Seattle Underground Market: Macaron Edition
“How do you bridge the gap from having a passion for cooking to having your own restaurant or catering business?”
As a happy cook with a boyfriend who talks about opening his own restaurant someday, that teaser question for the Seattle Underground Market is something we often ask ourselves. Answer: have some connections in the Seattle foodie scene and share your creations at the underground market.
I went this past Saturday and, though I spent more time chowing down than asking questions, I did talk to Aaron of Yeah! Cookie and Jenni of Jenni’s Sugar Shop about how they got involved. And, like I learned in J school, it’s all about who you know! Aaron, from whom I bought an amazingly moist pumpkin apple spice cookie, got involved with the market through his friends and neighbors at Soda Jerk Soda. And Jenni, who sold me six amazing French macarons (more on that in a second!), heard about the market from her friend’s food-connected uncle. Like many of the other vendors, her sugar shop is Internet-based. She participated in the underground market for some real-world exposure.
I am such a macaron lover, so when I saw them at the market I knew I had to have every flavor. Luckily, there were only six: caramel apple, gingerbread, Cap’N Crunch, double chocolate, Mexican chocolate, and pumpkin.
The caramel apple was my favorite. It had Butterfinger on top (always a plus), the traditional lightness and delicacy of a macaron, and a great unique flavor. Ben shared this one with me (as well as the Cap’N Crunch and the Mexican chocolate), and it was his favorite as well.
The gingerbread macaron was made perfect by its lemon curd buttercream. It was flaky and delicious, sure, and had a good zip of ginger that I really appreciated. But the zest and tartness of the lemon center made this light treat feel refreshing and not get too slogged down in sweet.
I love unique flavors, something Seattle seems to really excel at. I was so excited and amused to see the Cap’N Crunch macaron! And yes… it really does taste like the cereal! It contains tiny crushed up bits of Cap’N Crunch, which is why this macaron, unlike the others, is not gluten free. This macaron appropriately had a light sweet flavor, and I really appreciated the homage. Next time, could you try using Cap’N Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch?
Next up, the chocolates: Mexican and double. The Mexican chocolate macaron was very mild, with neither a bold flavor of chocolate nor any spice. However, it was very light and crisp, whereas the double chocolate macaron was thick and almost fudgey. It was definitely delicious, but lacked the spun sugar fairy delight crispness that I love about macarons.
Last AND least is the pumpkin pie macaron. I am a pumpkin lover and really appreciate it as a signifier for fall. To my chagrin, I even had a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks before heading over to the underground market. Don’t worry, I was immediately punished by spilling it all down my front. And the barista gave me bizarro directions to the market that involved wandering around in the rain for 45 minutes instead of just crossing the street.
But I digress. One time, I made chocolate chili cupcakes with cinnamon buttercream and a pumpkin pie filling. I did something wrong with the pumpkin filling, and lo and behold it had no flavor. I think that’s what happened here too.
I am sadly out of macarons, so I think I will shower and head over to Cupcake Royale for a midmorning treat. Seattle is so sweet. Check back for pictures and reviews of other foods at the Seattle Underground Market.