Our next stop on the great Melbourne macaron chase was Cacao, a Melbourne fine chocolatier and patisseur. They have outlets in a number of shops across Melbourne, including the GPO (where I purchased my selection), Little Collins Street, Doncaster and St Kilda.
Cacao is winner of the 2010 award for best macarons, according to Melbourne Macaron, a student initiative which was judged by Macaron King Adriano Zumbo and Melbourne eating aficionado and Epicure writer and food critic Larissa Dubecki. I purchased a selection of 12 to take to morning tea with a friend, and another 4 to devour with Mr K, not wanting to leave him out of the process. I have to say I didn't try all of the macarons this time around - I stuck to a smaller selection, so apologies in advance for the less than comprehensive reporting.
As a starting point, I didn't think the appearance was as good as those from Luxbite - the feet and biscuits were a little flatter but the taste was definitely better across the board. The texture was the chewiest of all the macarons we tasted.
I selected what I thought would be my favorites for tasting: passionfruit chocolate, lemon, salted caramel and raspberry. I also tried vanilla, earl grey and rose.
The passionfruit chocolate was sensational: velvety and fruity. The lemon was beautifully zingy and the salted caramel highly successful - using real salted caramel in the filling. Salted caramel is the flavour I judge all macaron makers on and this was a fantastic specimen indeed. Raspberry was also lovely and sweet redolent with authentic fruit flavour. Rose was a tad bland - not light, floral and fresh as I was expecting, more sweet and nothing... The earl grey was fine but nothing special.
The highlight for me was the vanilla. The filling was speckled with real vanilla bean and the biscuit retained it's crispness beautifully. Just Delicious. If you only want to try one macaron at Cacao, this is the one. I'd go back for the vanilla one alone. Seriously good.
Coming up soon, our final stop on the Macaron Chase - La Belle Miette!