A French macaron is equivalent to four bites of crunchy perfection, which can bring you a moment of sweet euphoria and at the same time immerse you into the glamorous atmosphere of Paris in minutes. It is no coincidence that these delicate sweets with rainbow colors continue to be a symbol of luxury and refinement a few centuries later.
Two close friends, aware of my gluttony tendencies, surprised me with a cooking course for preparing French macaroons in bakery Adanna . The place was not the easiest to discover, and I wandered a lot until I found it, but the experience was definitely worth it.
A Brief History
Time for a brief history lesson.
- Although recipes for the sophisticated dessert already existed at the end of VIII c. and could be found in medieval Italian monasteries, Katerina Medici and her confectioners were the real culprits for the spread of macarons in the French royal court.
- The nuns from the Order of Carmelites Margarita and Mary-Elizabeth, known as “the Macaron Sisters”, also contributed to the fame of the sweets, because they were the first to sell them during the French Revolution. Then the macaron was still in the form of a single cookie made of almond paste, sugar and egg whites.
- The miracle happened in the pastry shop “Laduree” and the contemporary Parisian macaron was born from combining two biscuits with chocolate ganache . The pastry chef Pierre Defonten is considered to be the father of the colorful delights .
Several cooking terms
French macarons are made of meringue, macaronage and ganache – terms that I have heard before, but with whose meaning I was not familiar.
For the uneducated ones like me:
- Meringue is an egg white mixture with sugar crystals
- Ganache chocolate cream consists of chocolate and some kind of liquid – cream, fresh milk, fruit juice or water.
- Macaronage is a paste of almond flour, powdered sugar and egg whites.
- Firstly we prepared the macaronage, mixing the almond flour, sugar powder and egg whites.
- In order to get the ideal egg white mixture, we mixed the egg whites at low speed, while continuously adding sugar syrup . Finally, we added the ready-made almond paste and the macarons’ color to the meringue and sugar syrup.
- We poured the mixture into selected shapes . Typical French macarons are made up of two identical round cookies, but we have been given complete freedom of imagination in terms of shape. This is why you can see the hearts, the heads of Mickey Mouse and the Green Mars alien.
- The mixture is left for about 30 minutes and baked in a preheated oven at 140 degrees Celsius for about 15-20 minutes.
The most enjoyable moment for me was the decoration and choice of filling – chocolate ganache, lime with mascarpone or raspberry . We were also given cooking pastels in different colors, as well as powdered confectionery paints with golden shades.
French macarons are rather difficult to cook, as there is a risk of deformation during baking. That is why I think our group did really well and was very imaginative.
If you are interested, I will be happy to share the full recipe. What flavors and colors of French macarons do you prefer? Share in a comment below. My personal favorite is purple lavender.
For more culinary inspiration, check out Everyday Cooking Tips and tricks learnt at ,,Amuse Bouche” and Dialogues with the dark – dark dinner.