Cako’s Pretty Macarons

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I spotted them last time, little colorful discs of pastel pinks and blues befitting of any princess’s wardrobe, some encrusted with red and white sprinkles, some with dried rose petals and specks of sesame seeds, all sitting behind a glass case in neat rows.  They’re the only confections that can command a $2 price out of me because they’re difficult to get correctly, and because they come in as many flavors as you can get swatches of  eye shadow.  If you’ve guessed macaron, you’re correct!

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I ventured near the Cako stand in the underground level of Westfield one day while returning home from work and finally submitted to my inner dessertaholic’s desires.  I’ve only tried the blue Earl Grey one last time, cramming it into my mouth as soon as I paid and rushed towards the station, unable to truly savor it bite by bite in the comfort of home.

This time, I went with rose (my absolute favorite of any floral), sesame, lychee, chocolate nutella, and white peach (because it was the only one with different colored shells).

The rose tasted like an English garden in my mouth, bursting with floral notes.  Although a tad thin, the buttercream was fluffy, and the eggshell crust crunchy.  Its sweetness was well balanced, and I could probably eat more of this without taking a drink of water.

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The sesame was also rich and flavorful, and the seeds lent texture.  The peach, however, was a bit of a disappointment.  It tasted like the artificial peach reminiscent of Hi-Chew candies, and the sugar was overpowering.   This one also had a more pronounced hollow in the macaron shell that existed in the previous ones.  Similar to the peach, the lychee one was also too sweet, and I couldn’t finish my half without gulping down some water.

The chocolate nutella was an improvement after the fruit flavored ones.  Generous pieces of roasted hazelnuts gave an aromatic crunch, although the chocolate ganache inside has a weird chocolate taste I would liken to Tootsie Rolls.  It would have been perfect if it had been just plain nutella.

My overall verdict?  I still haven’t found the perfect macaron yet, but Cako has a relatively acceptable rendition that I’ll purchase next time if I pass by it.  I’ll skip the fruit ones though since they carry an unnatural sweetness.

-Cynthia

Cako
Westfield Shopping Center (Concourse)
San Francisco

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