Bake It or Cleave It
Macarons have been one of the trendy foods in the patisserie world the last few years and Rochester has been late to pick up on it until recently. Even now, there are few places that traffic in these dynamic confections and, in my opinion, we need more of them in town. For the uninitiated, macarons are essentially 2 meringue based cookies sandwiched around a filling that is typically butter cream, but can be anything including ganache or a jelly or the like. Bake It or Cleave It is one of the few places that whips them up in Rochester and the ladies there do a darn good job.
I first heard of Bake It or Cleave It in the Rochester City Paper a few months back and was really excited about the macarons and the concept in general. Angie and Hannah started their business as catering/delivery to try and get a foothold before attempting to open their own shop which in this day and age makes a ton of sense. I held off for a while (yay for restraint!) and make our first order a selection of 5 different flavours of macarons around Valentine’s Day to share with my fiancée.
The best macaron combines cookies that are all at once crunchy, airy and chewy that give way to a rich, sweet filling and offer up a punch of flavor. They require a deft touch with the flavoring and skills in baking to make them just right. In general, the balance between filling and cookie was good and the cookies had the right amount of give and chew. A couple were a bit airy and a couple had a bit too much filling but we were quite happy with the quality of the macarons. A few tasting notes on the varieties we tried:
Maple bacon — A bit too sweet for our tastes but the sweet, salty and smoky combination worked and the bacon was surprisingly crispy
Dark chocolate espresso — strong showing here for both the well defined chocolate and the espresso. Good stuff!
Peppermint mocha — like the best combination of a girl scout cookie with real mint and good chocolate
Salted caramel — plenty of salt for a salt fiend like me (even little crunchy bits) and light caramel taste. Probably my 2nd favorite behind the dark chocolate espresso.
Orange chipotle — decent amount of heat and citrus. Kind of an odd combination but it worked well and we enjoyed it.
Since they don’t have a storefront yet, the macarons were delivered by one of the ladies running the business. Very pleasant and prompt based on the time we agreed on and the treats were nicely chilled to keep them as fresh as possible. Bake It or Cleave It also offers a bunch of other treats on their site including cotton candy, mini pies, and other confections and we’ll definitely be ordering more from them in the future. Good luck ladies!