My quest to start a whoopie pie stand of my very own in a Chicago farmers market.
Sadly I have no macsperiment for you today because I had a silly idea about quartering this recipe (you know how sometimes you halve a recipe…yeah, so I took that to the next level), and of course there weren’t nearly enough egg whites for my gigantic stand mixer and whisk.
75 grams of egg whites is like I don’t know…half an egg white? I don’t even think my tiny hand mixer whisk would’ve been able to whip that wee bit of protein up. It’s just that I didn’t want so many macarons! I only have one sheet pan! When I have too much batter it literally just gets rinsed down the sink. (the failure also could have been due to my attention span being split between macarons and this absolutely delectable roasted tomato soup I was making at the same time)
Needless to say, I’ll be halving that recipe instead and trying it again. I’m also running very low on almond flour so I will soon either be buying more flour or whole almonds to try and turn into flour with my food processor…I’m kind of leaning towards the latter to get even more authentic, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to stop relying on the pre-made flour yet.
I digress. After another extremely successful brunch, this time at Bakin & Eggs (where I highly recommend the oatmeal…mmm pear butter), my dad, boyfriend and I hit up Floriole Cafe & Bakery in Lincoln Park to get our macaron on. But quell triste! They didn’t have any macarons yesterday! It is a simple and beautiful cafe though, and I can’t wait to go back some time when they actually have macarons.
So we traveled to Delightful Pastries in Old Town to sample their macarons instead. Sadly they were not so delightful. Cute though!
Quite literally (one) bite-sized or three if you were very, very dainty, these were by far the smallest macarons I’ve seen as of yet. Minus the four I got for free in exchange for my e-mail address, I got 11 and it came up to only $4.20, which averages out to only 38 cents per, so they’re priced fairly.
Flavors offered: passion fruit, marzipan, chocolate, pistachio, and raspberry almond. Yes, I said raspberry almond macarons. What’s that you say? All macarons could technically have the word “almond” in their name? Yes, that’s true. It seems like someone at Delightful is under the impression that raspberry doesn’t sound exciting enough on its own. They must also think “marzipan” sounds more exotic than “almond.” Very bizarre. Anyway, not only is “raspberry almond” a bizarre name, it’s a bizarre macaron as well. Bordering on bad. Alright, I’ll just say it: it was just plain bad.
I’m sorry Delightful, but if I had never had a macaron before and I tried your raspberry, I would say, “what’s all the fuss? this is the worst pastry I’ve ever had,” and then I would throw it in the garbage and never try another one again, and I would be missing out on a whole world of wonderful, and it would be all your fault.
Sadly, the pistachio had the same story. It tasted absolutely nothing like pistachio and much more like store-bought sheet cake frosting.
Eek! I’m sorry. I would never want anyone to say that about my macarons, so it scares me to say it, but I think these just suffered from a little neglect due to all of the other beautiful and undoubtedly delicious pastries Delightful offers. I will give them some points on texture though. Both raspberry almond and pistachio had a good crisp outer shell with a wee bit of a soft inner filling, which is actually impressive given the size. Although the passion fruit had a great flavor, it was a little too crunchy. They did redeem themselves a little with the chocolate and marzipan flavors. The marzipan tasted exactly like marzipan, but with the more desirable texture of macaron, so yay for that. The chocolate, though the ugliest by far, was delicious. I thought it actually tasted exactly like a brownie. Had the same chew as well.
Delightful’s macarons were on par with Fritz in terms of overall disappointment although slightly better in taste and ironically at the absolute opposite end of the size spectrum. Stay tuned for a mail-order macaron review and hopefully a macsperiment made with one of Pierre Herme’s recipes.
And just for fun: