Macarons are one of the most iconic pastries of France. Over time, this type of meringue cookie put together by a delicious jelly or ganache, has become popular in many countries around the world, taking over the shelves of pastry shops, and providing a range of colors and flavors. The elegant and colorful characteristics make macarons especially photogenic and popular among users on social media.
This pastry is a premium product since it requires the best ingredients, precise baking, and well-achieved filling. Macarons are the crème de la crème because the process of making them is not an easy one. They take 72 hours to get from the oven to your plate, including baking, maturation, and refrigeration process. In production, some don’t meet the standards in shape or size, even if they’re perfectly baked. It’s also an art applying the filling because the shells can be easily cracked. They must be flawless!
Since it’s important to identify when a macaron recipe is well achieved, here are some tips that will make you an expert on the matter. First, a traditional macaron has to be made with almond flour, they could be made with other types of flour but the result is not the same. The reason why almond flour is key in the recipe is because of its neutral taste — it can pair easily with any filling and it provides a unique nutty texture. If you’re to make a French-style macaron, you cannot compromise on this ingredient.
Making and baking the shells are undoubtedly the most important part of the macaron making process. They must have the perfect texture — crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside without turning chewy. A first bite should always have that gentle “crack” sound. It’s not a piece of cake, isn’t it?
The fillings are what really give the macarons their exceptional taste. White or dark chocolate ganache (not buttercream) is the original French way. Using the right ingredients and having a filling that’s true to the flavor is what makes a good macaron. This can be achieved by using premium, natural flavors, and the best high-quality chocolate (it can’t be too sweet) that allows the true flavor to pop and shine. Its base must be uniform and must not protrude excessively from the sides. Ganches fillings can be a classic flavor like Vanilla or an original combination that surprises and achieves an explosion of flavors in your mouth, like Lavender Coconut.
To summarize, macarons are a piece of art. Their premium quality comes from their ingredients and from the skilled hands that bake them, creating an extraordinary dessert that is not only delicious but incredibly pleasant to look at. The next time you delight yourself with a Woops! macaron, try to remember all this information to enjoy it even more! Bon appetit.