A TASTE SENSATION

Discover what goes into creating the perfect balanced confection with Ladurée's head pastry chef, Alexandra Launay

05 October, 2020

They say we eat with our eyes, and nowhere is this truer than with patisserie. At Ladurée’s stunning boutique at The Royal Exchange you’ll discover picture-perfect macarons, flawless pastries and delicate confectionery just calling out to be sampled. ‘With patisserie, first of all it’s about the visual,’ describes Ladurée head pastry chef Alexandra Launay. ‘It has to be beautiful, it has to have perfect lines, and after the first bite it will let you fall in love with that pastry.’

And Ladurée certainly has flavours that will make you swoon. Before a new creation reaches the customer, the pastry chefs work tirelessly to achieve the ideal balance of sweetness, acidity and bitterness. ‘Before we find the perfect recipe and it’s validated to go in our retail, we do the recipe five or 10 times and we invite our employees to taste and give their feedback,’ says Launay. ‘It’s teamwork.’

The historic French baker and confectioner has a rich heritage to draw from and today, the offering balances its iconic flavour profiles with innovative new takes. Its signature is the Ispahan, available in a hand-piped macaron with rose and lychee cream and finished with fresh raspberries. However, this flavour combination has also been cleverly reworked into other classic French cakes. ‘For example, the Ispahan we did as a Saint Honoré,’ says Launay. A traditional Saint Honoré is usually just vanilla and caramel.’

Ladurée’s signature Ispahan – a hand-piped macaron with rose and lychee cream, finished with fresh raspberries


The changing seasons also play an essential role in inspiring new pastries, and while the Ispahan is available year-round, other creations make the most of fresh produce when it’s at its very best. ‘In autumn, you’re going to have chestnut or vanilla flavours, while in summer we are going to strawberries, or other fruit like apricot,’ explains Launay.

It also is a key part of Ladurée’s commitment to sustainability. All its macarons are created with 100 per cent natural ingredients. While the baker offers several customisation options for its macarons, from personalising them with a logo or calligraphy, right up to choosing your own shell colour or flavour they are guided by these principles throughout the process. For example, it would not create a bright blue macaron as this is not a colour found in nature.

This eco-friendly approach also extends to its packaging, with recyclable boxes. And what the pastries come presented in is just as much a part of the magical experience as the taste – the gorgeously designed boxes can be kept and treasured long after the edible treats contained within have been devoured.

Visit Ladurée at The Royal Exchange to discover its mouth-watering macarons, pastries and confectionery for yourself, and to learn more about personalisation options, gift hampers and catering services

Rediscover the joy of sensory experiences at The Royal Exchange this autumn, within our welcoming boutiques and eateries. Read about our Reconnect campaign here and let us know how you are reconnecting with the world on Instagram @theroyalexchange and Twitter @rexshopper #Reconnect

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