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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Art of Macarons

Before March 8 of this year I had never tasted a macaron.  I actually had to research the difference between the French macaron and the very different American macaroon.   Back at Christmas I made macaroons for the first time but found that they were too heavy and coconutty for my taste. Maybe that is one reason why I find myself drawn to French macarons.  They are by far the superior cookie.  Made from almond flour, egg whites, and sugar it has a crispy meringue shell and chewy center.   In between the two halves of meringue is usually a filling of some sort of fruit jam, chocolate ganache, or buttercream.  

Meringue + raspberry jam?   Meringue + chocolate?  Meringue + buttercream?  How lovely is that?

Plus when you see them...the colors!!! 
Having only made the raspberry ones, I can't wait to make them all at once and arrange them in some lovely arrangement.  Raspberry, Orange, Lemon, Key Lime, Blueberry, Lavender...that nearly covers my ROY G. BIV order.  I've been trying to research different recipes and techniques  and from what I have read I'm really impressed with how my last batch turned out based on what the horror stories I have read about macaron first timers.  Some have devoted their entire careers to perfecting the macaron.  Entire batches are thrown out if it is too humid and the cookies do not set right.  

The mecca of macarons is Paris of course and a certain store named Lauderée.  

It was originally founded in 1862 by Louis Ernest Lauderée on the Rue Royal where it still exists today.  His grandon Pierre Desfontaine is credited with inventing the modern macaron in 1931.  Over 15,000 macarons are sold here each day with visitors waiting up to 30 minutes in line.   

I've never seen a macaron sold anywhere in my life.  

So maybe one day I'll get to experience a true French macaron but for now it looks like I'm going to have to keep experimenting on my own.

My Rasberry Chocolate Macarons

Lauderée Rasberry Macarons

Minus the rose petal, fancy label, and whole raspberry center they don't look tooooo far off!!!