I know two macaron posts in two days seems like overkill - but the day before we made ours I was in Moore Wilson Fresh and spied this awesome little box (sealed with wax!). After I had advised the guy behind the pastry counter that the blackboard contained a spelling mistake (it said "macaroons", not "macarons" - impressively, he immediately called his supervisor over to tell her so it could be fixed, which made me feel even more ridiculously pedantic) I requested a box (they were tucked away behind the counter). At $7.50 for a box of four they're not cheap, but come cheaper than Christchurch's J'aime les Macarons, which are $2.50 each.
I was a bit disappointed when I got home and realised that the box of four only contained two flavours; the poster on the cabinet they were in showed four different macarons so I had assumed each box was an assortment. Oh well, at least I didn't get the coffee flavour!
Our selection had two lemon macarons and two chocolate ones. I was sad to see that they don't look illustriously filled, but they are flawlessly smooth and macaron-y looking.
So, the big test; how do they taste, and how does that compare to the ones we made?
Well, the chocolate one was pretty tasty, with a rich chocolate flavour, though there was no substance to the shell - no chewiness, it was more like a light meringue biscuit than what I think of as macaron (bearing in mind I've only tried a couple so my judgement is not the most experienced). The lemon one was definitely lemony but I felt it lacked zing - and it really didn't seem to contain much filling. I tend to think that if you were trying these having never tasted macarons before you might think they were either overrated or overpriced.
With, obviously, a slight bias, both Mr Cake and I thought our homemade macarons were better. We agreed that our buttercream filling needed more flavour (for both the passionfruit and the raspberry) but both still packed a better punch than the lemon. The shells on our macarons definitely had the chew factor - far more enjoyable.
From an aesthetic perspective, the bought ones are obviously a bit neater - I like how the foot isn't splayed out - but were lots flatter, and I suspect it's not completely authentic for them to be as rounded as mine but I like them. I also think a good macaron should have a visible filling - because you eat with your eyes too!
What do you guys think? Tell me the truth; I can take it! How do mine stack up lookwise - and do you know what makes a macaron kosher?
Sky & Helene's Macarons are available from Moore Wilson Fresh on the corner of Tory & College Streets, Wellington, ph 04 384 9906