To say that I like macarons would be a serious understatement. Indeed, if I lived in Paris in a place near Laduree, I’d probably be their best customer; I’d buy boxes of the little temptations every single day!
I’ve been addicted to these miniature almond-meringue sandwiches since Bizu first introduced them to the Philippine dining public several years ago. While I admit to being seriously mad about the rose-flavored ones and [to a lesser extent] the mint-chocolate Wind variant, I’m always open to new flavors – which is exactly why I froze before Bizu’s refrigerated case recently.
The macarons above are mango and almond lait. I’m aware that Bizu also has a butterscotch-flavored macaron, but it wasn’t available at the time so I wasn’t able to get one.
The former is a sunny-yellow disc with the distinctive, somewhat floral fragrance of sun-ripened mangoes; indeed, the buttercream that holds it together has mango puree folded into it. Alas, my sister beat me to this and I wasn’t able to taste it! She said, however, that it was quite mango-ey but could have had a bit more fruitiness to it. Well, I’ll take her word for it.
The almond lait (literally "almond milk"), on the other hand, was quite interesting. One would assume that this was a plain macaron, seeing how it’s white with a few blanched and slivered almonds scattered on top. However, if you’ve had orgeat (horchata in Mexican Spanish), you’ll find that it is certainly more complex than it looks. Orgeat is what you get when you grind almonds, soak them in water, and drain the resulting liquid to make a milk-white extraction. The extraction is then boiled down with sugar, rosewater, and slivers of lemon zest to make a translucent syrup which can be diluted with cold water for a refreshing drink or with hot milk for an interesting nightcap. The almond lait macaron has a strong almond flavor to it, but you can also detect the faintest whiff of rose and just the barest hint of a lemony tang. Interesting, yes; very interesting.
Would I have these again? Well, since I wasn’t able to sample the mango one, I’ll save judgement on it till I get another. The almond lait, on the other hand, has certainly joined the rose as one of my all-time favorites.