Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Pierre Marcolini - Macaron Concession, Selfridges

Readers of the blog are probably aware of my London macaron hunt; I've already reviewed Laduree & Pierre Herme. That leaves only a few left to try including William Curley, Paul, Artisan du Chocolat's ganache macarons, and today Pierre Marcolini.

Pierre Marcolini as a brand seems to focus in quite a bit on chocolates - as you'll see later on in this review, I can see why. They've recently opened a dedicated cafe for London in Marylebone, whereas before the were sold only in the Selfridges Food Hall. Not only are they selling macarons & chocolates, but the Marylebone cafe also sells eclairs baked on the premises. Glad to see a bit more of the patisserie side of things popping up, as I had bemoaned the Pierre Herme cafe for a lack of cakes & pastries. Good on Pierre Marcolini for giving it a try. Hopefully if the eclairs sell well they'll go on and start serving Religieuse, Saint Honore, et cetera. I'll try my best to encourage this, haha.

So, where are we at then? Macarons! The variety is a bit more adventurous than Laduree, and a little less 'mature' than Pierre Herme. For instance, there is a Speculoos macaron & quite a few chocolate varieties.

Our selections included:
Pierre Marcolini, Framboise, Pistachio, Palet Or Fondant, The Citrus, and Passionfruit.

Pretty sure I've got the order right. I'll cut right to the chase: the BEST macarons from Pierre Marcolini are the chocolate ones. It makes sense, as the focus does seem to be on chocolate, at least in the international market. They are also amazing. Properly bitter dark ganache holds it's own against sweet, buttery caramel notes in the Palet Or Fondant. Instead of blending into one sweetened dark chocolate, as I suspected might happen, two distinct tastes were produced, with a bitter beginning and a sweet end. The equivalent, I suppose, of a filled caramel dark chocolate. Really lovely stuff!

The macaron shells are slightly chewier than Pierre Herme, but less chewy than Laduree - putting them in the middle in terms of chew. The fillings were particularly soft as well - the chocolate ones were similar to ganache in terms of thickness & unctuousness.

To be fully honest, I can hardly remember the taste of the flavors that contained no chocolate - but the ones with chocolate? Unforgettable.

I recall the Framboise was an amazing zingy, perfectly balanced chocolate and raspberry combo. Not too sweet milk chocolate base with a natural raspberry flavor - minus the seeds, add a bit of zest.

The Pierre Marcolini was deserving of what I presume is it's signature status - semi-sweet Grand Cru chocolate with a hint of vanilla to sweeten & deepen the flavors. It reminded me of a homemade chocolate pudding, baked in the oven with vanilla.

The The Citrus is a citrus tea, kind of refreshing bergamot with a squeeze of lemon. Similar to an Earl Gray, this one was my favorite of the non-chocolate flavors.

The Passionfruit was suitably sharp & strong, but it didn't leave a hugely lasting impression. I think that has more to do with the greatness of the chocolate flavors, than any failing on the end of this one.

The Pistachio suffered a similar fate - nutty, warm & sweet, but it didn't stick out any particular way.

I highly recommend trying out the chocolate varieties, and the flavor of the month at the moment sounds nice -Yuzu. I'd like to check out the shop in Marylebone and try an eclair, as well.

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