I absolutely adore French pastries – just adore!! My sweet tooth is a terrible thing for my diet but it is so delightful to devour desserts. French desserts are so fascinating by all because they are so delicate and tricky to get right. You have got to have quite the expertise to be able to call yourself a maître pâtissier (a master French pastry chef).
Macarons have become such a huge sensation in Australia, sending hundreds of thousands of people to scour the best ones in town. It’s become quite the epidemic: we all watch Masterchef Australia, while we lick our lips at the slightest sight of the creations the chefs have cooked up that day and then call ourselves ‘food experts’.
We want the good stuff now. The real deal. Top of the line only! That means crispy on the outside yet marshmallowy on the inside, uniquely flavoured yet not too sweet or too salty or too bland macarons. But why macarons? Because they’re so incredibly difficult to make to perfection of course! Macarons can easily be too mushy, too crunchy, too dry, too hard and they’re so delicate they crush easily. Hence, due to the skill and time involved – they’re damn pricey. For a dessert that you can pop the whole thing into your mouth in one go, these little cute coloured suckers will set you back $2.20 a pop (or 24 for the dozen).. And we thought sushi was expensive!!
As I mentioned, making macarons are a difficult food item to master. They are a type of merengue that is made of egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar, ground almond and food colouring (or a food flavouring such as strawberry, orange, chocolate). It is typically filled with buttercream which is sandwiched between two cookies. The name macaron comes from the Italian word “maccarone” which means to crush or beat (in reference to the almond which is the principal ingredient). The coating is a shiny, smooth and flat and is mildly moist so that when you pop one onto your tongue, it is quick to melt in your mouth. Mmm, divine!
Living in Canada has been a great opportunity for me to experience much more authentic French cuisine than I could ever get in Australia. French restaurants are a rarity over there, and French bakeries are even rarer. But since the macaron craze, pastry masters such as Adriano Zumbo has shot to fame and is now a well sought after food celebrity.
Macarons, macarons, macarons. Everybody wants them, right? Well on a recent trip to Quebec, Montreal I soon discovered that it is not just quite. Despite Quebec being a French city, the word ‘macaron’ did not seem familiar. A friend of mind spoke to various people on the street, in restaurants, in stores (in French), describing the delicate sweet French dessert that I was eagerly after but still, no one knew. My heart was crushed. How I was to find macarons when I returned to Toronto?
But I should not have feared. Nadege on Queen Street West in Toronto has solved all my sweet tooth macaron desires. One quick stop to the small little shop, I was able to pick up a dozen of macarons all in different flavours! Oh my! I was in macaron heaven! The 12 flavours available at Nadege were: Mojito, Cappuccino, Pure Chocolate, Vanilla, Chestnut, Cassis, Blackberry Chocolate, Rose, Chocolate Orange, Salted Caramel, Hazelnut and Pistachio.
So the million dollar question is: how does Nadege’s macarons compare? They were absolutely fantastic! You get that perfect crunch as you dig your teeth in, soft and gooey in the centre like a marshmallow and those flavours…. Oh gosh! Soooo good! I love that the flavours aren’t too sweet and that they melt in my mouth! My favourite flavour (and seems to be all of Toronto’s favourite flavour as it always appears to be sold out!) is the Salted Caramel. The Mojito flavour is also very very tasty :) I even dare say that.. these are the best damn macarons I’ve ever had!!!! YES, I will say it. THE BEST.
Nadege also offers various other macaron assortments, with an Angel Cake decorated with coloured macarons or the Marie Antoinette tower also covered in coloured macarons. They also offer gorgeous tarts such as the French Mango and Coconut Tart, Pink Grapefruit and Earl Grey Tart, French Mint and Chocolate Tart, Chocolate Tart and Lemon Merengue Tart.
If you don’t have such a sweet tooth like me (lucky you, I envy), then you can also sit back and enjoy a classic French style sandwich. So if you ever wanted to justify your sweets, you can enjoy a lovely lunch here on the patio and then much on these yummy sweets. Mmm!
Nadege Patisserie Photos
The fresh white entrance and cute patio at the corner of Queen St and Gore Vale Avenue (Trinity Bellwoods Park) in Toronto, Canada.
Inside Nadege: Clean, Bright, Modern & Colourful
French breads and pastries. Mmm.
French style tarts: French Mango and Coconut Tart, Pink Grapefruit and Earl Grey Tart, French Mint and Chocolate Tart, Chocolate Tart and Lemon Merengue Tart
Various Nadege products
Mini Madeleines: Strawberry & Chocolate
The most wanted Nadege macarons
Flavours: Mojito, Cappuccino, Pure Chocolate, Vanilla, Chestnut, Cassis, Blackberry Chocolate, Rose, Chocolate Orange, Salted Caramel, Hazelnut and Pistachio.
French style sandwiches
Angel cake with macarons
Marie Antoinette: Mini macaron tower
I absolutely adore Nadege’s hot pink box! So cute!
12 flavours. 12 perfect macarons.
Nadege Patisserie (French Bakery) Location
780 Queen St W, Toronto (Corner of Queen St and Trinity Bellwoods Park)