I was absolutely delighted when I discovered French Made Baking had a booth at the Steveston Salmon Festival. Farmers’ markets in Vancouver are just not very convenient for me. Even better, they offered a special Canada Day flavour! Besides macarons, they also sold croissants and other pastries, but I was there for these meringue cookies and so that is what I got. I was delighted to find that the texture for these macarons were quite well executed. The outer shells were extremely delicate, while the insides were soft and moist – just the way the macaron shell should be. None of the fillings were a buttercream base and were thus not oily at all. For $10 for six, I got to try each flavour, which came packed in a cute little box.
The first flavour I got to sample was Le Yuzu Macaron. Yuzu juice, which is a citron flavour, was used to make the shell. It had a dark chocolate and cream filling to offset the tartness of the shell. I actually did not like the citrus flavour in this. It tasted somewhat artificial to me and was not distinct in the citrus fruit. I am certainly not a fan of mixed citrus tastes. It just seems overly complicated, especially when paired with the dark chocolate. A simple lemon one would have sufficed for a yellow macaron.
The special Macanada was my favourite one. Not only did I love the red and white shells, the maple ganache with bits of roasted pecans was sweet and yummy. The white chocolate ganache filling, with the maple and pecan flavours, was truly special and fit for such a special occasion. It was sweet and sticky; in my opinion, that was the perfect combination for macaron fillings. Roasted nuts will bring out that nice aroma in most desserts and this was no exception. It was also just extremely pleasing to gaze at.
Next was the Le Pistache Macaron, which was perhaps the best pistachio macaron I have ever tried. The flavour was distinctly that of an artificial pistachio, but it was pistachio and not just any nut. It was strong and I loved it. The white chocolate and cream filling was very thick and full of flavour. The colour was not too bright or too light. Being such a popular flavour, the pistachio macarons I have tried at different places differ quite a lot. Some are bad and others just do not taste anything like pistachios. For once, I could tell it was a pistachio flavour.
Another one of the good ones was the L’Anglais Macaron, or rather an earl grey tea macaron with a milk chocolate and cream ganache. I loved the lilac shade of the shell. It was a very elegant colour, looking very upscale. The chocolate ganache went perfectly with the earl grey tea infused macaron shell. The two flavours, both very distinct and strong, matched nicely, bringing out a contrast while maintaining the balance of the two.
The Le Framboise Macaron was mediocre. The texture was good but the flavour was not as strong as I am used to. There was, however, a nice, slightly different taste to it; it did not completely taste like a raspberry jam or artificial flavouring. Instead, it had that musty feel to it. The colour was a nice shade of pink and the texture of the raspberry ganache filling was great.
Finally, the Le Passion Macaron was the worst one in my opinion. This is mostly due to the artificial passion fruit flavouring. Having drunk a lot of passion fruit bubble teas in the past, I know I like a good artificial passion fruit taste. This was just too fake though, like the awkward-tasting zero-calorie sweeteners. Even the milk chocolate and cream ganache did not help to make the macaron taste better as the passion fruit artificial flavour was just too strong.
I never thought that there would be macarons of all the treats there are to be available at the Steveston Salmon Festival. They are really turning into a more upscale event, I guess. Regardless, it is nice to have so many options so close to home so I am not complaining.