THE MACARONNER

REPORT # 25

www.themacaronner.com (ONLINE ONLY)
info@themacaronner.com





Based out in the Greater Los Angeles area is this spanking new macaron shop on Etsy.com.  The two owners, Nicola and Eric, are not only the masterminds and the pastry chefs,  but also they are a happily married couple.  No wonder they come up with great products like chocolate covered macarons or even the Do It Yourself French Macaron Baking Kit!  The shop also offers madeleines, and the white chocolate dipped ones look truly amazing to send to someone as a gift or for yourself to indulge.

There are several different flavors you can choose from when choosing your assortment of flavors.  The set can be little as from three macarons per box ($4 +s&h) to 36 macarons per box ($52 +s&h).  All are freshly made to order and are always shipped out on Monday/Tuesday bright and early to ensure freshness of the product.  I certainly got mine on Monday, and they were very fresh, and quite honestly definitely fresher than most macaron places I've  physically been to.

OVERALL:

  • about 2" in diameter
  • soft and moist inside
  • sweet
  • impressive packaging
the box

the macaron package
side and top view of the package + instructions on how to handle macarons

DETAILS:
ALMOND
A white colored outer layer has almond bits on top, with a thick creamy inside that tastes like almond butter cream. 
MOCHA
Chocolate outer shell is more cacao-flavored than chocolate and it is moist and almost fudge-like.  Inside cream has a tint of yellow and has a hint of sweet espresso flavor.  Overall it tastes like a Cafe Mocha.

COCONUT

Fine coconut shaving on top of a white outer shell.  Inside has a thick creamy vanilla-bean filling.  It tastes milky, like condensed milk or white chocolate.

YELLOW
The pastel yellow outer layer has a hint of orange flavor.  It has a nice slight crunch and is soft inside.  The cream is a translucent yellow with a nice sweet flavor of apricot.  There is no bitterness or sourness- just the essence of the orange is brought out by the cream.

STRAWBERRY
Light pink colored outer shell with a translucent pink cream filling has a overall flavor of a strawberry milkshake!  It has a slight crunch on the outside, and soft inside.

MY FAVORITE:
Coconut


CONCLUSION:
I was really pleasantly surprised with these macarons that came in the mail.  The attention to the sturdy packaging and the extra mile put by adding that note of instructions was really impressive.  Normally you would end up with crushed up macarons if you go to some places without the right packaging, or you may safely get them home intact, but not know if you should but them in the fridge or leave them out.  These things are so important before getting to the stage of eating macarons.  The quality of the macarons here were better than most of the macarons I've reported so far, as I've mentioned before.  They were moist, no air-pockets, and  they had a nice thick layer of filling.
TWELVE-CENTIMETER CAKE

REPORT # 24
http://www.twelve-centimeter.com/ (temporarily not available)

429 North Western Ave. #5, Los Angeles, CA 90004
(323) 871-8393
Mon - Fri: 9am - 9pm
Sat: 9am-10pm
Sun: 9am-9pm
Parking Lot

Near the outskirts of Korea Town is the bakery 12 Centimeter Cake.  The namesake comes from their signature chiffon cake that is 12centimenters-tall, which is a little less than 5 inches.  It is in a not-so appealing plaza shared with a few restaurants, but you'd be pleasantly comforted once you enter the bakery.  It's clean, new, airy, very modern, simple, and there is a long case of beautifully presented macarons in two tiers.

I would say there were about 30 kinds of macarons, and that number is unmatched, compared with the other 23 bakeries I've been to already!  Not even Paulette will have that many flavors in one day.  It was very exciting to choose ones that I had never tried.  Depending on the flavor, the prices ranged from $1.50 to $1.75, which is average.  They accept credit cards.




OVERALL:
  • about 2" in diameter
  • great presentation
  • very aromatic and unique flavors
  • huge air pockets
  • very stale

DETAILS:
APPLE
Light green outer shell with a big air pocket.  The inside is a translucent green filling with the flavor of natural green apple.  It is very chewy and stale when you bite into it.



CHAI
A very fragile deep plum exterior with a translucent pink filling.  The filling has a burst of chai spices, especially cloves, with a sweet and cinnamon after-taste.  Unfortunately it was a bit dry.
 



CHAMOMILE
The exterior has a light pumpkin orange tint with a light gray semi-salty and sweet filling with speckles of chamomile.  It has a very pleasant aroma and flavor of chamomile, but it is stale. 



LEMON GRASS
Light yellow-green colored  exterior has a light crunch, and the inside is very dry.  The  white filling has a very strong aroma of lemon grass, and the first bite is struck with a strong citrus undertone in the nose, then a sweetness on the palette and an ending of lemon flavor. 



NOUGAT
The cream-orange colored exterior is very chewy.  The light brown filling could be Nutella, a hazelnut chocolate spread.  It is not really the flavor of nougat, a chewy bar that contains honey and nuts.



OLIVE OIL
Milky evergreen colored exterior with a translucent light green filling.   There is a very  aroma tic smell of possibly extra virgin olive oil, but the flavor is very faint.  The finish is clean and sweet.


CONCLUSION: 
It was unfortunate that the bakery sold stale macarons.  If it weren't for the stale brittle outer shells and the huge air pockets that all the macarons had, it would have easily been my top five.  Nevertheless, I would like to give acknowledgment and an applause for the bold decisions the pastry chef has made to create such unique flavors.  It was brave and I definitely enjoyed them.
CAKE HOUSE

REPORT #23
11301 Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310)914-0404
Mon - Fri: 9am-9pm
Sat - Sun: Closed
Parking Lot

OTHER CAKE HOUSE LOCATIONS:
(#1) Cake House Galleria: 3250 Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90006
(323)766-0404

(#2) 3500 6th St., Los Angeles CA 90020
(213)487-0404

(#3) 621 Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213)738-0101
As many Asian chain bakeries are, the Cake House in Little Osaka on Sawtelle Boulevard has really cute cakes displayed almost immaculately.  The original bakery is located in Koreatown, but this one was much easier to get to for myself.  Cake House has short cakes, cup cakes, tarts, mousses, ice popsicles, cream buns, and many other Euro-Asianesque baked goodies.

For the first time I have seen macarons individually packaged.  Each had the name of the store, the ingredients of the macarons, and where it was made.  There were many kinds on display as samples, and the rest were refrigerated behind the counter!  They were only $1.50 each too.  Thanks to the packaging, the fragile macarons safely made it home.


OVERALL:
  • 1"-2" in diameter
  • fragile outer layer
  • sweet fillings
  • comes in individual packaging

DETAILS:
BLUEBERRY
Plum colored outer shell has a balanced crunchy to moist texture.  The inside did not taste anything like blueberries.  It was more like sweet condensed milk or white chocolate.

MANGO
Yellow exterior with flavorful creamy yellow filling.  Tastes like sweet dried mangoes.

ROSE
Milky red outer shell is delicate.  The almost translucent white filling has an elegant rose flavor.

MATCHA
Mint green outer layer is a little airy inside but still moist.  It has a light green colored butter cream that has a slight flavor of a matcha latte.
MY FAVORITE:
Mango

CONCLUSION:
These individually packaged macarons were delicate, moist, had hints of flavor, and the filling was sweet and creamy.  I was really impressed with the refrigerating system it had, and how much care was put into preserving each macaron's freshness.
HOTCAKES BAKES

REPORT #22
4119 Centinela Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 397-2324
Mon - Sat: 9am-7pm
Sun: 9am-6pm
Street Parking
Hotcakes Bakes is a humble cupcakery which has just won the Cupcake Wars on the Food Network Cable TV program in 2009.  Many cup cake enthusiasts would watch this show, hoping for their favorite cup cake shops to win.  Located on Centinela Boulevard just after Washington Boulevard, the baby pink shop cannot be missed on the road.  It is a neighborly spot for all residents of Mar Vista, Marina Del Rey, and Culver City since it's pretty much in the middle.

There are about 20 kinds of cupcakes including mini ones, several cakes ready to go, cookies, brownies, cannel├ęs, tarts, and cream puffs!  Take-home is the most often the choice for the patrons, but there is a small long table facing out the window with a few chairs if you can't wait to eat your cup cake.

Amongst all the sweet treats were these big macarons, and there were many kinds.  How does one bakery have so much time to make all these things?  It was an amazing surprise.  They $2.50 each, a rightful price for their sizes.



OVERALL:
  • almost 3" in diameter
  • very sweet
  • soft and delicate
DETAILS:
COCONUT
Ivory white outer with a nice crunch and chew.  Inside cream has a sweet coconut milk flavor.
LEMON
Soft Milky yellow shell with a yellow tinted buttercream.  Tastes like a lemon bar without the tang.

PASSION FRUIT
A light orange outer with a cream yellow buttercream inside.  It has a tangy and sweet passion fruit flavor.


MY FAVORITE:
Coconut
 

CONCLUSION:
I'm very proud of Hotcakes Bakes for creating many different kinds of macarons  even though the bakers must have so much on their plates baking and prepping its intensive collection of cupcakes and more.  I know that macarons takes much precision and patience, but a good baker can pull it off, and this place is definitely one of them.  The big sized macarons are pretty sweet and good!

EURO PANE BAKERY

345 East Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 844-8804
Mon - Sat: 7:30am-5:30pm
Sun: 7:30am-3:30pm
Street Parking
Took a long drive to Pasadena to stop by Euro Pane.  I had heard of the many good things about its macarons, so I finally decided to make this trip.  However, there were some confusion with the location(s).  There is Euro Pane on 950 East Colorado Street, and another on 345 East Colorado Street.  Soon did I find out the older one  on 950 East Colorado is under construction, and the new one on 345 East Colorado  is  somewhat new.  It was easy to find the new one since it was close to the Civic Center.  The decor is very clean cut with white and gray palettes with a touch of nature with organic wood furnishings.  The bakery has very impressive artisan goods, such as baguettes, danishes, and croissants.  The shop smelled of fresh baked deliciousness.  There were also sandwiches, espresso bar drinks, and fresh squeezed juices.  Nothing can get better than fresh foods.

The unfortunate part was the situations with its macarons.  There was only one kind, which  was a huge let down but soon I eventually got over, but most importantly the execution was a mess.  Most of them were cracked, broken, but still displayed in their platter.  Some baker must have had a melt down that morning!  For $2.50 I asked for the one that was intact.

OVERALL:
  • about 2½" in diameter
  • sturdy and dense
DETAILS:
CAPPUCCINO
Light tan outer layer with a sheen.  Inside is thick ganache.  The aroma is very strong espresso but the flavor has a hint of coffee but mainly chocolate.
CONCLUSION:
There was only one kind of macarons here, and what a shame, because the one macaron I tried was very good.  Would have liked to try other kinds, but Pasadena is quite a trip for me, so it wouldn't be for a while.  Better luck next time, if there even will be a next time.
FRANCES

REPORT #20
404 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213)680-4899
Mon - Fri:  7:30am - 7pm
Sat: 8:30am - 7pm
Sun: Closed
Private Lot or Street Parking
Frances is a cake shop located in Little Tokyo, and it is very much a Japanese-American-run establishment. There are short cakes, green tea cakes, mousses, mont blanc, and many other cakes that you would find in a Japanese bakery.  What makes this shop also very Japanese to me is how each item in the house is carefully packaged.  You can't get any more Japanese than this.

I usually judge a book by its cover, and for this case, that is exactly what happened.  The macarons did not all look prim and perfect, nor did the colors look oh so exciting.  There were more than half a dozen to try, and all looked very simple and average and the price was $1.85 each.  Nevertheless, I asked for a few of these, and the lady packaged it in a cute small plastic package that was machine sealed, and was tied up with a ribbon, without asking.  It was a nice gesture.  And little did I know, these macarons were soon to be discovered as the best ones on my list.

OVERALL:
  • about 1½" in diameter
  • aromatic and subtle flavors
  • gift wrapped at no cost
DETAILS: 
MINT
Mint cream colored puffy exterior has a nice crunch, a bit of an air pocket, but it's moist and slightly chewy inside.  The filling is a sweet cream with a hint of peppermint.

RAISIN
White outer layer has a slight crunch and a moist and chewy inside.  The cream is milky, like condensed cream and has a raisin.

MATCHA
The light olive green colored shell has a crunch, a nice chew and is moist.  The cream is very milky with a flavor of green tea latte.

CONCLUSION:
Each macaron had a nice crisp outer, full inside, rich in flavor, and had a great balance of the outer & filling.  It was such a surprise to be able to try such delicious macarons here in the middle of Little Tokyo, in a very humble cake shop.