9466 Charleville Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
The fabulous LAW was in LA on a business trip and came home with six delectable two-inch treats for me from ‘Lette Macarons. First of all, just imagining him in a swanky Beverley Hills macaron shop made me giggle a little inside. Actually having him come home with macarons for me brought me even more joy. ‘Lette Macarons is supposedly one of LA’s best and I was just all too eager to try what the west coast had to offer. We NYers are lucky enough to have Ladurée). Oh, and please ignore the little oil stains on the box. These delicate macarons are quite high maintenance and don’t do well during travel.
A good macaroon has a crisp, shiny shell, chewy crust (almost like a good brownie!), spongy “feet”, and creamy filling. I have read numerous recipes and baking stories about macarons but have yet to attempt it because of the amount of ingredients, time, and patience required for such feats. Baking macarons is no Betty-Crocker affair as even a slight deviation from a recipe can result in completely flat, feet-less macarons, lopsided macaroons, or hollow macarons. You can’t undermix nor overmix the batter. Some say you have to age the egg whites a couple of days before baking. I love macarons because yes, they taste great, but also because I appreciate the amount of precision and care involved in baking a good batch.
Normally, I’m not very shallow. An ugly amorphous cookie could easily bring euphoria to my mouth as long as it is chewy and chocolatey and delicious. Macarons are a different animal. Part of their charm is looking pretty. Look at this beautiful, perfectly circular coconut macaroon, sprinkled with mini bits of coconut flakes. Each of ‘Lette’s macarons had its own distinct flavor (of course) and design. The chocolate one had a little dot and line painted across the shell, très chic. And okay, packaging normally isn’t important at all (especially on my blog where taste of food trumps all other considerations), it is somewhat important for macarons because they are meant to be perfect. Because of this, I will have to deduct a few points off of my critique of ‘Lette for the box that these macarons came in. Ladurée’s macarons come in the most exquisite looking boxes that are more durable and built to protect these fragile little things.
But okay okay okay. Yes, looks are important for macarons, but I’ll get to the most important part now: taste and texture. I loved that they were not too sweet as they often are. Every macaron had a slight almond aftertaste – delicious. I tried the coconut, rose, sweet wedding almond, and green tea ones (saving the vanilla and colombian coffee for tomorrow!). Each flavor gave my taste buds a real kick as they took over and demanded to be recognized. The coconut was tasted like fresh coconut and toasted coconut at the same time. The rose tasted like how a rose smells… lovely, flowery, and light. The sweet wedding almond had tiny bits of almond sprinkled on top which gave the smooth macaron a little crunch. And the green tea tasted like a matcha latte… creamy and flavorful. The shell was not as crisp as the ones from Ladurée but I imagine this is because they had endured a 24 hour journey to the east coast.
I am not a huge dessert person but do like to have just a bite of something sweet after a meal. I tell myself that it helps with digestion. Froyo and small Chinese jelly cups are among my favorites. Macarons are also great because they are small and pack in a lot of flavor without being overly sweet. They’re also very pretty.