Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Macarons from Tout Sweet Pâtisserie

The local food media has been abuzz lately, leading up to the opening of Tout Sweet.  It is the Pâtisserie by Yigit Pura, located inside of Macy's near Union Square.  He was the winner of Top Chef Just Desserts, and even though I didn't watch the show, I'm a dessert lover, and everyone seemed so excited about this, that I had to check it out.

I went to the grand opening, and Yigit was there to greet everyone.  He took the time to meet every single person, ask their name, and if they wanted, have their photo taken with him.  He was clearly on the top of the world, as he's been working on this project for a while.  As I wasn't familiar with him,  I wasn't swooning over him like most of the other people at the event, but he was pretty adorable, and his enthusiasm and excitement were infectious.

The shop had tons of amazing looking pastries and cakes, along with pantry items like flavored marshmallows (the next cupcake, I'm telling you!) and sauces.  The space is beautiful, sleek and modern, overlooking Union Square, with what seemed like not nearly enough seating.

I only tried the macarons, and ... I really wasn't impressed.  They weren't bad, but certainly were not better than average.  I hope to go back sometime and try some of the other treats, as I assume they must be good!
Frankie (?), Chloe, Melissa, Rebecca (clockwise, from back). $1.85 each.
  • Frankie: Bing cherry and bourbon buttercream: I didn't really taste any cherry, nor bourbon.  The buttercream was very ... buttercreamy, and there was a lot of it.  I've never have so much buttercream inside a macaron before, making it seem like a strange cross between a cupcake and a macaron.  I love buttercream frosting, but it really just overtook the delicate balance of the macaron.  The cookie part was a good consistency.  But overall, I was not a big fan, as I still couldn't tell what flavor it was.  Least favorite.
  • Chloe: Pasila chili infused dark chocolate ganache:  I didn't really get much spice in this, but I did like the chocolate ganache inside, it was very smooth and had a nice deep chocolate flavor.  It worked much better than the overwhelming buttercream.  Second favorite.
  • Melissa: French lavender buttercream: Unlike the first purplish macaron, there was no problem determining what this one was!  Intensely lavender flavored, beautifully floral, yet somehow, it did not seem like I was eating soap.  Very sweet, and would have gone great with a cup of tea.  There was again a lot more of the buttercream filling than I'd expect, but since that is where the amazing flavor was, it worked better in this one.  The buttercream was very fluffy and light.  Really a nice macaron, my favorite of the bunch.
  • Rebecca: Salted Caramel: And then ... back to another one with a fairly indistinguishable flavor.  I was excited for this one, since salted caramel, although such a fad, can be so good.  The cookie was just sweet, and the filling had a slight caramel flavor, but I didn't get any salt, and the caramel certainly wasn't very pronounced.  Second to last pick.
Jack-O-Lantern Macaron.  $1.85.
On another visit, I decided to try out the seasonal special, the Jack-O-Lantern, filled with caramel apple buttercream.  Like the others, the cookie part didn't really impress me.  The filling indeed tasted like a caramel apple, it was very sweet.
Plain Macaron.  $1.85.
Plain Macaron.  $1.85.
Both of these macarons had a beautiful shimmer to them.  It is hard to see in the photos however, but they were really shiny, I have no idea how they created that effect!

The macarons didn't really live up to their gorgeous exteriors.  The filling was plain, very sweet, buttercream, and like their other macarons I have tried with this filling, it just seemed out of place, and more belonging on a cupcake.  There was again seemingly too much of it as well.  It was really fluffy and good buttercream though!

The cookie part of each was again a disappointment.  They just didn't have the distinctive awesome texture that a macaron should have.  And no real flavor.  Meh, meh, meh.
El Unicorn Macarons!
For pride weekend, Tout Sweet gave out free macaroons, a special new flavor, the "El Unicorn" :)  It had a pearl jasmine white chocolate ganache filling.  Like all of their macarons, I just didn't like it.  The cookie was too dense, and the filling didn't taste like white chocolate at all.  It did have a really lovely subtle jasmine flavor however.  But, I give up on the macaroons.
Assorted Macarons: Salted Caramel, Tahitian Vanilla Bean, Sicilian Pisachio, Chocolate, Lemon-Yuz, Sour Cherry & Bourbon.
At an event I recently attended, they had a tray of Tout Sweet macarons.  Even though I haven't been a huge fan of the macarons from Tout Sweet, or really, of macarons in general, I still had to give a few a try.  I selected the green and pink ones, not knowing the flavors.

I assumed the green was pistachio, but it didn't taste pistachio at all to me.  It seemed to have sesame seeds on the outside?  Ojan thought it tasted floral.  Still, looking online at the guide, it seems it must have been pistachio, I'm really not sure why neither of us could figure it out.

The pink one surprised me.  Since I wasn't expecting sour cherry, the tartness of the filling was a real shock.  I thought it would be something light like rose!  The filling was quite intensely flavored, and it wasn't a cream filling, rather, it was more like a gel or jam.  I didn't care for the flavor, but I think that if you like sour cherry, this was really a unique one.  I'm sure Ojan's dad would love this.  I did however really like the cookie part!  It was crispy and light, and sprinkled with sugar which added an extra crunch.  I probably liked this cookie part more than any other Tout Sweet macaron!
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