An exciting new French patisserie shop has just been piped into Sydney Road’s busy network of multicultural specialist stores. By Josephine offers family-recipe macarons and other tasty morsels encased in buttery, tart shells.
“I have always loved to cook but I only started making macarons just before I moved to Australia. There is so much satisfaction perfecting something so small and beautiful.”
When Josephine first arrived in Australia she spent two years sampling the macarons we have here and (quite fairly) disapproving of them. In an attempt to replicate French macarons we have concocted ‘macaroons’. Not only are they mispronounced, they lack some of the basic elements of the classic bite-sized dessert.
“The main issue is the texture and flavour,” says Josephine “I don’t know what extra thing they put in them here that makes them dry and airy, it’s a mystery.”
There is, however, a burst of incredible flavour the moment you bite into a macaron made by Josephine. Some like the rose water macaron don’t need to be strong and punchy but flavour always remains the focus. Her nourishing, imported teas help balance between the subtle, musky macarons and the sweeter, more decadent choices.
On hand is Kusmita, a brand of tea which originated in Russia and migrated across England and France, picking up flavour combinations as it traveled and grew in popularity. Josephine hopes people appreciate the different blends they offer and the essential oils they instill in their tea. The Earl grey, infused with lemon and orange blossom, makes for the ultimate aromatic experience and sugary accompaniment.
At home in France, Josephine worked as a florist, surrounded by aromas and inspiration. Some flavours that have blossomed from her botanical background have been jasmine, rose and orange blossom. She believes that more than one sense can be engaged in the experience and often uses a scent as the base point for a dish.
“You can smell different flavours before tasting them. Sometimes I will have a dish in a restaurant and straight away appreciate the interesting combination and think how I can make it into a macaron.”
Creations like the “fois gras” and “black sesame” are both a savory option and a new way of appreciating flavours previously reserved for one way of cooking. Translating these ideas and sensations into real flavours requires authentic ingredients. Josephine only uses real berries, fresh eggs and loves the respect of produce Melburnians have.
Josephine and her partner originally traveled to Melbourne as tourists and never left, falling in love with the culture. She has been making her macarons and supplying them to food lovers around the city ever since. This is her flagship store and the space itself has been beautifully fit-out by Josephine, her food-loving husband and her creative friends. The pale walls are constructed out of mismatching pieces of old doors and the roof has been painted to expose a beautiful vintage lace pattern. The milkiness of the interior makes the rainbow of macarons even more vivid and inviting.
In the coming months delicate little savory options may be added to the menu and new flavours are constantly being added. It’s obvious that everything by Josephine is conducted out of a love for good food and flavour.
“Gluttony in French is not a sin,” laughs Josephine “It’s healthy! You don’t stuff yourself, it’s about food curiosity.”
365 Sydney Road, Brunswick