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Macarons Lincolnshire - What is so special about macarons?

Macarons are very trendy right now but what are macarons?


A macaron (/ˌmækəˈrɒn/ mak-ə-RON;[1][2] French: [ma.ka.ʁɔ̃]) or French macaroon (/ˌmækəˈruːn/ mak-ə-ROON[3][4]) is a sweet meringue-based confection made with egg white, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond meal, and food colouring.


And what makes them so special?


1.Appearance

Everyone likes cookies, don't we.. chocolate chip cookie, maple and pecan cookie, oatmeal and raisin cookie.. they all taste delicious. We all know how lovely they taste but to be honest they are not particularly attractive, are they? They have lumpy and cracked surfaces as opposed to this one kind of cookie which is macarons. They have a firm and smooth outside and this is one of the qualities that sets macarons apart from other cookies. Their smooth, shiny shells and the distinctive frills around their edges which are called feet, their vibrant colours and fillings make them visually very interesting and appealing in many ways. Not a coincidence that many cake decorators use French macarons as the main decorative element on their cakes. Doubled into a sandwich a macaron oozes refinement, excellence and elegance.

various macaron filling Peterborough
Macarons filled with ganache

2.Texture

Most cookies are either crunchy or chewy, not macarons. The thin delicate crust on the outside is in contrast with the moist and chewy inside.

These two different textures play off each other with the contrast making each bite more intriguing. Once you bite into one and you prepare for a crunchy sensation you meet the filling which gives a silky coat to your mouth making it even more interesting.


Italian meringue for macaron making
Macarons resting, waiting to go in the oven

3.The filling

The filling is smooth and rich and this is the element that brings everything together

the crispiness, chewiness and the silkiness creating a perfect harmony.

There's a lot of different kinds of fillings from plain buttercream, Swiss meringue buttercream, jam and jelly to the most elaborate fillings that include for instance fruit caviar. The flavour and filling possibilities are literally endless.


macaron flavours Peterborough
Macarons with salted caramel, lemon curd and strawberry jam centres

4.Taste

Nowadays macarons are sandwiched together with a rich and smooth filling. However, their shells are delicious on their own and that is how they were consumed until the 1930s. They're a combination of a delicate sweetness and a rich nuttiness.

There are so many different macaron flavours from the basic vanilla and chocolate macarons to the most unusual flavours like wasabi and cheese burger.

Macaron shells have a tendency to be on the sweet side, so pairing them with tart citrus and zest really balances the flavours. Fresh fruit fillings eg. curds are my favourites paired with whipped white chocolate ganache. I personally think if you go all out your way to make Italian macarons they deserve a more sophisticated filing than just plain buttercream.


macaron boxes, Easter macarons, Valentine's macarons
Macarons hand painted and gift wrapped

5. They are hard to make

Macarons are hard to make because they depend on many factors to get them right. It's not enough to have the right recipe. The meringue has to be perfectly whipped, over beat it and it can cause hollow shells, under whip it and the macaron batter will ooze out of the piping bag and spread all over the tray. Then if you managed to get to this stage (consider yourself lucky) you have to have the correct technique for the macaronage which is mixing the meringue and the icing sugar and almond mixture together. Using the wrong technique can cause incorporating more air into the batter whilst we're trying to achieve quite the opposite, this could result in domed and cracked shells and a frustrated chef. It takes so many practices to get them right, I'd be embarrassed to tell you how many attempts I had at making them before they came out perfect. Not surprising, some say the most expensive ingredient of a macaron is the chef.


Now, you know the 5 reasons why macarons are so special.

If you'd like to have a browse in my macaron repertoire you can find them in the gallery.