Tuesday, August 18, 2015

European Cakes

A summer goal of mine was to visit the farmers' market more often. I'm proud to say that I think I've accomplished that! Out of all the markets I visited, the Southwest Edmonton Farmers' Market was the most frequented this summer.

Southwest Edmonton Farmers' Market (SWEFM) runs May to October every Wednesday from 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM. It is located in the parking lot across from Terwillegar Recreation Centre and Leger Transit Station. There is a lot of parking space available but the market's location in the heart of the neighbourhood make it easily accessible by walking, bus, or bike. Weekly Fresh Sheets are posted every Tuesday which provide a run down of what's happening at the market including the vendors who will be there, activities going on for kids, and what produce are available and in season.

European Cakes.
Lots of goodies!

A vendor that caught my eye in the July 29, 2015 Fresh Sheet was European Cakes. European Cakes had just started selling their macarons and other baked goods at SWEFM three weeks prior to my visit, so they are fairly new to the market. I knew I needed to give the macarons a try!

Macarons.

European Cakes sells macarons for $2.25 each, a box of 5 for $10, or a box of 10 for $20. I decided to go for a box of 5, with one of each flavour.

A box of macarons for $10.

First impressions: I loved the logo with the damask patterns and the bright pink packaging. Very cute and girly touches. CJ was also quick to note that the macarons didn't look "refined", but let's be real - I would still eat these despite the appearance! Another quality I look for in macarons is that each one should smell like what it's supposed to be (for instance, a strawberry macaron should ideally smell like strawberries). That wasn't the case with these macarons. 

Pink Lemonade.

The first macaron I tried was Pink Lemonade. I thought the vibrant yellow shell with the bubblegum pink filling looked very pretty. Sadly, this was my least favourite flavour out the 5. The pink lemonade flavour just seemed a little artificial and too sweet for my liking. The exterior of the macaron shell was also hard and easily cracked, while the inside was dry and hollow. 

Saskatoon Berry.

I was disappointed that the first macaron I tried wasn't as good as I had hoped, so I'm thankful I tried the Saskatoon Berry flavour next. This one was significantly better! The owner of European Cakes told me that she picked the saskatoon berries herself on a farm near Grand Prairie, and I could really taste the difference when fresh, natural ingredients were used. The macaron shell in this one was perfectly crispy with a moist and chewy interior, as it should be. 

Strawberry.

I would say that the Strawberry macaron looked the prettiest, but then again light pink is my favourite colour. This flavour was also delicious - light, subtle, and not too sweet. European Cakes really nailed the berry flavours! 

Salted Caramel.

I'm a lover of Salted Caramel macarons, so I hoped European Cakes' version would taste amazing. However, this one didn't meet my expectations. I wished the buttercream filling had a more prominent salted caramel taste, or that actual caramel were used. Just like the pink lemonade, the macaron shell was also hard and dry.

Nutella.

Last but not least - the Nutella macaron! The nutella flavour in this macaron was not too pronounced but still very enjoyable. I think chocolate-y macarons will always end up tasting delicious. 

Yummy!

Overall, I thought the European Cakes macarons I tried were just good. They didn't particularly "wow" me considering the quality of some of the macaron shells. However, I was really impressed with how awesome the saskatoon berry macaron tasted! I recommend getting the fruity flavours because I found those tasted the best. 

Previously, there wasn't a designated shop/vendor for macarons in southwest Edmonton so European Cakes certainly fills that void in the area. I think European Cakes is a very welcome addition to SWEFM especially for any macaron lovers such as myself. Let's not forget that they sell other baked goods like bread, croissants, and cannolis too! Would I try macarons from European Cakes again? Sure! Just because some of the macarons I tried weren't the best, doesn't mean every other macaron will be like that too. I'm always up for trying new flavours and I know the lady behind this business really goes above and beyond to obtain the highest quality ingredients for her baking. Plus, macarons are so tough to make so I appreciate anyone who makes them! European Cakes is my third macaron adventure posted on my blog, so be sure to read my posts on Milk and Cookies Bakeshop and Contessa French Macarons as well. Follow European Cakes on Instagram (@europeancakes), Twitter (@EuropeanCakes), and like their Facebook page

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