- 2 Jan 2019 11:52 AM
- The Budapest Times
On 1 September, Késmárki and Molnár opened the door of their small bakery for the first time and since then they have barely been able to close it, because of the huge demand. "At the very beginning we invited a few bloggers for a tasting tour and it has been crazy ever since," a visibly proud Késmárki said.
It is crazy indeed: during our interview – in the first hour of opening – the little shop constantly filled with customers queuing up for the colourful almond meringue biscuits, and it did not take long for the shelves of Macaron Heaven Manufaktúra to become completely empty.
The replenishment comes from a backroom of the shop, where Késmárki bakes and fills up to 400 macarons a day. "And that's never enough until closing time," she says.
A lot of practice and intuition for the perfect pastry
She studied to make a living from marketing, but with the opening of Macaron Heaven Manufaktúra, Késmárki turned her hobby into a career. She remembers well how her passion for Franconian pastries began: "About six years ago my mother came home from a conference and raved about the stuffed biscuits she had tried there. Macarons were not so well known in Hungary at the time."
She then bought a special recipe book and tried to create her own macarons at home. All beginnings are difficult, but this can be especially so in the case of macarons: the production of the biscuit is not so easy, requiring patience and plenty of practice. It took a year or two before she got the hang of it.
Not only did she experiment with different flavours, fillings and colours, but also with new forms: "I saw on Instagram that someone made macarons that looked like little pig heads, and that inspired me. I then started to bake different figures."
The proof is in their shop: bunny heads, hedgehogs, tigers, cats, monkeys and even glittering unicorns are on offer. "You can buy the traditional macaroons everywhere in Hungary but we are the only ones who make figure versions," she explains.
Classic and seasonal offers
This seems to be well received by the customers: almost everyone who enters the small bakery takes one of the figurines. "The hedgehog is especially popular. In the future we want to expand our offer with seasonal motifs, such as pumpkin heads or black macarons for Halloween." But even the traditional macarons in their many different shades are very popular, especially the pistachio-flavoured green ones.
In addition to the classic fillings such as Oreo Mix, there are salty peanut butter, cheesecake and honey-lavender available at Macaron Heaven.
Molnár, who gave up his job as an engineer to open the store with Késmárki, has another classic as his favourite: lemon cream. "This is less sweet and the aroma of the fruit is really intensive."
The two know each other from primary school. They enjoy the opportunity to work together and take the step into self-employment together. While Molnár was a bit queasy before taking this leap, he does not miss his old job. It all began this summer and a few months were enough for the business to launch. And the business is a success story.
They are already thinking about expanding the team and perhaps even outsourcing production to a separate manufacturing facility. Especially be-cause the two not only have to make hundreds of macaroons to sell in their shop, but event planners quickly discovered them and are requesting their pastries for numerous affairs.
At HUF 350 per piece the macarons are quite expensive, and for the price of two you could get a big slice of cake somewhere. The price though is about on the same level as macarons elsewhere.
"It's not just that the production is elaborate and complicated, and I individually paint the macaron figures by hand," Késmárki explains. "The ingredients are also expensive. For example, we use almond flour."
However, anyone who has tried French cookies understands why so many people are not put off by the price: macarons are little bit of heaven on earth. And they are a great gift idea: these sweet cake jewels will undoubtedly delight the heart of every gourmet.
Macaron Heaven Manufaktúra
District II, Margit körút 62
Open: Monday-Saturday noon-8pm
Phone (+36) 30 604-7947 or visit www.facebook.com/macaronheavenbp
Classic macarons: HUF 350
Macaron figures and giant macarons: HUF 450-990