Last weekend, a couple of friends and I checked out the J’aime Les Macarons’ pop up shop at Bloc in Mt Eden.
The Bloc is a design retail hub with stores such as BoCocept, Citta Design, World Beauty, Collected by LeeAnn Yare and Douglas and Bec. Swoon-worthy stuff and reasonable prices. My go-to stop when ever I want to buy a gift, though I haven’t actually bought anything for myself there…until now.
J’aime Les Macarons means I love macarons in French. A pop up shop a temporary shop and a great way for new businesses to get feedback in unfamiliar waters. Amanda Marchant and Bridget O’Sullivan are in charge and are two passionate, creative foodies with an eye and palate for some stunning flavour combinations.
J’aime Les Macarons currently have two stores in Christchurch as well as stockists scattered around the country. If you prefer, you can buy a box of 12 from their website and they also do cakes, weddings and corporate events.
They have a range of 6 classic flavours and their Winter collection is a further 12 flavours making for a total of 18 plus an extra special flavour just for their pop up shops. J’aime Les Macarons also have a few complementing products such as their peanut brittle and a salted caramel sauce.
Between us, we bought 18 macarons and tasted over half of the flavours. If we had been better organised, we might have selected 1 of each flavour but we wanted to choose 6 of our own. My favourite was the Salted butter caramel, though I also loved the Coffee macaron.
I like how they pair spices with sweets.
Some of their more unusual flavours include:
- Rhubarb & pink peppercorn
- Chilli Chocolate
- Wasabi & Grapefruit
…and their pop up store special flavour:
- Pineapple Lime & Anise.
These macarons are a little more generous than the classic macaron and the bite is a perfect combination of crisp outer, slightly chewy inner and creamy filling.
I have to make a confession now. I thought I didn’t like macarons for the longest time.Not because I was resistant to the macaron craze (hey, I’m not a hater), but because I dislike almond extract and I had some truly awful fake tasting macarons when the fad first hit. I must have had some cheap ass macarons because a little research suggests that some people use almond extract in place of ground almonds (the main component). The results are disgusting.
I’m glad to say that J’aime Les Macarons make good macarons with real ground almonds that taste lovely, subtly nutty and sweet. I’m already thinking of my next excuse to eat them!
Find out more on their website here: www.jaimelesmacarons.co.nz