I’m fickle, I know, but I think I might have a new favourite treat. It doesn’t quite beat Cinnabon in terms of pure slobbering sweetness, but certainly isn’t that far behind.
Some bright spark at British company James Chocolates has decided that normal Macaroons – the squidgy, meringue-type treats I’ve sometimes made (and often eaten) – would be vastly improved if their structures were made out of chocolate.
I have to say, I’m tempted to think they were right.
I have now tried three of the four new flavours: Raspberry, Pistachio, and Vanilla Praline. A fourth, Coffee and Caramel, won two gold stars at last year’s Taste Awards – but was omitted from our haul due to the Man’s coffee aversion.
How Macaroony these actually are is very much up for debate. As far as my beady eyes could make out, there wasn’t an ounce of almond in sight – nor was there even a hint of goo.
Unlike their cakey counterparts, the fillings were pretty much solid, and overall they were more like solid Chocolate Sandwiches than your average Parisian accompaniment.
Not that this makes them any less delicious.
The Pistachio was my favourite: two thick white chocolate pistachio discs, plus a filling with a slightly salty edge. The nuttiness was mostly in the aftertaste (there was definitely room for more pistachio) – but gnawing it felt extremely luxurious.
The Man chose Raspberry at the shop, which was good but (surprisingly) his least favourite: too much freeze-dried raspberry, apparently (though I personally enjoyed the added texture).
Vanilla Praline – white chocolate with a dense praline centre – was also very tasty. Much more oomph than your normal macaroon, that’s for sure.
I suppose that could be a problem for some. Surely one of the biggest plus-points of French Macaroons is their lightness – the fact that you can eat three or four, and still have room for dinner.
These, on the other hand, are somewhat more hardcore (both literally and metaphorically).
You certainly can’t just chomp them down in one. For starters, you might hurt your teeth (unless you’ve softened them out in the sun they’re pretty hard to bite). For seconds, they’re very rich. Have more than two and you might feel queasy – and, at a pricey £5 for four, perhaps a tad hard-done-by too.
Even so, as chocolates go, they’re wonderful. Take your time, nibble the edges, let them melt in the pouches of your cheeks…
I can only dream of what might come next. Imagine the possibilities! Anything could be chocolatified. Anything. 100% Chocolate Birthday Cakes? Chocolate Roast Dinners (with life-sized Chocolate Turkeys)?
As the hip kids say: that, bruv, would be solid.