wrong or different with a chocolate macaron. i tried a limited few given that my time in Dubai was short and i was really tired between the flight transits.

I actually got them at the Dubai Airport, Terminal A. they were just a little over the counter booth thing in the middle of a gifts&chocolate souvenir shop which sold nuts as well. never heard of them, but i was on a trip to Europe and i literally grabbed every opportunity to try any macaron that i saw.

both my parents and i agreed that this was really good. it is actually, the only salted caramel macaron thus far that i concede is superior to mine *thick-skinned* heh. get this. the macaron shell is still crispy on the outside but soft inside, and it is subtly sweet, not overbearing and leaving the sweetness to come from the filling. the caramel filling is really really fragrant (how on earth did they get the filling so fragrant?!) and the texture is perfect. if you can see, it's almost transparent and they are generous with the filling which is really important in my opinion! i cannot understand macarons which are very kiam with the fillings because that really is the star of the macaron. even after taking a bite, the macaron stays firm and holds in place. i really wonder how they cooked the caramel.

PS. if you realize, my nails here are still mega pretty and the polish is still intact.. wait till you see the photos to the end of the trip. my nails are so cui now. need to repaint them asap. ^^'

a close-up shot with my Canon.

Laduree: London

I decide to lump Laduree together with Forrey & Galland in one post because i really don't have much to say about it and i only tried two. i also had this the day right when we landed and i was really tired (try being jetlagged and plane shagged AND touring altogether). so i really apologise for the pictures that may look slightly awkward. i will blog about Pierre Hermes in a separate post just because i did get like 6 or something? a box of them and would probably have a little more to say about them.

just comparing caramel with caramel, i picked up the salted caramel macaron from Laduree the moment i spotted it in London. which was pretty soon actually. in fact, i saw more Laduree outlets in London than i saw in Paris. actually, i didn't even see any Laduree stores in Paris despite spotting people carrying bags of it around. i must have missed it somewhere. anyhow, the salted caramel macaron was really disappointing as compared to the one we tried in Dubai. i don't quite remember how it tastes right now so perhaps it's not very fair to do a detailed taste comparison but i vaguely remember it being a sweet mess and i wasn't very keen on finishing it. the caramel just wasn't as fragrant as the one from Dubai.

i like lemons. so i tried the lemon macaron from Laduree. again it was pretty sweet and the lemon flavour was rather subtle for my liking. i was looking for something that was maybe a little more tangy.

i was completely disinterested after the first bite and made my brother finish the rest. i may be wrong, so maybe i'll try out the local Laduree some day. but right now i cannot understand why it is labelled the best macaron store. after Pierre Hermes that is.

So yes. that is about all i have to say about Laduree. my point was really the best macaron i had in Dubai and it was so awesome that on the journey back, despite the horrible flights and transits (we were actually stuck in flight delay due to the plane that caught fire at the Heathrow Airport and our flight was delayed for 2 hours, followed by a like 10 hour flight to Dubai or something.), i actually was determined to buy a box back. but it turned out to be at another terminal and yes, we took a skytrain in that gigantic Dubai airport just to get to Terminal A to get a box of those. they only came in like 8 16 and not 6 and 12. so i actually got 8 of them.
6 salted caramels, 1 rose and 1 funny tasting i have no idea what it is flavour. it actually tastes like curry. maybe i'll write about that another time. oh yes i also saw Wasabi macarons.. in Paris.

for now, this is all. still editing my Europe pictures and getting everything in place. i wish i could do a proper complete post but this will have to do! i do have quite a lot i want to share but i just need the time to sit down and write - which i am lacking. my weeks are packed and i have to start packing for Korea and have to do my Korean Visa and pack my room and finish my Europe pictures and blog about the Europe trip and my skin and go see my dermatologist and attend 21st parties and finish distributing gifts from Europe... you get my gist. so yes. (: