This is the 3rd post in the No Macaron Left Behind challenge series and 4th in the “my waist line is expanding while my bank account is decreasing” series.
The last time I brought some macaron magic into your life, I had just sampled 22 flavors from Adriano Zumbo’s Balmain location. Add this to the 15 I had already tried from the Rozelle store, and in just over two months I had tasted 37 varieties. It’s a small wonder I can still fit through the front door of my flat.
The healthy lifestyle gal in me can’t wait to get back on track with my eating habits, but until I leave Sydney, the No Macaron Left Behind challenge remains in full swing!
So what have I been up to between Macaron Day and the present? Flavors 38-46:
38) Francesco (maybe it was called “francesco chocolate”?)
This was my dessert on Thanksgiving day. Seriously! I popped into the shop before work and miraculously limited myself to one. The name didn’t readily identify what the macaron would taste like, and when I asked the girl behind the counter, she shrugged with a smile and said it was another crazy thing Zumbo had done…something about chocolate and candy.
Since I ate it at work, there’s no photo O:-) But I promise that the shell was brownish-red with a green swirl and the filling was thick and brown — on top was a chocolate “coin”/disc. This batch must have just come out from being chilled because the filling was more solid/firm than any I’d had so far. It was also the most RICH of all the fillings to date. It tasted like chocolate while the shell had a faint Pop Rocks/lollipop taste!
39) Eggplant & chocolate
Ate it at work = no photo (oops). Purple shell with chocolate filling. A very earthy flavor to the shell and macaron overall with a distinctly chocolate aftertaste. Not a big fan.
40) Eucalyptus — you guessed it, no photo!
Green of course! Herbal flavor comes out more as you taste but not overly powerful. Still, you have to like the idea of the flavor to enjoy this one.
41) Peach tea — yet another one tried before work
Peachy shell with light tea colored filling. I was worried that the tea flavor would overpower the peach, but both flavors were robust. Was very pleased that I could taste the peach and tea as individual flavors and also as a happy blend. Could seriously drink this one!
42) Bloody Mary
On the other hand, this one was NOT so drinkable.
First impression — “eww!” Felt like I was eating mayonnaise. But in fairness I took another timid bite and tasted the tomato and noticed nice spiciness/heat/burn! Very clever. In no way a repeat, but one of his most unique to date.
43) Raspberry & licorice
I adore raspberry but still can’t quite figure out how I feel about licorice so I thought this would simply rank as “okay” or even be a disaster — was I in for a big surprise! The raspberry greeted me first followed by just enough licorice flavor to enjoy it and not have it overpower the flavor combination. And in AZ fashion, there was a bit of actual licorice in the middle. This little gem ranks in my top list.
44) Apricot & rosemary
Rosemary shell with a bit of apricot in the filling. Neither flavor stood out (not that you’d want the rosemary to be too strong), and it was a little underwhelming for me. I wanted to like it more but wasn’t meant to be.
45) Passionfruit & basil
I was VERY excited to try this one! The passionfruit flavor was definitely there while the basil was understandably more subtle…maybe a little too much so? Was really hoping for a more noticeable basil aftertaste, but probably the right balance of flavors.
Right away I noticed the cinnamon dusting on the shell and that the cinnamon filling was ooooooozing from the middle. One bite and I was immediately taken back to childhood and Toaster Strudels — FAR from being a healthy breakfast, but boy did I love the warm cinnamon filling and the icing you piped on from the tiny, plastic packet. Sadly I was sharing 44-46 or I would have kept this one all to myself. Simple cinnamon FTW.
BONUS treat — “Chill my nuts” (gluten free too!)
To make up for the lack of photos on the first macarons, here’s the velvety smooth, chocolate cake of GOODNESS I bought from Adriano Zumbo’s brand new store in Manly (1a/40 East Esplanade – but enter from Wentworth Ave) — along with macarons 44-46.
Zumbo gives wacky names to his cakes, and this one was “Chill my nuts”. I failed to jot down the various flavors & layers, but it was something like: a chocolate mousse, flourless chocolate chili cake, peanut butter something, and caramelized rice bubbles. I believe they were in that order, from top to bottom. The crunchy bottom layer with the rice cereal was a nice addition to balance the smoothness of the other 85% of the dessert. The mousse was one of the best I’d ever had. The cake could almost have been mistaken for the mousse, as it was flourless and therefore most likely rich — but we didn’t taste the chili! My favorite part without question was the peanut butter layer. I tried to convince my friend to swap the peanut butter layer in his last few bites for the rice bubbles, mousse, and cake in mine. Didn’t happen.
What’s next for the Mission?!
My time in Sydney is rapidly coming to a close (more on that next post), so I only have a few more weeks to try as many macarons as possible. I won’t be able to try EVERY flavor Zumbo offers, but that won’t stop me from trying. Thank goodness I have friends to share these with — could never eat them all on my own (though my expanding body would suggestion otherwise).
Thanks to my partner in crime with macarons 42-26 — who also took all of the photos above but one. At least I helped with composition and editing O:-)