Category Archives: by Duncan

Macaron update for early 2011

I hope all my 2010 macaron devourers had a lovely summer, relaxing and eating (but not too many substandard, crunchy, flavourless macarons, please!). I know many of you have been curious about what’s happening with Macarons by Duncan in 2011.

As you might know, the macarons are a second business for me alongside an almost full-time job. Being a one-man-production-macaron-maestro is not easy (the biscuits take a looong time to prepare, especially if you want something better than average!).

Lots of things going on in life away from the macarons have made it difficult to restart manufacture, leaving me with the unenviable decision of whether to (1) stop completely or (2) ramp things up by employing helpers and finding better production premises. The first option would be very relaxing (assuming I’m not stalked by macaron-lovers-in-withdrawal). The second option would require time and a more commercial enterprise.

I’m deferring the final decision until the non-macaron life has settled down a bit, but there won’t be any Macarons by Duncan for normal sale in the next few months. There is a chance I’ll accept occasional requests for special orders (not wedding size!), but I can’t promise.

For those of you who subscribe to my updates via Twitter, I will start using that account for more general discussion, and updates about Syrup & Tang (my main food site). I’m not a big Tweeter at all, but if you don’t want that non-macaron stuff in your Twitter stream, I won’t be offended if you unfollow;)

If you subscribe by email, that list will simply be unused until there’s any further news.

If you’d like to stay informed about things on Syrup & Tang, follow this link to see the other subscription options.

The biscuits have left the building

And so six months of squeezing piping bags, banging trays, swearing at ovens and buying plastic boxes every time they’re on special has come to an end. Joys, travails and trivia of the adventure:

  • The mini-riot in the first week of sales at Liaison.
  • Overhearing someone complaining that my macarons had too much filling.
  • Watching someone yesterday taste one of every flavour before buying multiples of each.
  • Discovering that people are scared of nutmeg (it was the only flavour that didn’t sell fast), but unfazed by the woody unfamiliarity of licorice root.
  • Having customers carefully eat around my dot, mistakenly believing it to be a blemish of some sort.
  • Meeting some of the lovely regulars at Liaison.
  • Putting dots on macarons is almost as hard as making macarons.
  • Oh, and this:

Thanks for all your enthusiasm! Special thanks are due to Suzanne, Claire, Matt, Mark, Siâny and Danny. I wish everyone a great Christmas and a wonderful 2011. Perhaps I’ll see you next year.

Wave goodbye to my 2010 babies (the Octomum has nothing on me!)

ALEX dried cherry JULIETTE rose
ANTON pandan+coconut LUCA lemon (white, extradark, pepper)
BETH orange (white, dark) LUCILLE rose+lemon
BIANCA pure licorice root LUCY mandarin
CINDY nutmeg MATEUS durian
CLANCY fingerlime NUNO coffee
DARCY cocoa nibs (vanilla, orange) PERNILLA blackcurrant
DAVID raspberry (dark, white) RASA coconut
DIEGO cinnamon SHAREE cherry
GUSTAV Christmas spice STEFAN pistachio (white, salted)
HERBERT peppermint VIOLA violet+aniseed
JOANNA date+orange blossom YANNIC salted caramel
JUDY ginger ZARA passionfruit (white, effervescent)
JULIE mandarin+rose

Christmas week: ending my macaron season with a bang!

Every day in the week before Christmas there’ll be macarons at Liaison Café. And there’ll be quite a lot. And there’ll be pretty Christmas ones. I’ve been baking my buns off to get enough stock ready for this special week. [ALL GONE!]

[UPDATED ON: Thursday]

The macarons will usually be available from approximately 10am and should last until at least early afternoon. The café closes around 3pm. Please check back for any changes or notes (I’ll update this announcement when necessary).

Monday 20th:

  • SHAREE white (delicate cherry) / HERBERT dark (subtle peppermint) / GUSTAV milk (Christmas spice) / ANON1 (mystery flavour)

Tuesday 21st:

  • SHAREE white (delicate cherry), GUSTAV milk (Christmas spice), ANON1 (mystery flavour), ZARA white (passionfruit), HERBERT dark (subtle peppermint), and maybe JUDY dark (ginger)

Wednesday 22nd:

  • It’s MACAWRONG DAY! Most of the macarons on sale will be macawrongs, sold at two for $3. If you don’t know my macawrongs, read the announcement for my previous macawrong day here.

Thursday 23rd:

  • SHAREE white (delicate cherry), ZARA fizz (effervescent passionfruit), ZARA white (passionfruit), VIOLA white (violet + aniseed), ANON2/3/4 (mystery flavours)

Friday 24th:

  • None left, sorry!

This is the season finale for Macarons by Duncan! These will be the last macarons for a few months (returning at the earliest in March).

Macawrong Day! Fri 29th Oct, 2010

Life can’t always be about beautiful things, don’t you know. Behind a beautiful façade can lurk many disappointments (as many a macaron-sampler will know, especially in Australia), so it’s time to turn the tables! This Friday is MACAWRONG DAY. What’s more, limited advanced orders will be possible (see below).

On Macawrong Day, the macarons will sell at two for $3 (or four for $6).

In any food production there are always a few strays that slip through the quality control, but I do try hard to round up all the little ugly ones and store them away for a special day. On Friday you can try a range of macarons that feature familiar, uncompromised fillings, but shells that could be:

  • a bit toasty
  • a bit wrinkly
  • a bit lumpy
  • a bit leany
  • a bit blimpy
  • a bit tiddly
  • a bit wimpy
  • a bit smeary
  • a bit holey
  • or actually quite beautiful, but for reasons you (and perhaps I) cannot discern, ended up in the macawrong box.

Most macawrongs are branded with a line rather than my usual dot on the shells. If you close your eyes, I would wager that 90% of them would seem like macarights in your mouth. So if you’re fussy, close your eyes, because customers will not be permitted to discriminate against flawed macarons! 😉

There’ll be almost twice the usual number of macarons on sale, and the flavours are mostly VIOLA white, HERBERT dark, and LUCA extradark, with one or two others in very small quantities.

Limited advance orders

For people who can’t make it to Liaison Café during the Friday morning macaron-rush, this week I can arrange to reserve a limited number for collection before 2pm on Friday.

If you would like to request some, send an email (contact page link above) between 9.00am and 10.00am on Thursday only (28th Oct), including your given name, surname and a contact number.* Do not send a request outside the above period. The lucky people will be advised by about 11.00am Thurs via email.

* The information you provide will not be used for any purpose other than to record your order for macarons on the day in question.

Reality check

As many of you know, the macarons sold out extremely quickly this week. I was distressed to hear that some unlucky people were rude to Liaison staff and to some successful purchasers. Macarons are just a type of biscuit, you know. They’re not a ticket out of a war-zone, or the last flight out of Sydney, or the latest iPhone.

I’ve never been at the “hot” end of a baked good before, and I’m flattered by the attention my macarons have received but it was quite a shock to know that people could get so unpleasant because of a delicate biscuit.

Liaison is a small, special place with a great, friendly atmosphere, excellent coffee, tea, chai, marvellous canelés (Thursdays) and other food, and countless loyal regulars. The behaviour of a few visitors spoilt that atmosphere. (Apologies to Siâny and Danny at Liaison wouldn’t go astray.)

We are discussing ways to make the sale of macarons work without queues out the door or unfriendliness, but there won’t be any updates about availability and flavours until a working solution has been found. 🙁

Macarons by Duncan at Liaison

I’ve hinted, there have been rumours, and the cat almost got out of the bag through a lucky coincidence of a flatmate of a blogger being in the right place at the right time…

Meanwhile, Twitterer @essjayeff, better known as Suzanne of, has already tweeted visual evidence! (Suzanne seems to visit Liaison five times a day, always there for the latest news!)

Macarons by Duncan are now available at Liaison café at 22 Ridgway Place, off Little Collins St near Parliament. (Read Claire’s review here.)

In dot points:

  • Tuesdays and Fridays only
  • available on those days from approx. 10.30am until sold out
  • limited stock and flavours per day

And announcing tomorrow’s flavours (which were in anonymous preview at Liaison last Friday):

DARCY white: combines white chocolate ganache with a strong dose of vanilla and lovely little pieces of cocoa bean, better known as cocoa nibs. The end result tastes a bit like chocolate ice cream!

BETH milk: that favourite (for some) combination of orange and milk chocolate. I’ll admit the atractive mixed shell appearance is the result of a shortage of orange shells, rather than artistic flair;)