67 Suave: Caramels and macaroons galore After such a dainty affair I was in need of candies, caramels and sweets — stocking stuffers, essentially — and the Internet had pointed me in the direction of Suave, a bakery with a penchant for caramel-making and macaroons. Not quite peppermint and licorice, but then again, were Christmas candies ever meant to follow tradition? Its reputation exceeded its location. Nestled between a little-known boutique called #1 and a series of alleyways in Hapjeong’s most affluent area, Suave’s exterior was a little blah, the inside teeny tiny. But the caramels were dazzling. I settled on chocolate and raspberry caramels to start, and was immediately amazed — with a much dewier consistency than the caramels I’d tried in the past, the flavors melted quickly against my palate and gave my taste buds a run for their money. Then I went for the macaroons, and each day from that moment has been filled with dreams of them; they were that good. This unassuming place blew my mind. Hôtel Douce: Canelés on cloud nine Nestled in a back alley of Seoul’s Seorae Village, Hô- tel Douce sharply contrasts with its neighbors; Hangeul and the smell of fried chicken may lurk at its sides, but Hôtel Douce is a quaint and charming little bakery, highlighted by a neon fuchsia sign, a bright rococo in- terior and the kind of mysterious aura most people only see in the movies. I was greeted by a lone pâtissier with a chef’s hat bound tightly to her head and only two pairs of tables and chairs; tight-lipped, I glanced around and won- dered at the kind of delectable treasures this kind of exclusivity must denote. Then I tasted a canelé — a tender custardy cake with a caramelized crust — and let the deep taste of burnt marshmallow ring in mem- ories of warm, campfire cuddling. It had a perfectly consistent crust, just enough glaze and a spongy, soft texture bursting with rich flavor. The experience left me feeling like I’d just visited a kindly old grandmother’s cabin in the woods. And with that, I left feeling quite satisfied. I thanked the pâtissier for working this late on a Thursday night, at the edge of closing time, and strolled out with my elegant to-go box wrapped to perfection. I was grinning from ear to ear.