December 18, 2013
I finally had the opportunity to visit my sister and brother’s favourite bakery in Ottawa – Macarons et Madeleines – a beautiful, warm and cozy home bakery tucked away in Chinatown that specializes in French pastries.
A semi-detached house, the first things that greet you as you enter: delicious aromas of freshly baked goods and Stephan Ethier’s friendly welcome.
As it is a business run out of their home, Macarons et Madeleines does not have space for customers to sit down and eat, however, that doesn’t mean that their atmosphere is lacking in any way.
A price list and guest book are set up in the foyer, Christmas decor lines the small yet spacious room, even a lovely wood fireplace.
Looks like there should be a cat around, but we didn’t get to meet him/her!
Macarons et Madeleines offers a small selection of approximately 10 pastries on a regular basis. For macarons, only a few flavours are chosen and made each week, many of them creative adventures suggested by customers. In addition, there are others (like the chocolate almond croissant) available only on the weekends. They are also very happy to work with you to create any custom orders you might have, which is great!
Stephan is a very friendly and extremely passionate patissier (read his biography here). He was more than happy to thoroughly explain the story and work behind the pastries, provide any tips and answer any questions. I did not have a chance to chat with his wife that day, but my sister tells me she is lovely and also just as friendly.
After a bit of a chat and being given some information on everything available, it was difficult not to get everything to try!
Christmas macaron flavours available were: pistachio-cinnamon (red), hot chocolate with marshmallow (white), and eggnog with rum (yellow) – we bought 2 of each to share ($2/each). Our favourite was the pistachio-cinnamon, having the most vibrant flavours of the 3, as well as great colour for the holiday season!
Since we’ve never had a Cannele Bordelais ($3) before, we had to try. A small striated cylinder with a crispy carmelised crust and a soft custard inside – rich, creamy and delicious!
Croissant ($1.75) – flaky and tender, easily one of the best ones we’ve ever had!
Pain au chocolate/Chocolate croissant ($2.50) – even better than the regular croissant because of its smooth, creamy, chocolate centre, mmm!
Apple turnover/Chausson aux pommes ($2.50) – most unique one we’ve tried as it is made with a velvety home made apple puree filling. I love apple+cinnamon, this one definitely did not last long.
We also got a Brioche Parisienne ($1.25) which was very nice as well!
Macarons et Madeleines offers delicious French pastries Wednesday to Sunday starting at 7am until quantities last. Definitely worth a special visit, I promise you will not be disappointed! Not only will you be warmly received into the home of one of the most passionate pastry chefs, you will surely leave with amazing treats that will leave you pining for more!