Category Archives: by Duncan

Salted caramel for quick readers, plus the usual tales of macarons

[UPDATE: ALL GONE!]

I need to learn the lesson that when things are going well, one should stop experimenting (at least at critical times). You see, I made a ganache today that I was quite proud of. Homemade seville orange marmelade in a white chocolate ganache. Carefully bitter, a touch of vanilla. Then I made a beautifully orange macaron batter. Then I tweaked the mix. Tsk tsk. But things still weren’t all bad. Then I put the piped shells in the oven. And then I played with a function on the oven. Tsk tsk tsk tsk. I should know better. Seriously ugly shells and, I hate to say, crunchy too (this will mellow with a few days maturation).

Meanwhile, I’ve been battling with the torments of caramel. If it’s easily pipeable, it’s too runny on the shell. If it’s kinda thick enough, it’s a pain to pipe. And, foolishly, I stacked quite a few finished macarons on top of each other for transportation this afternoon… Caramel is rather heavy dense (unlike the shells), so the top layer of macarons did a good job of squeezing the caramel out of the bottom layer of macarons. Sigh.

Which brings me to the thing many of you were waiting for today. A few weeks ago I quietly announced a giveaway of mandarin/cinnamon macarons to my email and Twitter subscribers, with much success and some lovely blush-inducing praise. Now I can offer a small number of 4-packs of YANNIC, my salted caramel macaron which lots of people have liked in the past. I had hoped to have rather a lot more available, but, well, macawrongs are part of the, um, adventure.

[UPDATE: NONE LEFT OF YANNIC!] If you want one of these 4-packs of YANNIC, they are available for $5 and would need to be picked up tomorrow (Thursday 8th July) in the Melbourne CBD between 3.00pm and 5.00pm only. First in best dressed, so email me before 12noon Thursday using the contact page to reserve yours.

I’ll also throw in one of the sad orange ones — remember beauty is only skin deep, but tastiness is divine. Ehem.

If anyone really loves the idea of the orange ones, I’ll do some packs of three for a meagre $1. [UPDATE: NONE LEFT!] You need to like the bitter orange character of marmelade (it’s definitely not over the top, but I know that marmelade is often a love-it-or-hate-it thing for people).

And hopefully, hopefully, this’ll be the last of the test runs! At present I’m looking at packaging and also how to make the macarons available, as supplying wholesale to retailers is too time-consuming at the moment and rarely rewarding. My focus is on small production to make this manageable, to keep the joy in it, and to have the emphasis on a tight, varying range of interesting flavours. There are still many steps to be negotiated, so stay tuned.

PS: And edible glitter is a real pain to deposit as a Macarons by Duncan trademark dot on the shells. Won’t try that again!

End of production

It’s with heavy heart that I announce that macaron production has already drawn to a close, at least for now. [SEE UPDATE AT END] The technical constraints of a small, busy commercial kitchen have turned out to be too great for regular, high-quality patisserie work. While I know some people will miss my macarons, remember that Jackie and Simon at EARL Canteen will of course be serving customers lots of other great food from their menu! They have an impressive dining concept and I wish them success.

As mentioned on my article about the macaron project, Jackie’s interest and enthusiasm was instrumental in persuading me to start macaron production, so it is sad that things have had to wind up so soon. Supplies of macarons at EARL Canteen will probably last for a few weeks after the date of this announcement, but check with them if you want to know if a specific flavour is on sale on a certain day.

I’m off very soon for a short (but long-planned) holiday and when I return I’ll explore options for making this project work in another context.

Thanks for your overwhelming enthusiasm for my product (especially those Twittererers out there!). I put a lot of care into trying to deliver flavours that were interesting and well executed, and I’m glad so many people enjoyed them. Perhaps there’ll be more eventually!

[IN AUGUST I STARTED SUPPLYING MACARONS TO LIAISON CAFÉ. READ HERE.]

Two new flavours – from 06 May 2010

Here come two new flavours! Some of you already know about one of them… Permit me to introduce Yannic and Diego (no photos this week).

YANNIC intense: a rich salted caramel with the occasional zing of salt crystals. No flavoured buttercream here! This is a real caramel.

DIEGO dark: subtly cinnamon-flavoured dark chocolate ganache. I didn’t want to scare you, so the first version of DIEGO is on the mild side.

Macarons by Duncan – exclusively at EARL Canteen, Melbourne

[UPDATED: PRODUCTION HAS ENDED FOR NOW. SEE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT] After many years of making and writing about macarons, it has become time to share my enthusiasm directly with a wider audience. You can try my macarons exclusively at EARL Canteen in the courtyard behind 500 Bourke Street, Melbourne (website). Supplies are always limited! Special orders should be made via EARL.

To keep abreast of the latest flavours, just subscribe (see right column) by email, RSS or Twitter.

Every new flavour has a name, a description, and a version number so that macaron lovers (and I) can keep track of their favourite flavours and modifications.