Up until the end of last year, I had never met a macaron I liked. Around Christmas last year I was finally introduced to a macaron which blew my mind. And I have to thank Kristin of Meringue Bake Shop for that.
In fact, I don’t know if I should be thanking Kristin or cursing her for my newfound love of sweets — first with her cupcakes and now, XT Patisserie’s macarons (I love them so much I’ve used them as my header on my blog).
Macarons have always been too sweet, too hard, too underwhelming for me to pay attention to. I have friends who stand in line at Laduree in Paris to experience what some people believe are the best macarons in the world.
I don’t care so much about what people say. I trust my tastebuds and my tastebuds say these are the ONLY macarons I will eat.
Surprisingly, it is no Frenchman behind these scrumptious macarons. You’d be surprised to know that XT is the brainchild of Xuan and Tuan, the latter being the businessman while Xuan is the exceptional baker. An unassuming, quiet and humble man who trained at Lenoitre in Paris, Xuan is an artiste in every right and he has perfected the temperamental little macaron and taken it to another level.
Macarons are made from almond meal. These delicate little cookies break easily which is why I call them temperamental. Often, they don’t get to the consistency needed and an entire batch is ruined.
Kristin shares her kitchen with XT, had a boxful and offered one to me. At first I said no, but she insisted I take one and boy am I glad I did. I had expected a hard, sickly sweet treat, but instead was met with a light, pillowy cookie sandwich with a soft filling in the middle.
I was hooked! I then sought out XT Patisserie but to no avail. They don’t have a store, nor are they carried at many locations. I eventually found them on Twitter and tweeted them until they agreed to have Meringue Bake Shop carry their macarons at the Sunday Great Park Farmer’s Market.
These days, XT Patisserie macarons can also be found at Paris in a Cup in Orange and Victor Bene Bakeries at Gelson’s Marina del Rey and Encino. Of course, I get mine on Sundays from the Meringue Bake Shop at the Great Park Farmer’s Market.
The flavors are endless from chocolate, coffee, vanilla, pistachio, to coconut, raspberry, passionfruit.
My all-time favorites have been passionfruit and raspberry. I like the tartness lending a diffuser if you will to an otherwise sweet confection. But I love anything tart anyway.
My absolute favorite at the moment is tangerine. The tangy center is filled with the citrusy aromas of the seasonal fruit. When you bite into one, the fluffy softness is a sensation of its own and the gorgeous scent of fruit wafts throughout your mouth and up your olfactory passage through the back of your nose. It is truly an experience like no other.
I recently tried Earl Grey which uses two chocolate cookies to house the subtle tea flavored center. The chocolate hits first and when that subsides, the scent of tea lingers in your mouth.
I have ordered these in boxes to give away as presents and trust me, they have been a hit every single time. I only hope XT Patisserie secures a location soon so they can start sharing these delightful confections with more than a select few!