Mashups have been having what some might deem an excruciatingly long moment in the food world. Dominique Ansel’s Cronut was, of course, the impetus for this scramble to innovate, then Keizo Shimamoto’s ramen burger caught on, and what followed next was a mixed bag of edible hybrids—some less reasonable than others. We’re looking at you, Mountain Dew-flavored Cheetos.
Yet, as ridiculous and unpalatable as these mashups can be (we’re still looking at you, Mountain Dew-flavored Cheetos), sometimes they really work. Case in point: the moffle (mochi waffle), which was actually invented in Japan years before the Cronut, is a delicious concoction. Gjusta’s baklava croissant is just plain heavenly.
And the macaron ice cream sandwich is so dreamy that it primed us for a newer riff on the macaron: the Pot de Macaron.
A play on the classic pot de crème, the Pot de Macaron was created by Razmig Tchoboian, the self-taught pastry chef behind Napoleon’s Macarons. The concept is simple enough—a cup is filled with layers of creamy, hand-made fillings and capped off by a big macaron cookie. There’s a version with salted-caramel mascarpone cream, toasted diced apples, and cinnamon, and one composed of lemon curd and hazelnut ganache.
Though not recommended for those averse to sweet decadence, these desserts are good in a how-can-it-be-bad kind of way. I tried the one with pistachio buttercream and whipped milk chocolate granache and liked how nicely the creaminess was offset by the chewiness of the macaron. There is the issue of getting the spoon to break through the top layer–it’s next to impossible with a plastic utensil–but, hey, in a post-Cronut world, some concessions must be made. It’s easy enough to just take the cookie off and bite into it after every spoonful.
Word has it that Napoleon’s Macarons will be selling boozy versions made with Guinness and Baileys come St. Patrick’s Day, which will add some cross-cultural fusion (often a defining characteristic of the successful food mashup) to the mix.
Napoleon’s Macarons, 608 Americana Way, Glendale, 818-291-9160; 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park, 818-704-1741. Pot de Macarons are $6.50 each.