For my daughter's birthday, she love macaroons so off to Duchess I went based on comments I have read here. Preordered a Duke (fancy chocolate cake), a dutchess (white cake) and a dozen assorted macaroons. I went to pick them up on a Saturday morning, the place was extremely busy, so much so that I have trouble getting through the door. The staffs were friendly. Obviously, it is a very popular place.
At the same time, my sister posted us some macaroons from London and Paris, she lives in London but frequent Paris on business trips.
The dutchess, basically white cake with buttercream and green fondant in shaped like a dome. The cake was dry, the butter cream was good, the fondant (if meant to be eaten) was not very good; BUT, the cake looked incredible (if you like green cake with flowers and inedible ribbons...).
The duke, basically chocolate covered chocolate cake with butter cream and gold leaf and ribbon decorations. The cake, imho, was much better. Somewhat moist and the chocolate cover was much better than the green fondant over the dutchess.
The macaroons were disappointing. I have had good macaroons, these are not them. They were very small and dry. The almond flour tasted raw and you can tell food colouring was used and not mixed in evenly into the dough/filling. Consider that there are only 6 ingredients in a basic macaroon recipe, making them is easy but making them good is an art; the Dutchess ones were in worst shape then the week-old macaroons my sister posted from Paris. If you are desperate for a macaroon in Edmonton, Matha Stewart has a good recipe that you can try, instead of paying $1.20 each for a toonie size cookie.
In the future, I would skip the macaroons, skip the dutchess (unless I want to impress someone at a dinner party, but would have the duke again. For the $$$, the macaroons and the duchess are definitely not worth it.
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