Sunday, 13 March 2011

Macaron Afternoon Tea

Tipped off by a fellow Brunei Blogger (thanks Boel!), we headed off to the Empire Hotel for afternoon tea today.  They were having a macaron-themed weekend, and as I love macarons it seemed like a must-try event.  I have made macarons a couple of times before, once with a blackberry theme, and once with rhubarb and orange flavours, but I haven't attempted making them in ages.  They're great fun to do and delicious to eat, but pretty time-consuming.

The idea of an entire meal made from macarons was too enticing to miss.  We arrived at 3pm, only to find that it was fully booked.  However, we put ourselves down for the 'second sitting' and went and sat in the hotel grounds with our books.  Fortunately when we returned at 4pm there was a table free.

The table of macarons looked incredible, such amazing colours.

If you look closely at the bottom picture you can see that there were both sweet and savoury options available...

We decided to start with the savoury ones.  I have to admit I was expecting the macarons themselves to be savoury, but no...  they were all sweet.  Was I naive to hope for savoury macarons, or is that impossible as their ingredients are simply egg white, ground almonds and sugar?

Anyway, it was certainly a 'taste sensation' eating prawns, pate, egg, cheese, smoked salmon and roast beef with horseradish atop a sugary macaron... and perhaps not a taste sensation I'd be that keen to repeat! 

The sweeter versions were much more appealing.

I started with a 'modest' (cough) plateful with a mere 5 macarons (Rob went the whole hog with 7!) and all 5 were tasty.  Perhaps the nicest was the blueberry jelly one in the foreground as it wasn't too sweet; the jelly was pleasantly acidic.  The two pink ones had a strawberry filling, the orange one was peachy, and the white one at the back of the plate was vanilla.

Rob's plate also included a chocolatey one, and a vaguely violet-flavoured one.  As you can see they were beautifully presented, but I felt that the chefs had missed a trick by not flavouring the macarons themselves.  They were all 'plain' (apart from the vivid colouring of course!) with only the fillings providing the different flavours.

Of course we had to return to the buffet table several times, just to make sure we had sampled everything on offer!  Oh dear, all-you-can-eat deals are very dangerous.  We both left with extremely full stomachs and sugar-rush headaches...  a very exciting tea, but maybe just a 'once in a lifetime' experience?!


At Anna's kitchen table said...

Fabulous macarons!
I really must try making them sometime,

Anonymous said...

What fun! We found the japanese desserts beautiful to look at but generally there was no flavour to them at all! Buffets are indeed dangerous!
I am throughly enjoying your adventures, Melanie xoxo

snowy said...

They look delicious. Lovely colours.
Strange to put savoury fillings in a sweet macaron.

Ben said...

I missed their macaron promotion! wasn't sure whteher to go or not because their christmas macarons were horribly dry and crunchy.
Just wanted to say hi! came across your blog on a search for macarons and imagine my surprise to find you're based in brunei!

Norm said...

Hi Ben! Nice to 'see' you here. What are you doing in Brunei? I teach at ISB and my husband is in the Army on a posting here. We're enjoying it so far.

Ben said...

I am a local teacher here, I was born here! :)

Norm said...

In which case, may I say you have excellent English (and I very much like your blog). Nice to meet a fellow-teacher - do you teach primary or secondary? In the BSB area? (I teach year 3).

Ben said...

thank you! I teach secondary, yes - I'm teaching in BSB, in the water village area. It's a different case though, teaching in a public school because a lot of the students are really apathetic towards learning so everyday is a struggle.

Norm said...

Sorry to hear your job is hard work. I hope one day you get to fulfil your dream of taking a pastry course and maybe making your living baking! I just wanted to ask, is your cake list with prices still up to date? If you'd like I could give you some publicity on my blog? It might get you some custom.

Ben said...

sure! that would be great! it's mostly up-to-date but I might make a few additions sooner or later :)

spontaneous-euphoria said...

nice post!