>Circle City Sweets – Indianapolis

>Indianapolis, Indiana

“HELLO…MY NAME IS MARK AND I’M A MACARON ADDICT”

Anyone who knows me knows I’ll sell my soul for a French Macaron. I’ve chased them down in Paris, London, Rome, Zurich, LA, New York, Chicago and any chance I can find them I scarf them down (See earlier posts on this blog from Pierre Hermé in Paris and Paulette’s in Los Angeles). As special gifts I even have friends make them for me (please keep them coming) and when in a new city one of the first searches I do on my iphone map is for “French Macarons.”

A few months ago my iphone told me there was a cache of French Macarons just a few miles from me in the City Market. I went berserk, told everybody, went to the market and voila…nothing! Just the same old cookie dealer with a few tired American coconut macaroons. hmmph!

Then guess what happened? Technology WAS in fact faster than life and there WERE French Macarons hiding at the City Market after all, under a new vendor “Circle City Sweets.” I pounced on the place, scanned the display cases full of tarts, cakes, cookies…did I just see a financier in Indianapolis? …and something almost the shape of a Canelé…my GOD…they have Beignets on Thursday mornings once a month!?! But…alas…where were the colorful mounds of macarons stacked to perfection?

They were, as it turns out, in the freezer…[car tires screeching to a halt]…and only in three different flavors…[sound of bomb destroying planet].

I kept my head up, ordered a stack along with a few chef recommended house favorites and went on my way trying to figure out exactly how long frozen almond flour takes to defrost. It turns out it takes about 20 minutes…which also turned out to be the perfect amount of time for the clear plastic tube they were stacked in to collect their frozen condensation and damage the cargo. COME ON!

Chocolate – Good bite and chew, full flavored, not as rich as it could be but finished round in the mouth. I’ll buy again.
Raspberry – Bad color, terrible chew (wet from the tube), good strong flavor punch but finished overly sweet. No thanks.
Pistachio – Horrid color, great bite and chew, nice flavor, finished soft with a nice nut meat after taste. I’ll take two please.

I’m happy enough to have a local fix and the rest of what I tried from baker/owner Cindy Hawkins was far superior to anything else in the general area…but French Macarons are not something to take lightly. They can’t be made in ugly colors (there is a story that Ladurée took 115 batches to get the color right for their jasmine mango macaroon) nor frozen fresh … and they can’t be sold in plastic tubes like an impulse item at the grocery store. They need delicate attention and should be elevated as the best example of what a classic baker can do.

I’ll keep showing up at Circle City Sweets whenever my addiction rears its ugly head and ignore some of the artistry I have in my head for comparison. It just doesn’t feel good to have to do so.

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8 Comments on ">Circle City Sweets – Indianapolis"

  1. Daniel says:

    >Hey Fellow Foodie -

    Thanks for posting this! I too had a hankering for some French macaroons! Having recently relocated from Florida to Indianapolis, I did a search and your blog popped up. Thanks for the (entertaining)heads up about the Circle City Sweets. I think I will bite the bullet and order online from Paulette.

    The best ones I've tasted come from PAUL. French based and the only US outlets are in South Florida! Darn!

    Can you tell me anything about Paulette's macaroons before I place my order? It's a whopping $34 for shipping!!

    Thanks in advance!

    Dan.

  2. No Sporks Allowed says:

    >Hey Dan…welcome to Indy!

    Click on the red "Paulette" link in my Circle City Sweets post and it will take you take my blog post on Paulettes (or go here: http://nosporksallowed.blogspot.com/2009/10/paulette-macarons-los-angeles.html)

    I love the place…La Provence in LA is excellent also but Paulette's is my favorite in the states. $34 for shipping!!! my god man! Then again…what ya gonna do?

    It's a shame LaDurée or Pierre Hermé in Paris don't ship to the states…they are the best in the world…ok…you've got my mind wrapping around ordering some from Paulette's myself.

    Since you are in Indy…you can special order very good ones from Renes Bakery in Broad Ripple (they have a smaller one downtown now also). If you haven't found this place yet its a foodie secret. They have great brioche, amazing tarts and you can order your macarons in any flavor you want…any quantity at a time :)

    http://www.renesbakery.com

  3. amylynch says:

    >One of my culinary goals for 2011 is to master the macaron, which I've been documenting on my own blog. (Our blogs are eerily similar in content, by the way – who knows, we may be long-lost foodie twins in an alternate universe!)

    http://www.zenfoodist.wordpress.com

    Keep up the good writing – cheers!
    Amy

  4. Troy says:

    Kate Winslet served French macaroons at her wedding instead of cake. True story.

  5. Mark says:

    Of course she did Troy! (tee-hee)

  6. Susan says:

    I went here today and was very disappointed. There were a few stale looking pastries in the counter. No one looked like they even cared that I was there. Left empty-handed. Maybe they are authentically French, right down to the rudeness.

    • Mark says:

      I know what you mean. There is a definite feeling that the employees are having to stop what they are doing to help you…and sometimes it comes across like they are being bothered.I understand that it’s a working bakery with a small staff and they are busy. That being said, they are often impatient with customers taking a few moments to decide. If they actually need to get back to something else that importantly, hire some more employees.

      I’ve found the staff at the kitchen part of it (they share the space) often look bored and rude too (that’s actually pretty hard to do…try it). I was there 3 weeks ago and had a surly employee. He did one of those push-the-change-into-your-hands-while-spinning-around-and-talking-to-his-coworker kind of moves on me. you know?…the “take your change, get the hell out of here while I pretend you dont exist” kind of customer service. PLUS he never once looked me in the eyes. jerk.

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