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L’Artisan Gourmet Parisian Macarons


L’ Artisan Macarons by Chef Alexandre Trouan

Talk about being bombarded with sweet yum-yums all at once! Soon after Diner AA walks in with her onolicious Peanut Butter & Cookie Butter Stuffed Mochi, Diner JM’s husband arrives at our office with a special delivery of these here L’Artisan Gourmet Parisian Macarons, flown in fresh that morning direct from San Francisco. Not just flown in fresh, but HAND-CARRIED on the plane by the chef himself!

And that chef would be Chef Alexandre Trouan, who began his apprenticeship at Master Chef Michel Belin’s Pastry Shop in Albi, France. Chef Trouan now operates a private bakery (phone orders welcome) in the San Francisco Bay area, catering his gourmet macarons for hotels, airlines and upscale gourmet retailers, including Whole Foods San Francisco. He also serves them at local celebrity events, including having provided his French delights for Natalie Portman’s wedding.

Let’s have a look at what we have here…


L’ Artisan Macarons by Chef Alexandre Trouan: from left to right: Raspberry, Mango, Pistachio, Vanilla, Chocolate, Almond and Coconut

Purchased locally in the Bay Area, they run about $2 each, give or take, depending which set you buy. Which isn’t bad actually, when you factor in the beautiful gift box they’re all packaged in (not shown here). Of course if you purchase them online on their website, shipping is going to be substantial, being they’re fragile and perishable, requiring special packaging and handling.


L’ Artisan Macarons by Chef Alexandre Trouan: Raspberry, Mango, Pistachio, Vanilla and Chocolate

Being Chef Alexandre is friends with Diner JM’s husband, having arrived on Oahu for a business meeting this past week, he brought his Macarons as a gift for them to share with family and friends. And man, did he bring a LOT!


L’ Artisan Macarons by Chef Alexandre Trouan: Pistachio, Vanilla, Chocolate, Almond and Coconut

What’s funny is, everyone kept telling me to hurry with the photo taking, where as you see here, they didn’t give a second longer to go for some macro shots, already having swiped a few. Gunfunnit!


L’ Artisan Raspberry Macron

Well they certainly LOOK gorgeously delicious! Let’s try the Raspberry, which is his best seller…


L’ Artisan Raspberry Macron

And? WOW! This baby’s PACKED with flavor! Incredibly rich, as most French pastries are. The filling is super creamy ‘n buttery, delicate ‘n airy, like mousse, while the shell is also delicate, yet sort of crumbly. And boy, does this scream RASPBERRY. Imagine what the other ones taste like!

Size-wise, these are on the dainty side, being about 2″ in diameter x 1.25″ in thickness, which is nice, as they’re easy to clasp as you bite through it, so it doesn’t squish apart. Unless you nibble like a bird, 2 or 3 bites, and its gone. And then you want another one, and another one.

I also tried the Pistachio, and it too had the same virtues as the Raspberry, albeit, screaming Pistachio nut flavor. C’est ci bon x 10!  While I wanted to try all the other flavors, my palate was already overloaded on sweets, notably when combined from the earlier sampling of Diner AA’s Stuffed Mochi. Yet everyone was raving about the particular Macarons they tried.

If given the opportunity again, I’m especially interested in trying the Mango, Almond and Coconut Macarons. Perhaps I’ll write Chef Alexandre to send me a sampler gift box variety pack to taste in return for another blog feature here. Tee-hee!


Dreamsicle Macarons – La Tour Cafe in Honolulu

Speaking of sampling, Oahu does have our own source for excellent Macarons over at La Tour Cafe on Nimitz Highway, next to Tanaka Saimin. La Tour also makes FANTASTIC Beignets, which are essentially a French version of a Malasada, of course in the French fashion, being more refined, and not as rustic.

Chef Alex is working on Hawaii-themed Macarons, including a 100% Kona Coffee Macaron. Other suggestions I have are of course the other obvious, being Pineapple, as well as perhaps a unique one called the “Hawaiian Hurricane” Macaron. What that would be is a Macaron based on the Hurricane Popcorn concept, having a combination of popcorn, butter, furikake and mochi crunch. Hey, if Jelly Belly can pull off Buttered Popcorn, which happens to be one of my favorite of their flavors, I so bet a “Hawaiian Hurricane” Macaron would work! Or how about a “Rainbow Shave Ice” Macaron? The premise being it would not only have the distinguishable 3-colored flavor combination, but also there would be some sort of frozen element. Not sure what, but surely the Chef could figure it out. Most definitely gotta’ do a Guava Lilikoi Cheesecake Macaron. Hawaiian Papaya Macaron as well. No brainers!

Summing it up, C’EST CI BON for L’ Artisan Macarons by Chef Alexandre Trouan. Huge mahalo to the Chef, Diner JM and TM for sharing them with us! Délicieux!

What? L’ Artisan Gourmet Parisian Macarons by Chef Alexandre Trouan
Where? San Francisco Bay Area (private bakery, call (415) 725-0337), and online at www.LArtisanMacaron.com
Big Shaka (pros): C’EST CI BON Délicieux! Genuine French recipe by a genuine French Chef. Fresh, top quality ingredients and cage-free eggs. Packed with flavor! Texture is incredible! Aloha spirit.
No Shaka (cons): n/a
The Tasty Island Rating: 5 out of 5 Macarons (custom rating for this post!)

Related links:
L’Artisan Gourmet Parisian Macarons – Yelp user reviews
La Tour Cafe – The Tasty Island
Parisian Macarons recipe – MarthaStewart.com

P.S. Adding to the Pfunny Pfood Signs post, we have here Restaurant Wada…

Yeah, this is somewhat juvenile humor, however, I can’t resist saying that next door, coming soon will be Restaurant Fiya!

Which since I’ve placed my baby in the picture, let me take a moment to explain my experience owning and driving the AMAZING Toyota FJ Cruiser. Dude. DUDE. I’ve driven a Ferari 308GTS (same car Magnum PI drove). I’ve driven a 1968 Mustang with a massive V8 in it. I’ve driven a totally souped-up 1967 VW Bug with an insane dual carb engine in back. I’ve driven Volvos, BMWs and Mercedes (all owned by friends). None of those vehicles can TOUCH the FJ! When I first seen it, before owning it, I always thought it looked like a hokey Tonka Toy kinda’ design. But once I test-drove it on the lot, I immediately fell in love with Ms. FJ. In fact, she just may have single-handedly been able to get my heart back and given to her. I LOVE HER.

The FJ Cruiser drives like a combination of a formula-1 car and Big Foot. This model isn’t the 4WD version, as I INSISTED I didn’t want 4WD, however in hindsight, if I trade her in (NOT!), I’ll opt for the 4WD model next time. Still, even with 2WD (rear-wheel drive!), the traction on this baby is NUTS. Sure, she peels out the back tires if you gun off the light, but other than that, it’s like glue on the road. Around corners she’s tight, while over bumbs she’s rough, but still tight. Steering is super responsive, while braking is IMMEDIATE. She’ll stop on a dime. The relatively “square” short wheelbase (distance from front to back wheels) and wide track (distance between left and right wheels), along with Toyota’s “built-like-a-tank” suspension parts is key to the FJ’s sure-footedness. In fact, the FJ beat the Hummer off-road in several comparos.

And I love the utilitarian interior, with big knobs, rubber flooring and waterproof seat material. In it, you feel like you could start a food fight, and the next day, be driving your corporate boss to a meeting without even knowing any shinanigans went on. The stereo system was upgraded to a bluetooth model, since this is an older 2008 model (purchased with only 11k miles on it), which is great for connecting my Note 2 (soon to get the Note 3!) wirelessly. Most vehicles newer than 2011 typically have bluetooth as standard. Still, the speakers PUMP!

One of my complaints is the paint. I LOVE Toyota’s loud “Voodoo Blue” color, however, their factory paint seems to chip too easily. Which is baffling, as this car is built entirely in Japan, so you’d think the quality would be excellent in all facets, but nope. Seems they skimped on the chemistry in the paint resins.

My biggest complaint however is GAS MILEAGE. OMG, does this car SUCK! As in GAS! And not just 87 octane, but it requires premium 91 octane fuel, so even more expensive! Its rather large Toyota Tacoma-based V6 engine gets it just 18 mpg average. Ouch! This compared to my last car, which was a Buick (believe it or not) that got nearly  30 mpg. Thankfully I live and work right in town, so not too bad, but still. If were to drive from Waikiki to Ewa Beach (because you know, I’d love to do that), it would cost around $20 round trip in fuel. So filling the tank up at today’s fuel prices costs around $80-90 (depending how low the tank). Ack!

On the plus side of that, that massive Toyota V6 COOKS! Talk about b@lls! I have no problem passing cars on the freeway, and getting up to speed at on-ramps. As said earlier, being this is a rear-wheel driven 2WD model, the only caveat to its power is it tends to burn-out off the light. Fun, but sometimes a little frustrating. But fun!

Overall, I would rebuy the FJ Cruiser again and again and again. I LOVE YOU, MY BABY BLUE FJ BABY!

16 thoughts on “L’Artisan Gourmet Parisian Macarons

  • September 21, 2013 at 10:38 am
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    Pomai, I have my cousins check it out . I do try to bake my own with recipe since it a big rage with baking world now. I really not that hard just carefully follow the recipe.

    Reply
    • September 21, 2013 at 2:15 pm
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      Amy,

      As simple as the recipe may be, Chef Trouan uses only the best quality ingredients to make them, including cage-free eggs. Probably butter imported from France as well.

      Reply
  • September 21, 2013 at 11:37 pm
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    I like to baking from time to time for love pasties and breads. I will try to make some macarons. It may not as good as that pasty chef ones but good enough to enjoy at home for me. I saw on newspaper that wild sheeps and goats hunting season is on. I thinking of getting a licence and permit to go there with friends for hunting.

    That a lot leg of lamb and lamb chops.

    Reply
  • September 22, 2013 at 3:16 am
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    Sound like good business for restaurants who like games like wild sheeps and goats and boars. Wow sausages make with meat should be awesome.

    Reply
  • September 22, 2013 at 3:49 am
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    I love macarons. They are also fun to think of new flavors to bake, even if I don’t use artisan butter, etc. There’s a pastry chef frequently featured on the Australian version of MasterChef named Adriano Zumbo. He creates amazing, innovative and weird (like Kalamata Olive) Macaron flavors. They change all the time, and you and he must be on the same wavelength, because one of his flavors right now is popcorn!! http://adrianozumbo.com/new-macaron-flavours/

    Reply
  • September 22, 2013 at 5:43 am
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    Aloha fammily, I love macarons. They are also fun to think of new flavors to bake, even if I don’t use artisan butter, etc. There’s a pastry chef frequently featured on the Australian version of MasterChef named Adriano Zumbo. Send some to us here in Oregon, you have our address.
    Winter season is coming and hot cocoa, so those macarons will be great.

    Reply
  • September 22, 2013 at 8:32 am
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    @ h

    Current Zumbarons

    Blackcurrant
    Bread & Butter Pudding
    Caramel Banana Balsamic
    Cherry Coconut
    Caramel au Beurre Sale
    Choc Pudding
    Fingerbun
    Lychee & Coconut
    Passionfruit
    Pear & Almond
    Pecan Danish
    Pineapple
    Popcorn
    Salted Butter Caramel on Toast

    Um, I’ll take one of each, please. Heavy on the caramel, thank you very much!

    I wonder how a Macaron Lox would work? (smoked/salted salmon, cream cheese, capers, olives, red onions and dill)

    @ DCOhana – FINALLY finished the kitchen, so now I can bake some Macarons myself and send or bring them to ya’ all. The “Hawaiian Hurricane” and Solo Papaya Macaron first on the list! As Sir Angelo would say, “DADDY!” lol

    Reply
    • September 22, 2013 at 9:49 am
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      I’ll bet that would be delicious. I don’t think sugar is a necessary ingredient in the process, savory macarons would be amazing. Mmm grilled cheese (and ketchup :-D) macarons.

      Reply
  • September 22, 2013 at 10:51 am
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    h,

    Speaking of grilled cheese, I’ll follow through with my idea and start a new series tomorrow, blogging “Wine ‘n Cheese of the Week”.

    This here pairing chart suggesting the following:

    Bloomy (Creamy, decadent cheeses, with a soft rind):
    Camembert – Champagne
    Brie – Chardonnay
    Robiola – Sparkling Wine
    Taleggio – Pinot Blanc

    Hard (Stiff cheeses, which are often sharp and/or salty. They can also be aged):
    Gouda – Merlot
    Cheddar – Cabernet Sauvignon
    Parmesan – Chianti
    Double Gloucester – Zinfandel
    Pecorino – Valpolicella
    Gruyere – Sauvignon Blanc
    Fontina – Bardolino

    Blue (Pungent, often salty cheeses, with a blue tinge):
    Gorgonzola – Port
    Stilton – Sauternes
    Blue – Riesling
    Cambozola – Eiswein

    Fresh (Soft, often spreadable cheeses that can be tangy or mild. They are not usually aged):
    Ricotta – Pinot Grigio
    Mozzarella – Sauvignon Blanc
    Goat – Chenin Blanc
    Feta – Beaujolais
    Burrata – Tocai Friulano

    Yet, you know me. It’s all about Cab’. ;-)

    Reply
    • September 22, 2013 at 11:14 am
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      Looks like a good list. There are some cheeses and wines I have not heard of, Homework for the week :-D. Since the suggested pairing for my latest new cheese, “bread cheese” is coffee, I’m thinking not wine but kahlua? Kidding. That sounds unholy.

      So, this might be controversial, but I’m thinking some hard cheeses (extra sharp cheddar, Gouda and maybe Gruyere) might pair better with beer than wine (regardless of an otherwise good pairing). Something I’ll try out.

      I really like the idea of a blue and riesling pairing.

      Reply
      • September 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm
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        h,

        As a kid, I could not STAND any kind of moldy cheeses like Blues, and definitely would not TOUCH Brie, just because of the thick moldy rind. However as an adult, they’ve grown on me substantially (no pun intended). What I’ll do when I’m in the store, is use my phone to google the recommended wine pairing for whatever cheese looks interesting to me, and go with that wine. I was just kidding about only drinking Cabernet Sauvignon. I mean in restaurants, yes, that’s all I drink, but with cheese and wine at home, I’ll open my horizons. Blue with Reisling does sound enticing!

        Reply
  • September 23, 2013 at 5:15 pm
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    “Wing” a new ice cream shop in downtown Honolulu has a Hurricane Popcorn flavored ice cream. Surprisingly it tastes like the real thing!

    Reply
    • September 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm
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      pink lady,

      Mahalo for the tip on “Wing”! I so need to walk on over there and try this Hurrican Popcorn ice cream you say tastes like the real thing!

      I already exchanged eMails with Chef Alex, and he said he’ll try and experiment with the Hawaii-themed Macaron flavors I suggested to him. Hopefully he’ll be able to pull off the “Hawaiian Hurricane” Macaron!

      Reply
  • September 23, 2013 at 11:05 pm
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    Chef Alex should create his own cookie butter for filling for his macarons and his own line of cookie butters flavors.

    Reply
  • September 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm
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    I’d like to try a li hing mango macaron.

    Now, please.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2013 at 6:10 am
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    @ Aaron – yes, he’d have to create his own cookie butter, as he’s adamant about only using FRESH ingredients, and would never use something mass-produced out of a jar. Speaking of which, I just though about Ono Pops, who also are sticklers about using fresh, preferably locally-sourced in ingredients. I wonder if they ever tried making a Cookie Butter Ono Pop? I know they’ve done Ono Pop flavors similar to that. Next time I see them at the KCC Farmers Market, I’ll ask ’em.

    @ Debbie-chan – Ah, I forgot all about Li Hing (Pickled) Mango… good call!

    Reply

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