My quest to start a whoopie pie stand of my very own in a Chicago farmers market.
Well, Florian Bellanger (seen here at 40 seconds with a classic Florian line), I am unimpressed. Or en français: Je ne suis pas impressioné.
As I mentioned before, I purchased this nice little package from Gilt Taste. Although they’re hyped on Gilt Taste as “Mad Mac NYC” and supposedly these macarons are sold in hotels and restaurants across New York City, if you do a wee bit of searching on the Mad Mac website, you’ll find that Mad Mac is actually located in New Jersey. Not that living in NYC for five years gave me any kind of prejudice against New Jersey…ahem…but there is something to be said for the false advertising. At least they came packaged impressively.
And they look even better out of the packaging.
They are listed for the same price on Gilt Taste and the Mad Mac website. The price difference (i.e. deal) comes from the difference in shipping. Shipping on Gilt Taste was an additional $9.95, so in all, each macaron cost roughly $2.50, which is actually cheaper than the going rate for Laduree’s macarons in New York City. If you buy from the Mad Mac website, you first have to meet a $35 minimum and then have to pay either Next Day or 2nd Day shipping, which for me came out to a whopping $19.96 or $48.63 respectively.
So were they good enough to justify the regular prices listed above? Definitely not. Almost disappointing actually. I had my family over for an apartment warming party and we sampled.
I’ll start with the good: clearly they look gorgeous – wonderful matte, satiny shell, uniform size, cute little sesame seeds. The texture was almost perfect, and that’s super impressive considering what these little babies went through (overnight shipping on a Thursday night which I couldn’t accept from UPS because I wasn’t home, so then there was probably some sitting in a cool UPS truck for 3 days, delivery on Monday, freezer till Saturday, and then a defrost on my counter for several hours). Some of us (perhaps those without very developed palates) even preferred the texture. The chocolate and white chocolate were both soft. Not really any crispy outer layer, but they weren’t mushy or unpleasant in any way. The vanilla did have a better slight crisp with a soft interior, but that’s where my praise of the vanilla will end. It didn’t taste like anything. I’ve got to say Vanille‘s vanilla is still my favorite. Those people know how to make vanilla taste good.
The chocolate hazelnut was very enjoyable aside from the texture; very nutty with chocolate taking a bit of a back seat to the hazelnut. The filling itself also had a supremely smooth decadent texture, almost caramel-like. The boyfriend thought Delightful‘s chocolate was better, but I don’t think that’s a fair comparison since their chocolate tasted so much like a brownie that it would be like comparing a chocolate hazelnut macaron with a dense, fudgy brownie.
The white chocolate sesame was the biggest disappointment of all. I thought “oo! An unusual flavor combo! This has to be interesting!” But apparently it doesn’t.
It tasted like neither white chocolate nor sesame; it just tasted blandly sweet. My last bite had the faintest hint of sesame, so there must have been just a few more seeds on it than my other bites, but it was far from an original, unusual taste. They also had this annoying crumbly problem…
Just kidding…all macarons have that problem.
So there you go. Bennison’s still kicks these fancy “New York” macarons’ shells.
Photo-bettering credit has to go once again to my friend, Steph. Check out her awesome design shop here.