15 Jul2007

Could this finally be the beginning of the end for this bizarre fixation by the 20-something crowd for overpriced cupcakes simply because they were mentioned in a sexy cable TV show? A reader left a comment on an earlier marketmanila post on cupcakes (alerting me to this shocking cupcake closure on July 11th) though the link wasn’t provided, but I found this excerpt from the Reuters story also published in Businessworld that reports, and I quote:

“Magnolia Bakery…..said it had to close because it does not have a sink in the area where staff top cupcakes with …. icing by hand. …. The bakery was also cited for…several mouse droppings and fruit flies in its garbage area.”

Yikes…I inadvertently erased the second half of this post. Let me try to remember this…

There were two intelligently obnoxious paragraphs here but I can’t re-create them now that I deleted them by mistake. Suffice it to say I was being cheeky and I said something like there was a big difference between the folks lined up for a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery and the impeccably suited lady or gentleman who breezes into the Laduree shop on the Champs d’Elysees to pick out that one marvelous pistachio macaroon, pop it into their mouths, noticeably savor it, pay the $1.50 for it and happily rush back to their office afterwards…



  1. aggy says:

    just read on abc news website that Magnolia Bakery has re-opened

    Jul 15, 2007 | 9:00 pm


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  3. kb says:

    Bet you can do macarons. They’re pretty simple to do. Will gladly email you the recipe if interested.

    Jul 15, 2007 | 9:49 pm

  4. abby says:

    you’re right about starbucks, i was a customer eons ago but now i can’t seem to stomach the thought of their drinks, literally makes me want to puke. no offense to others.

    Jul 15, 2007 | 9:49 pm

  5. Marketman says:

    kb, I have tried to replicate the french macaroons to outrageously poor results. I am not sure if it is the egg whites I use, the ground almonds, the humidity in Manila or a lousy oven… but if you think I can handle your recipe, I would appreciate if you can email me a recipe at Marketman@Marketmanila.com. Many thanks… I really think its the humidity that is the culprit…

    Jul 15, 2007 | 10:10 pm

  6. ECC says:

    MM, I tried to send the earlier link but it didn’t show up when I submitted the comments. Anyway, it looks like they did reopen the bakery. Here’s the link and I hope it shows up this time. If not, check eater.com: http://eater.com/archives/2007/07/magnolia_bakery_1.php

    Jul 16, 2007 | 12:07 am

  7. RGM says:

    MM, I bought the almonds, the powdered sugar, and the eggs, but I haven’t started making those macarons. A lot of people say it’s quite hard and the only time I’ve read that french macaroons are easy to do is in the comments page in this post. The only thing that’s holding me back is that I can’t bear the fact that if my macaron batch fails, I would have wasted quite a bit of money (ground almonds are quite expensive – P270 for 200 grams).

    Are we just going to fork out 30 bucks a pop for these from BIZU? There are a lot of guides out there, but they are all in french. Instructions are bound to be lost in translation, hence, failure yet again.

    Please do post about your re-do of the french macaroon! Thanks for the posts!

    Jul 16, 2007 | 1:50 am

  8. RGM says:

    Also, I know this isn’t a post about macarons, but I’m obsessed! MM, what do you think is the filling for BIZU macaroons? Is it buttercream? Traditionally, it’s ganache, but BIZU’s clearly not.

    In case you haven’t tried it, please do try the Rose flavored one from BIZU. It’s like eating perfume. It has the most perfect combination of rose and lychees (just like Pierre Herme’s Ispahan).

    Jul 16, 2007 | 1:58 am

  9. bluegirl says:

    Marketman, don’t despair. There must be some way of making macarons in the tropics. There is a Singaporean home baker who is successful at it. And he/she (I’m not sure of the writer’s gender) has started selling them. Here’s the blogspot:


    They look oh so tempting that I have thought of starting to check out for macaron recipes.

    Jul 16, 2007 | 5:52 am

  10. nikka says:

    MM, I have a French friend who tried to put up a bakery here and gave up after a year. He blamed it on the humidity and the water.

    Jul 16, 2007 | 7:50 am

  11. suzette says:

    are the macaroons the same with the ones in bizu? oh i love the pistachio macaroons there, thirty pesos well spent…

    Jul 16, 2007 | 9:52 am

  12. Apicio says:

    There is a long on-going thread on baking macaron at e-gullet where those wanting to try their hands on this confection can pick up tips and share frustrations with their ilk. A common tip that may resonate with those whose eggwhite supply is too watery is to set them out in flat pans to dry them out a bit overnight. I guess you do this in the tropics in an airconditioned room. There was also substantial noise about augmenting fresh with powdered egg whites, I assume, towards the same end. I only tried it once when Bernachon’s A Passion for Chocolate first came out and I can say than anyone who can pull off reasonable “silvanas” should have macarons well within his or her capability.

    Jul 16, 2007 | 10:02 am

  13. Alicia says:

    Many have tried and failed, but I agree, there must be hope!If anypne can do it, MM can! Personally I prefer the macaroons of Fauchon and Pierre Herme to Laduree but the packaging of Laduree is just so exsquisite , isn’t it? Anyway, I do love the current cupcake craze and think its just fanastc how all of these cupcake bakeries have opened up, bothe here and abroad. There is definitely a place in my stomach for both cupcakes and macaroons to happily coexist.. and I am definitely not impecabbly dressed!

    Jul 16, 2007 | 11:57 am

  14. alex says:

    does anyone know where i can get these macarons here in dubai?


    Jul 16, 2007 | 4:00 pm

  15. Mandy says:

    i love bizu’s macaroons! well, they’re the only macaroons i’ve ever tasted. i love the vanilla ones. mahal talaga. but if you order a cup of coffee, they give you a macaroon. there’s this blogger from singapore, she’s an excellent baker:

    Jul 16, 2007 | 9:15 pm

  16. kb says:

    Quite amusing that cupcake talk turned into macarons. Took a macaron class at Lenotre last May to finally settle the issue why the macarons of my past were not producing the “foot” (cookie base) a “correct” macaron should have even if it had the taste. The class definitely demystified certain issues. I’ll try the recipe once more before I email. I might fall flat on my face and turn beet red if I send you a dud :–)

    Jul 16, 2007 | 10:17 pm

  17. Maria Clara says:

    Like any other establishments, Magnolia Bakery did not escape discerning NY Department of Health – got nailed. Obviously, they have to comply with the Department’s citations and guidelines in order to stay in the stream of commerce! I love fresh baked macarons with a cup of cappuccino. But do not have any plans to learn how to make them. I toyed with them twice and gave up that idea. Long story short I have had my fair share of frustrations.

    Jul 17, 2007 | 4:43 am

  18. sydney129 says:

    I have always loved the macarons of Bizu, which is where I first tasted them. When the opportunity arose to try the macarons at Fauchon, I bought just one piece because I found it outrageously expensive [€3 for 1 piece – though it was about 2.5 times the size of a Bizu macaron]. Tried the rose flavor which was quite memorable. I just made sure to eat every last crumb because of the price. He he.

    Jul 18, 2007 | 4:28 pm


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