Let me share this random piece of trivia before I begin. The Mardi Gras carnival comes to a close on the day before Ash Wednesday – the start of Lent. It is incidentally called “Fat Tuesday” since it is the last day of merriment, fasting, and good food before the fasting, abstinence, and repentance of the next day. It so happened that this day also happened to be the last day of me being unemployed as I received a text message telling me to report for work tomorrow, be there before 8:00 in the morning, and come in business attire. Not wanting to waste that Tuesday, I promptly prepared and left the house to enjoy that one last day.
The main highlight of this last trip was another macaron review. Buying the treats was an adventure in itself: walking to Raintree, scouring SM Megamall for two macaron shops, walking to EDSA Shangri-La afterwards, and making a quick stop at TWG Tea before settling down at Serenitea on the 6th level. The effort was worth it, though – as it was a feast fit for Fat Tuesday indeed.
I’ve mentioned TWG Tea thrice in the blog, and their Earl Grey Fortune & Chocolate Macaron has been a favorite of mine. They increased its price from P55 to P60 but the size is still consistent. It’s the largest among the four I reviewed, with the first bite revealing a crispy shell and chewy interior. It’s a rather delicate macaron to the touch as the smooth, brittle shell easily crumbles while the inner portion stays compact. The chocolate is subtle and hardly noticeable with an obvious hint of orange – the bergamot used for Earl Grey tea. Disappointing its price increase may be, this macaron is still the richest one I’ve tasted.
The newly-opened Chez Karine Bakery at SM Megamall’s Fashion Hall offers these French treats, aside from cakes and pastries. I was fortunate to have tried their Dark Chocolate Macaron at P65 a piece. It was a bit smaller than TWG’s but larger than the other two macarons I bought for this review. A crispy, solid interior reveals a predominantly dark chocolate taste. Commendable, but it pales with that of Bizu’s macaron; the dark chocolate does not leave much of an impression. Plus, the shell has a rather tough texture in some areas. Maybe I got one from a bad batch, or maybe it was just me.
Chateau De France’s Chocolate Macaron may be the smallest in this set, but it packs a lot of flavor at P40 a piece. Extraordinarily soft and delicate, this chewy treat gives the impression of a fudge brownie. Its densely packed halves have hints of nuttiness blending with chocolate in both taste and texture. This is truly a small package big in flavor. (On a side note, allow me to post this erratum – the Chateau De Paris macarons I previously posted here were erroneously tagged with that name. For that blunder I apologize, and rest assured that Chateau De France will be the proper name of these macarons moving forward.)
To wrap up the set, here’s the last macaron courtesy of Raintree. I mentioned in my review of their place, posted some time ago, their mint chocolate macarons which I really liked. Since I wanted to try something different this time but they didn’t have dark chocolate macarons for the day, I simply settled for their Nutella Macarons – still at P35. I count this one as such since Nutella is still a chocolate-hazelnut product. It trumps the Chateau De France macaron size-wise, but there’s a difference in texture between the two. The Nutella macaron has flatter halves and comes with a resilient yet chewy consistency much like a nougat bar. As expected, it’s richly packed with hazelnut flavor all throughout. The filling overflows with every bite, revealing buttery praline notes. Overall, it was much like a Butterfinger macaron made of hazelnuts instead of the traditional almonds.
Before I wrap up this post, let me take this chance to say two things. First, thank you for the 1000 views (1150 views and counting as of this time) here at The Monching’s Guide. I didn’t expect a lot of views here ever since I started September of last year. Nevertheless, it inspires me to carry on writing despite days where I barely get any blog hits. I should have posted this some days ago but I was busy due to work-related commitments. Speaking of which, let me proceed to the second thing. I apologize in advance if I may not be able to post much after this one. See, I now work at Vibal Publishing (yes, that company which makes textbooks for students) from 8 in the morning up to 6 in the evening and by the time I get home, I’m already damn tired. Thus, the subsequent lack of future posts.
Thanks for understanding, and bon appetit. See you around.