Since my last post was of Pierre Hermé’s macarons, it would be natural to follow it with a post on Ladurée. As I mentioned yesterday, I love both and they pretty much stand equal on my favourite macaron list, both being #1. Although I only brought back 6 Ladurée macarons, I already finished off plenty in Paris, and also brought back a box of 8 for my Mum. So, what is featured here is only a tiny fraction of what I actually had.
In the box of 6 I brought home, there were 5 of my favourite flavours (réglisse, café, caramel, rose, et vanille), and one flavour I hadn’t tried yet (citron vert et chocolat). Ladurée does the classic flavours very well.
The licorice was a shocking midnight black, but the filling was a creamy beige. Rather than having the weird licorice candy flavours, this was more caramelly and slightly herbal. The fleur d’oranger, rose, and vanilla all tasted strongly of what they were supposed to taste like, while not being artifical. The caramel is my all time favourite macaron. The filling is wonderfully smooth and runny, while still holding it’s shape. It accentuated the slight chewiness and delicate, crisp shells of Ladurée macarons. The seasonal citron vert chocolat, on the other hand, didn’t fare so well. The lime green shell was specked with chocolate flakes, while the filling was chocolate ganache. I found the whole macaron tasted too perfumy. In fact, my mum even described it as tasting like citrus dishwashing soap.
The best part of Ladurée is that they always manage to get the shell-to-filling ratio perfectly. Sometimes, I find that PH’s fillings are a bit overwhelming. Ladurée never has this problem. Their intense flavours mean that a modest amount of filling is enough to bring out the taste. As mentioned yesterday, Ladurée’s shells are very delicate on the outside, and quite chewy and distinctively almondy on the inside. Classic.
Just for comparison, I purchased some macarons from a well-known local patisserie, Paul Lafayet.
I actually purchased separate ones other than these Mother’s Day macarons too. I ended up eating these too as I was quite dissatisfied with my tasting…and decided to buy my Mum flowers instead.
As you can see, the Ladurée filling is a lot more generous. In fact, the Lafayet filling was BARELY there. Also, Ladurée’s fillings are more on the whipped side. PH’s are usually ganache. Paul Lafayet’s Rose, however, was a white chocolate-like, coin sized slab in the center of the macaron. It also barely tasted of rose, instead merely tasting sugary and slightly milky. The shell was also super thin and lacked the airy chewiness of Parisian macarons. Is it our climate?
Another comparison…Kinder buenos. I bought a few Kinder buenos at the airport just to use up my coins, then decided it would be fun to do a parallel comparison with HK buenos. The packaging is almost the same except for the language. The French one also has slightly larger graphics. I found the French Kinder stronger in both the chocolate and hazelnut taste, and left a stronger aftertaste as well. I think the HK hot and humid climate just ruins convenience store chocolate…shame.