Chez Arnaud St. Paul: New home of the epic macaron
A massive macaron at Chez Arnaud
Though they have been around since the 1790s (with some similar confections appearing as far back as two centuries prior), the sweet and delicate macaron has been enjoying a marked renaissance for the last decade or so. Thanks to fashionable real-life and fictional characters like Blair Waldorf and Olivia Palermo advertising their penchant for macarons from the famed Maison Ladurée in Paris, patisseries all over and even non-French bakeries in America have seen a spike in demand and responded by ramping up their production of macarons. But bakers are no longer just sticking to the traditional pale pastels and ganache fillings.
Target macaron taste test
White truffle, matcha green tea, and floral-scented macarons made with lavender or rose are just a few of the latest trends, but the Cake Club, an attention-grabbing, boundary-pushing bakery in Bonifacio Global City, Philippines, goes one better. They make a savory macaron with a traditional, slightly sweet outer shell speckled with tiny bits of porcini mushrooms and a middle layer of unctuous foie gras.
Locally, one patisserie and boulangerie is putting its own mark on the usually dainty macaron. Chez Arnaud's Le Grande Macaron is a super-sized version of the French original. After the crisp top and almond-rich chewy middle, Chez Arnaud sandwiches in a thick layer of cream dotted with either raspberries or blackberries and another coaster-sized macaron on the bottom. It's easily enough for two to share and is best at room temperature, if you can stop yourself from digging in for a few moments.
The new Grand Avenue bakery also makes smaller versions in elegant flavors such as pistachio, pink champagne, and rosewater.
Chez Arnaud St. Paul
1085 Grand Ave., St. Paul
651.330.4453; Chez Arnaud website
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