Regular readers who have been following my macaron pursuits will know that I often refer to Duncan from Syrup and Tang as the macaron expert. His site contains a wealth of information on how to try to make these fickle biscuits, including step by step instructions and even a discussion of common problems based on oven type! I was therefore very excited to hear that Duncan has been convinced to begin commercial production of his macarons, under the Macarons by Duncan label, firstly supplying brand spanking new cafe EARL Canteen.
EARL Canteen is the brainchild of “food-nerds” Jackie (from Eating with Jack) and Simon. It quietly opened on Wednesday this week and by Thursday was all over the twitterverse. EARL Canteen does baguettes, wraps and salads with a twist – baguettes and wraps are made on the spot, from seasonal ingredients and well thought-out, interesting combinations abound.
I headed to EARL Canteen yesterday for lunch and tucked into a delicious autumnal mushroom wrap (gluten free!) with truffle paste, wilted spinach and a soft boiled egg. Unfortunately, my photo doesn’t do it justice, so you will just have to imagine it. The space is modern, with clean lines and an open kitchen. There is a focus on take-away, with a fabulous daily lunch-box option. When I visited, it was chicken & burrata caprese baguette, pumpkin & shanklish salad and a friand ($13.5). If you want to eat in, you can perch at one of the wooden benches.
Afer lunch, I took a couple of macarons back to the office with me. Look at these beauties, to the left Zara and to the right, Clancy:
Clearly, my expectations were high – but these babies did not dissapoint!
I started with Zara, with white-chocolate and passionfruit ganache. It had excellent texture and I really enjoyed that it was not too sweet. Creamy, white chocolate with the zing of passionfruit. A nice little textural surprise was that the ganache contained passionfruit pips. Win.
On to Clancy, I was interested to see how finger lime translated in a macaron. At first bite, the finger lime wasn’t that apparent, and the dominant flavour was the rich, dark chocolate ganache, with a hint of pepperiness from the finger lime. However, a couple of chews in, I found the surprise of the finger lime spheres (technical term, vesicles), full of tart, tangy juice. The acidity from the lime helped cut through the richness of the ganache. Seriously good.
So naturally, I am now plotting my next visit to EARL (breakfast perhaps?) I can’t wait to try some more of their food and definitely, some more of Duncan’s macarons – salted caramel, come to me!!
UPDATE: EARL also now has two additional flavoured macarons, Yannic, intense salted caramel and Diego, subtle cinnamon and dark chocolate. The salted caramel macaron is ridiculously good, you can see it nestling in my little cache of macarons:
UPDATE No. 2: Duncan has announced that macaron production has ended for now. Absolutely devastating. Macarons will be available at EARL for the next few weeks so try them while you can!
UPDATE No. 3: EARL now stocks macarons by josephine and they are pretty darn impressive – read about them here. Duncan now makes macarons for Liaison cafe.
Ground level, 500 Bourke,
Lt Bourke St courtyard, Melbourne
(Just past the steps up to Movida Aqui – look for the large EARL sign)
Ph: (03) 9600 1995