Adventures in Eating & Cooking
I went on a mission today – a mission for macarons! Well, it was more a mission for fresh veggies that somehow segued into a mission for macarons. Typical munchimonster… attempting to go down the healthy road, and then pulling a complete 180 to diabetes-land. My specific destination was Audabon, a cute micropatisserie in Chinatown.
This was actually quite the challenging mission since Audabon is so easy to miss if you’ve never been there before. In fact, I walked by it twice! I trekked through Slush Tundra, leaped across the Blackwater Bay, and pushed through the Forest of Chinese People to reach my destination. At least the weather was nice today.
Since it was a late Sunday afternoon, a lot of the macarons had been sold out. Sadness! But no matter, I got one of each macaron that remained. Clockwise they are: Japanese matcha green tea (green), Hong Kong milk tea (yellow), Vietnamese cinnamon (orange), and Adzuki red bean (red).
I am obsessed with matcha-flavored desserts so I tried this one first. I can’t say I was super-impressed by the cookie wafer itself, but the gooey matcha ganache was pretty darn good. The center portion was delicious, so I squeezed some of the out some of the ganache and tasted the delicate but firm, aromatic matcha. This ganache should be spread more generously throughout the macaron because it’s the best part. As for the wafer, the center portion was dense and chewy, the way a macaron should be, but the outside was a tad stale. Overall, a decent fix for munchimonster’s matcha and macaron cravings.
The Vietnamese cinnamon was actually my favorite. The wafer was properly made, with a crispy exterior shell and a chewy gooey center. It had just the subtle hint of cinnamon sugar. The filling was well-made too. There were two layers of filling: an outer ring of cinnamon butter cream and an inner circle of gooey filling (that resembled pie filling a little).
The Adzuki red bean and Hong Kong milk tea macarons were both kind of stale and un-photogenic. I think I would have really enjoyed the Adzuki red bean macaron if it weren’t for that poorly-made wafer that had air inside. The ganache was creatively made, using a combination of dark chocolate ganache and red bean cream. I quite liked the combination of Eastern-Western flavors, but was disappointed by its execution.
The same goes for the Hong Kong milk tea macaron. I loved the flavor; it was like aromatic bubble tea in macaron form. But again, the wafer was stale… It was also wayyyy too sweet. I think the problem is that whatever Hong Kong tea mix Audrey (the pastry chef) is using, probably already has a boatload of sugar inside. I would suggest recalculating the amount of sugar in the recipe to account for extra sugar in the mix. This should help put emphasis on the aromatic tea flavor rather than getting a mouthful of overwhelming sweetness.
Audabon is definitely a cute bakery-cafe with a lot of Eastern-inspired flavors that I really appreciate. I think the creative combination of flavors are good, but the execution needs work. I would love to try the pudding and ice cream sandwiches sometime, maybe when the weather warms up. Looks like there may be sequel to my Audabon adventures!