Finding your feet
Can you remember the first macaron you ever ate? I can’t. It was probably 10 years ago in a Pierre Hermé concession in one of Tokyo’s depachika. In all likelihood it would have been sublime but I honestly can’t remember because the best depachika are like Harrods’ and Selfridges’ food halls combined with Borough Market and a Taiwanese streetfood market. That macaron would have been followed by a Sadaharu Aoki matcha opera cake, baumkuchen, kouign amann, kabayaki unagi and take home sushi that spoils you for sushi for the rest of your life. I do remember eating my first macaron in Paris, that was in the Pierre Hermé shop on Rue Bonaparte and I’ve been trying to recreate that moment ever since.
It’s all the rage, apparently. Though something as well known and classic as a canelé is, in my mind, immune to the trends and foibles of the mewling fooderati. Let’s get this straight, a canelé (can-eh-lay) is not just a chichi sponge cake baked into that characteristic fluted shape. If the dark caramelised shell doesn’t crackle like a chewy brûlée hiding a barely set lacey custard then it’s just not right! It’s these very properties that make canelés so special. Continue reading