These damn tempting and most aesthetic-looking desserts should get all the hype they deserve. Hands down macarons will win all awards as far as desserts are concerned. Macarons make the best display. Go to any popular bakery, a colorful mason jar of macarons is sure to virtually tingle your palate. Lately, my interest in these little splendidly colored, Oreo-looking desserts grew from the time when my French madame enlightened us that they hail from France. Well, now I can surely say that the French bring about the best stuff. Besides trying out nothing from French Cuisine apart from Croissants, I can attest to and rightly honor the French with their marvelous invention of Macarons.
A Little History
Macarons by default are considered as a FRENCH concoction. However, there are little facts that the world needs to get straight. Firstly, macarons were not originally baked in France. They come from its neighboring dimension of Italy. It is to be brought to light that macaron is taken from the Italian word, ‘maccherone‘, meaning fine dough.
These French biscuits are claimed to be brought to France, by the Italian-born Queen Catherine de Medici. This could be as early as the early 16th century. Historians who have too much of a sweet tooth and indulgence to trace the Macaron history concluded that it was in 1533 that Catherine brought in Macarons for the first time to the French Court. These amazingly colored and smoothly textured small cookie biscuits also made a splashy entry into the French weddings of the 16th century as well. Later on, they were also savored in the French court of King Louis XVI and his wife Marianne Antoinette.
Macarons Filled up Deliciousness
Earlier on the Macarons in their developing infant stage weren’t anything like today. Maybe they were not even round because there is a reference of an ‘almond shaped’ cookie in the historical archives. Up until the 19th century, the Macarons are not what they look like. Now the credit goes to the Parisian Baker, Pierre Desfontaines. He made the Macarons look the perfect pastel shape they come in today. The inside of them are filled with jam, buttercream, and applesauce.
One may confuse macarons as two different biscuits or cake. In fact macaron is just one biscuit or cake cut into two and lightly bound together.
It is a well known misconception that has taken the facade of a fact that macarons are extremely difficult to make. Well sometimes the texture of these cookie biscuits might not come out the way you want, because that needs practice and finesse. But here is an easy peasy recipe for all beginner bakers to try.
Ingredients for Macarons
- Icing Sugar – 3/4 cup or 100 grams
- 2 Egg Whites
- Nip of salt
- Caster Sugar – 1/4 cup or 55 Grams
- Ground Almond or Almond Flour – 3/4 Cup or 100 grams
Ingredients for the Filling
- Softened Unsalted Butter – 2/3 Cup or 150 Gram
- Icing or Powdered Sugar – 2/3 Cup or 75 Grams
Steps to Cooking
- Bring the ingredients together
- Preheat the oven to 300 F/140 C.
- Bring the sieved icing sugar and ground almonds together in a big mixing bowl, give them a good mix, and break away all lumps.
- Take another bowl and put the two egg whites along with a pinch of salt and keep them whisking till they build up small and soft conical peaks. Now when you attain this consistency, little by little keep on adding castor sugar to it. You are to whisk these together till you attain that very brilliant glossy and thick yet creamy mix.
- Add the icing sugar and almond mix to this and mix. To make a colored macaron add any food paste of your choice.
- Fill this macaroon mix into a piping bag (with a 1/3-inch (1 cm) nozzle).
- Use either a paper template or a silicon mat and land it onto a baking sheet. Put small blobs of the mixture from your piping bag onto this.
- To help lose these blobs of air bubbles, softly tap on the mat or work surface and leave it in the open to dry for about 20 minutes.
- In your preheated oven of 300 F/140 C bake these for 7 to 8 minutes. In between keep pausing and open the door to let out steam. You’ll know that your macarons are done when they become a little sturdier and rise up.
- Take them out and leave them to cool down thoroughly. If you try to pick them up before they are thoroughly cooled down, all your hard work will go down the drain as they can break.
Make the Yummy Filling
Now that you are done with your base, it is time to whip up that yummy filling.
- Begin with the softened butter and beat it until very fluffy. Keep adding icing sugar to it a little at a time. Now is the time where you can add a flavor of your choice.
- Next put little amounts of this filling on the cold macrons’ flat side and lightly place another to act as a hat on the top.
- Voila ! you are done. Relish cold.