Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Epicurean Adventures: Mmmacaroons @ Sucre

Normally I'm a stickler for proper spelling, being one of the "sticklers" Lynn Truss urges to "unite" in her book, "Eats, Shoots & Leaves," but I can't help but add that little moan of appreciation when it comes to Chef Tariq Hanna's fragile cookie treats. I guarantee that if you try it for yourself, you'll understand the difference between a macaroon and Sucre's mmmacaroons, a distinction I learned for myself when I went to sample sweet treats at the uber-cute store to decide on my wedding favors.

Courtney Dodson, the spunky and, as of the night before, literally red-headed general manager of Sucre, was ready with a silver tray of chocolates for me, all of which elicited various squeals of delight and oohs of appreciation, but the perfect last bite was in the gorgeous, puffy almond macaroon the tasting concluded with.

What we had was a Parisian macaron in the traditional sense, with thin but puffy cookies and a center layer of creamy filling, a different animal entirely from the common solid macaroon. But for both, almond paste is the main flavor. (However, for the sake of continuity, since Sucre and Oprah Winfrey's O Magazine call their macarons macaroons, we'll continue to go by that term.) Made with plenty of sugar and egg whites, these French cookies are known for being extremely delicate and are notoriously difficult to make just right ... all factors that made the towering displays of them lining the sparkling counters like so many Easter trees in pastel hues that much more impressive.

Soft, chewy, and crunchy simultaneously, every bite was a study in careful construction and flawless balance. Light to the touch, the macaroons had to be handled with care. Breaking through the cookie with the first bite caused a minor collapse in the structure, the flaky meringue-like shell breaking off in tiny chips. The inside was soft and moist, the filling a cool almond mousseleine that was creamy but light ... the way a custard is. Sweet but nutty, the flavor awakens cravings you never knew you had, with a lingering taste that leaves you fiending for more with the memory of the pure pleasure you just experienced. One was just not enough.

So after I dropped a few bills on the little signature Sucre purses that would be my wedding favors (we went with the sparkling gold-frosted fleur de lis-shaped Meunieres--luscious dark chocolate with a white chocolate ganache and brown butter and almond center--and my favorite, the incredible and gorgeous three-tier, shimmering ivory Wedding Cake--a decadent, slightly smoky toasted almond white chocolate ganache hidden under a coat of more white chocolate), I decided that I liked Boy that day and figured that it was time to drop a few significantly smaller bills on more macaroons. They were pretty pricey for a po' writer at $12 for a box of just eight, so making the right choice was crucial. The decision was hard; with eight different flavors to choose from, the small sampler box seemed like a good idea, but Boy had ideas of his own. We went with four of the almonds, two pecans, and two lemons, leaving the semi-sweet chocolate, Sicilian pistachio, strawberry, hazelnut, and orange to sit lonely in the case.

Of the eight, six made it past the car ride home, and the ranks in the pretty pastel box quickly dwindled to just four within fifteen minutes of getting home. And then they were completely decimated half an hour after that. Now there are none, making this actually a very, very sad story. *Tear.*

Sucre: A Sweet Boutique
3025 Magazine Street
504.708.4366



Sucre - Macaroon from Sucre - Founder - Joel Dondis on Vimeo.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you. I just embedded the video yesterday. You should watch it.

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  2. Your description of the food is so appetizing it makes me hungry...

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  3. Thank you! Mission accomplished :)

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