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La Vie en Rose…or Cupcake’s IN PARIS!!!

May 8, 2010

Well, ladies and jellyspoons, I am extremely, extremely happy to inform you that I, Cupcake, am currently blogging to you from Paris, France!

La Vie en Rose...er...Gris...

Yeah, OK, fine, it’s gray and rainy here. But that’s OK, wanna know why? Because here in Paris…

They have cheese.

And chouquettes.

Wait…let’s go back to that cheese for a minute…

Let's get right up in there - can you smell this through your computer screen?

If you can’t, I feel sorry for you. It’s a lovely, moldy, DELICIOUS cheese. Anyways…now back to your regularly scheduled rhapsodizing about the variety of food options in Paris…

And crunchy sea salt butter.

And, lest you think I’ve somehow forgotten about them…

MACARONS!!!!

(yes, it was rainy). Now, let’s take a poll. How long did you expect it to take me before I actually purchased Parisian macarons? I mean, realistically, how long? BECAUSE IT TOOK ME LESS THAN 12 HOURS, in case you wanted to know, between landing and macaron success.

So successful was my macaron madness, that I am the proud owner of 6 Ladurée macarons, followed by 6 Pierre Hermé ones. Because I need another excuse to eat tons of macarons, I have decided to do a head-to-head comparison of Ladurée vs. Pierre Hermé macarons, as if the blogosphere needs yet another amateur opinion of such.

First, let me show you the contestants, in order of purchase.

Ladurée macarons

Pierre Hermé macarons

Already you can see Pierre Hermé is winning in presentation: Ladurée charges extra for the box, thusly cheapskate Cupcake ended up with some crumbly macarons. Another plus: Pierre Hermé includes a guidebook, so when you see six macarons sitting on a plate, you’re able to identify them as: pink = rose; green = olive oil and vanilla; pink/tan with brown/maroon speckles = cherry pistachio; warm brown = salted butter caramel; yellow with brown speckles = passion fruit with milk chocolate; orange = peach, apricot and saffron. Whereas, with Ladurée, what I think we have is yellow = mimosa; red = cherry; crunched up light brown one = praliné; dark purple = cassis; orange-ish looking one = rose petal; tan one = salted butter caramel.

And now…for round ONE of the taste test! In the right hand corner, weighing in with some seriously decadent caramel cream filling:

Pierre Hermé's "Infiniment Caramel"

and in the left hand corner, featuring a more prominently caramel filling:

Ladurée's caramel with fleur de sel

Pierre’s may be prettier, but let’s give it the old taste-er-oo:

Hermé

SUPER tender cookie, more tender than mine ever have been. The caramel cream was definitely on the more “burnt sugar” side of things, though, which was a little off-putting to me.

Then…

Ladurée

By the way…did I mention I had to wait in this line for Ladurée’s macarons?

Hugelongline.

Well, I did. So there. But back to the tasting…the caramel filling was, to me, perfect – exactly the right amount of sweetness, accented by the little pinpricks of fleur de sel. My only complaint? The shell is too chewy. So yes.  I want a Pierre Hermé shell with a Ladurée filling. That shouldn’t be too hard, right?? 😉

The really good news is that both macarons tasted very similar to ones I’ve made in the past, just with a bit more finishing to them. So that’s good.

So, I suppose today’s matchup is a tie…tune in tomorrow for round TWO: rose against rose, OR weird flavor against weird flavor. 🙂

Merci, Monsieur Hermé.

More Parisian posts to come – sorry if this one was a little haphazard – I can barely keep my eyes open after the red-eye flight last night and dragging my luggage halfway to kingdom come (up and down probably 20 sets of stairs, minimum) and then walking a million miles to get macarons. Wish me luck recuperating!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Sheila permalink
    May 8, 2010 3:55 pm

    oh macarons. is it strange for me to think that might be what I miss the most about Paris? Probably, and it actually might be true. Thanks for the great post and pics – made me “taste” them all over again!

    • Cupcake permalink
      May 8, 2010 4:00 pm

      I think it’s completely normal for macarons to be the #1 thing you miss! 🙂 Thanks for the comment – glad you enjoyed the post!

  2. May 8, 2010 4:41 pm

    Yay! A post from Paris! I can just feel your excitement through your writing! How fun… the macarons look great too, and I am NOT surprised they tasted similar to yours. Those french dudes better watch out for you! 🙂

  3. Emily permalink
    May 8, 2010 8:48 pm

    Seeing this post makes my mouth water for the macarons that you brought us. YUMMY!

  4. Alejandra permalink
    May 9, 2010 11:02 am

    I’m so happy you made it to Paris Lisa!

    Since I started reading your blog, I have made it one of my goals in life to actually try a macaron sometime, and every one of your posts featuring them encourages my ambition. 🙂
    I hope you have a wonderful stay.

    • Cupcake permalink
      May 9, 2010 4:49 pm

      I’m so glad I’ve inspired you! Come to DC and I’ll make you a batch – I’ll even use the dulce de leche I’ve been saving!

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