The Best Macarons in Toronto

Best-Macaroons-Toronto


It all started a few months ago at work, when, during a client meeting, macarons became the topic of discussion. Though we could agree on campaign ideas, we could not agree on who we thought made the best Macarons in Toronto. So we decided to throw a macaron taste-off at our next meeting.Three main Toronto patisseries were the top contenders on this taste-off: La Bamboche, a patisserie with two locations in Toronto known for serving authentic French macarons and croissants; MoRoCo Chocolat, a leading purveyor of luxury chocolate and the city’s most luscious chocolate boutique; and Nadege, a patisserie in the Queen West area featuring traditional French delights.

With two bottles of Prosecco on-hand, a work agenda and a dozen macarons from each contender, we began a blind tasting between a panel of eight food savvy women.

IMG_2237


The macarons from each store were placed on a plate, exactly a dozen on each, on top of a piece of paper that was numbered and had the name of the macaron maker hidden underneath. Only the event planner knew which number matched back to its corresponding store. The judging criteria was as follows:

  • Taste – based on sweetness and “melt-in-your-mouth” feel
  • Texture – the texture of the outer shell, the texture of the inner shell, and consistency (cookie-to-filling ratio)
  • Flavour – based on only three main flavours for exact comparison purposes: Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry (lavender for those that did not offer strawberry)

Each contender could be awarded up to 5 points for each criteria. The macaron shop with the most points, will be crowned Best Macaron Maker in Toronto.

Macaroon


To kick-off the challenge, we started by defining what a macaron is. A macaron is a sweet meringue-based confectionery made with egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food colouring. The macaron is commonly filled with ganache, butter-cream or jam filling sandwiched between two cookies. 

Macarons have become the ultimate delicacy in baking due to its rather complex cooking process as they require planning, precision and patience. They are also one of the most coveted pastries at parties and events. And apparently at work meetings too.

After many “yums” and “hums”, we found a winner (contender #1) that had excelled on all three criteria based on having a chocolate ganache filling that was simply decadent and slightly chewy with a perfect 1:1 ratio. A crunchy, but not crumbly, outer shell with no large air bubbles or empty pockets; and the most versatile flavours, hitting home-run with its chocolate and lavender kind for the perfect balance of sweetness and nuttiness.

IMG_2247


Our favorite all-around winner, MoRoCo Chocolat, with 61 points, was officially named Macaron maker of the year!

Moroco-Chocolat-Toronto


MoRoCo was chosen as the winner for hitting all marks. It also won additional praise for offering unique flavours that we continued to try after the taste-off. Lavender cassis, pistachio and red velvet, were all favourites that we fought to get our hands on.

When pitted against each other, it was a bit disheartening to find minor faults with macarons that we had previously thought were the best. The other two contenders by no means had bad tasting macarons; they were almost as good as the winner, but with nuances on texture or flavour. 

Nadege took second spot with 57 points, only 4 points shy from the winner.

Nadege-patisserie-toronto


Though Nadege was a favourite first for a few of us given its silky smooth shell and the fact that their macarons had the perfect bit-size diameter, compared to MoRoCo’s larger version; the filling was a bit too chewy for our taste and some felt it was too sweet. 

La Bamboche, to my surprise, took third place with 45 points.

La-Bamboche-Toronto


From all three shops, the macarons from La Bamboche had the best melt-in-your mouth feel with a filling that was slightly chewy yet not overpowering. We found however that their filling-to-cookie ratio was not an exact 1 to 1, and some commented the outer shell was a bit too crumbly.

Admittedly so, all three stores had killer maracon concepts but the panel of judges was a tough one. All women in these panel had years of eating-indulgence experience and most of them have traveled to French cities were these delicacies originated. So the verdict was in, and like it or not, this macaron taste-off proved us nobody really knows what “best” means, until a blind tasting is on. 

A big thank you to my agency and clients for being a conduit to this amazing day of Macarons and Prosecco.

Macaroon_Tasting_Panel_Toronto


Until next time Foodies!

Buen Provecho,
Foodies Inked.

Experience: Macaron Taste-Off
Reviewed: La Bamboche, MoRoCo Chocolat & Nadege
Specialty: Macarons
Flavours: Chocolate, Vanilla, Lavender, Strawberry


Nadege Patisserie on Urbanspoon La Bamboche on Urbanspoon

6 Responses to The Best Macarons in Toronto

  1. Casey E. Palmer February 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I actually wound up at MoRoCo the other day and wound up ordering a Citron Bliss for dessert — it’s a larger version of the lemon macaron. The cookie portion was a little stickier and tougher than I’d like, but perhaps it was because it was so large?

    I look forward to trying out La Bamboche, too!

    Reply
  2. Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings November 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Hi,
    We met at the croissant-making class :)

    Love your site! Just wanted to put my “vote” in for Nadege’s macarons! Unless MoRoCo changed their recipe, I think Nadege is one of the city’s best (although, they have since reduced the size since first opening…)

    Reply
    • Foodies Inked November 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks for the lovely comment Jen! Great to meet you at the croissant class, I’m still indulging on those bad boys to-date ;)
      Total acceptable comment on Nadege. They were just shy of 4 points from MoRoCo so its common to find it hard to say one is better than the other :)

      Reply
  3. Foodies Inked October 29, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    I was surprised too Frank! My fave was indeed La Bamboche, but Moroco was the winner that day. I went back to Moroco a few weeks ago and it just confirmed how good they are at Macarons. So there is something to it :)

    Reply
  4. Frank L October 29, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    I would love to have this type of meeting. As per say, surprise to see La Bamboche is the last. Which one is your favourite?

    Reply
  5. Sarah October 4, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Very thorough testing job! I’d love to be in on a panel! :)

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Powered by sweet Captcha