When Mitzy Budiono of Yummy in the Tummy emailed me to ask if I could be one of her macaron tasters, my first thought was, "HOLYCRAPYES" It was like a dream come true, except it was a dream I would've never even thought of because the idea of a macaron taste tester is too glorious to be real. To assure me that her macarons would be worth my while, she sent me a photo of them and a link to her blog post about taking a pastry class with Pierre Hermé.
Pierre Hermé? The macaron master? Creator of the most delicious pastries I have ever eaten? Count me in.
To ensure the macarons' freshness, she came up from her home in New Jersey to personally deliver the goods: a box of passion fruit and milk chocolate macarons.
And the goods looked good.
And even better out of the box.
You can tell a lot about a macaron just by looking at it. I mostly look for how smooth the cookie's surface is and how much filling is inside. Bumpy cookies are a no-no; the texture of granular almond flour is unsatisfying once you've have the smooth version. Not being able to see the filling is a pretty good indication of there not being enough. (Sometimes there is enough filling even if you can't see it, although in such cases the center of the cookie has probably collapsed, which isn't a desirable trait.) Mitzy's macarons looks smooth, plump, and generously filled—if there were such a thing as a macaron tree, these would be the ripe fruits you'd pick from it.
Of course, you have to eat a macaron to actually judge the flavors and textures. Mitzy's macarons didn't disappoint; the passion fruit and chocolate flavors were pronounced and contained just enough sweetness to enhance the flavor, not overwhelm it. The cookie's texture was medium-light and smooth, as was the filling. Mitzy achieved the seemingly rare balance (in New York City, at least) of flavor and texture between the cookie and filling. These were easily the best macarons I had eaten that didn't come from a bakery in Paris.
I can't thank Mitzy enough for choosing me to be one of her taste testers. If you want to get your hands on these macarons, you'll have to wait; Mitzy isn't selling them to the public just yet. But if all goes well, her baking business will be ready by the end of the year. I'm crossing my fingers.