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Friday, February 10, 2012

What are Macarons?

Macarons are a sweet dessert that are popular in French culture, although they are made in other areas of the world, including Europe. The name has been derived from the Italian words ‘maccarone’ and ‘maccherone’, and is an iconic part of French culture and cuisine. Similar to other French dessert traditions, macaroons are small, bite-sized sweets with a mouthful of flavour and refined recipes.

Macarons are a sugary-sweet, meringue-based confectionery that are made in France from recipes that have been passed down through generations. Depending on the region in which they are made, macaroons usually follow a recipe that includes a combination of egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder and food colouring. The result is delicate textures, sweet flavours and a taste that will surely impress even the harshest dessert critic. French macaroons are unlike other macaroons made elsewhere in the world, or modern western confectionaries. Macarons in France are made with love, expertise and precision.

Macarons are usually separated into two small, circular meringues, and are joined together with cream, jam or ganache filing, depending on the style and flavours used. Macarons are exceptionally versatile, and the possibilities of recipes are almost endless, including flavours such as pistachio, vanilla, chocolate ,coffee, raspberry, and even green tea. As time progressed, these traditional sweets maintained their historic cultural qualities, but the flavours have expanded to include new, innovative and exciting options.

Centuries ago, French macarons were called ‘Gerbets’ and were served separately, not as two discs joined together. The creation of macaroons in their current French form, was established by the famous Pierre Desfontaines of the French patisserie Ladurée. If you love French food and culture, or simply enjoy a delicate and luxurious dessert that will explode with sugary flavour in your mouth, try a macaroon, or you can even attempt to mix up a batch and follow the French tradition yourself.


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