Thierry Patisserie: Colourful, Gorgeous and Delicious Macarons
1059 Alberni Street, Vancouver
Since my trip to Paris, I constantly crave macarons. We visited Thierry with just that in mind: macarons, and lots of them! There are three things that I look for in macarons: the delicate, chewy cookie, the creamy filling and the combined flavour of cookie and filling. Thierry passes the test on all levels.
I also must note that I love the decor at Thierry, modern and European, it definitely reminded me of Paris cafes with a nice patio outside. Inside the shop, there were display cases of perfectly arranged cakes, tarts and chocolates. Jars of cookies lined the top of the counter.
Thankfully, one of the things that was different from a Paris cafe was the washroom. French bathrooms are tiny, the toilet and the sink and faucet are in two separate rooms. I never found out why this was. Thierry takes a page out of Canadian interior design, making the washroom large and spacious (toilet, sink and faucet all in the same room). Needless to say that the washroom at Thierry was immaculate but what I noticed and loved was that the soap smelled deliciously like ginger. It was both refreshing and mouth watering. Yes, I wanted to eat it. It smells even better than the soap at Holt Renfrew.
But I was at Theirry for one thing and one thing only: macarons!
I got the idea that the macaron flavours change daily, when I went to the counter, they had nine flavours on display: lemon, lime, gianduja (chocolate with hazelnut paste), passion fruit, chocolate caramel, coffee, and what I assume are seasonal flavours: apple and spice, gingerbread and cranberry.
I can’t remember when I first fell in love with French macarons but I’ve loved them for a long time, I’m attracted to the mildly sweet, chewy meringue cookie the most. The perfectly domed top, the ruffly ‘feet’ along the edges and the fluffy middle. I’ve read that it takes two days to make the perfect macaron cookie, after baking the egg white cookies in the oven with the door slightly ajar, the cookies are then placed on the counter top to set to the perfect consistency, light, airy but chewy. At Laduree in Paris, we tasted cookies that were so airy and fragile, most of them were partially crushed in our bags as we walked a short distance along the Champs Elysees. Also at Laduree, we discovered that the actual size of French macarons is the same size as a small hamburger, what we know as French macarons in Canada are actually referred to as ‘mini macarons’ in Paris.
Thierry only sells mini macarons but they were still delectable (even though I wish they were bigger!).
The first one we tried was the cranberry flavour. It was almost a shame to eat it as it was so gorgeous to look at: brilliant red with angel white cream filling. The cookie was just the consistency that I was craving.
You can tell in the picture that the top of the cookie was crisp. When I bit in, the top of the cookie caved into a soft and chewy middle. The cream filling was amazing, sweet and tart just like a cranberry. And the surprise in the middle was a bright red, sweet and sour cranberry! It really added an extra punch of flavour to the little cookie. And it was such a surprise to find a real piece of fruit inside the macaron.
The next one we tried was the lime flavour. This was also another gorgeous cookie, great colour and shape. I love the perfectly smooth and nearly flawless tops of Thierry’s macarons. The lime flavour wasn’t as sour as I had expected. It was more on the sweet side, like a sweeter version of a key lime pie. The citrus flavour was refreshing and light.
Our next fruit flavoured macaron was the passion fruit, bright orange and filled with a rich darker filling. The filling was thicker than the lime and cranberry flavours but was just as delicious. The sweet passion fruit flavours were subtle but present. The feet on this macaron are perfectly symmetrical all the way around the cookie, which was impressive.
The apple and spice macaron stood out because when we got to the center, there was a little cube of real apple, juicy and sweet, adding a kick of flavour to a sweet and slightly spicy macaron. I also love that the filling in this macaron seems to be bursting out of the cookie, making me think of the filling-heavy macarons at Pierre Herme in Paris. The nutty and cinnamon tastes in this macaron made me think of freshly baked apple pie and Indian summer days or as my friend eloquently put it: this macaron made him think of freshly picked apples at the farmer’s market.
Carrying on with the fruit flavour macarons, we tried lemon next. The lemon flavour quickly rose to the top as my friend’s favourite over the ‘farmer’s market’ apple and spice flavour. I think this might be because of his love for lemon meringue pie and this macaron really did taste like the macaron version of a sweet and tart lemon meringue pie. Again, there was a lot of filling in this cookie, the cream oozing out the sides as I bit into the cookie.
The black macaron turned out to be gingerbread. I had initially thought it was going to be licorice. There were hints of licorice flavour in the cookie but there were also waves of sweet and spicy ginger. It was a pretty creative flavour and a great holiday cookie.
The coffee macaron tasted like coffee ice cream, sweet but lightly laced with coffee bean flavour. The filling was smooth and creamy.
The gianduja macaron was marked with a stylistic brown streak on top to differentiate it from the other chocolate flavour. I wasn’t sure what gianduja was but found that the filling tasted exactly like a Ferrero Rocher, a sweet mixture of chocolate and hazelnut, rich and decadent. This quickly became one of my favourites as I am partial to all things hazelnut.
The chocolate caramel with its sticky and sweet filling reminded me of caramel squares. I didn’t like this one as much as the gianduja flavour though. I have to confess that the top of this cookie was somewhat hard, I can’t figure out if it was because we left the cookie out of the box for too long as we chatted and tried the other macarons or if it was because this particular macaron was just stale to begin with.
All in all, I loved the macarons at Thierry and will definitely be returning for more cranberry and gianduja ones!