22 December 2012

Zumbarons: A fantasy land of macarons {review}

Prahran market, Melbourne, is well known as the food lovers market thanks to its wide selection of stalls selling fresh fruit and veg, meat, poultry, seafood, flowers, and of course, baked goods.  On this particular Saturday morning I had a deliciously crumbly twisted pastry thing with chocolate and deliciousness everywhere.  I ate it before I remembered that I wanted to take a photo of it....

Standing in one corner of the market is the store The Essential Ingredient, overflowing with wonderful cookbooks, kitchenware and food.  I spent a fair amount of time wandering around dreamily, but most people in the store were doing the same thing.  It was here that I came across the 'Zumbarons' book by Adriano Zumbo.

At the point of purchase I'd never had a Zumbaron, but plenty of macarons.  Before I went away I got really 'into' macarons and made a few batches, with success, which never made it to the blog. 

The recipes in the book range from the standard chocolate mayonnaise macaron, to the bizarre idea of a vegemite macaron.  Well set out, with plenty of pictures and lots of explaining, the recipes seem easy enough to follow but for one aspect; they require fussy specialist ingredients.  You can't just wake up and make these babies, they demand prior planning and preparation, and a nearby specialist store.  Once I've worked out where mine is, I'm definitely keen to have a go and will post my results online, before I've eaten them...

No purchase of said book would be complete without a little tasting trip to an Adriano Zumbo patisserie in Sydney.  I popped over to visit the Manly store, on Sydney's north shore.  It took me a while to find it tucked away down a side street, with only the teeny sign above the door to tell you where it was.  I think I was expecting trumpets, banners and huge signposts....

The store itself was dinky but with plenty of flavours of zumbarons to choose from, as well as various other creations I didn't pay much attention to thanks to the friendly staff who picked up on my pommy accent straight away.  I chose salted popcorn and candy cane zumbarons and happily walked off, box in hand.

Unfortunately the heat of the day took its toll on my little zumbarons, so buy the time I got to eat them they were a little worse for wear.  But still with a crisp shell and softer centre, but the fillings had gone a bit gooey.

The candy cane was filled with a minty, jelly-like frosting.  I suspect some fancy fiddling ingredients were used to make it.  Needless to say it was delicious, but not what I expected when I bit in which was a little confusing!

The popcorn macaron tasted exactly like it should - like popcorn!  But not just any popcorn; this was as delicious as the Coles organic sweet and salted popcorn that I've been known to eat by the bag.

I will almost definitely be googling where to get my fussy ingredients so I can have a go at creating some zumbarons of my own as soon as I can!

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