Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Posh Macaroons

Macaroons are getting a lot of attention at the moment they are posher that poshway. I used to think a macaroon was a tough chewy coconut biscuit with some rice paper stuck to the bottom then about a year ago everyone started going crazy for the posh macaroon. I think it had something to do with the Paul chain of French patisseries opening up. The posh macaroon has replaced the cupcake as the desriable special sweet thing. Cupcakes are everywhere and easy to buy quality examples of in any half decent supermarket. The macaroon however appears to show real effort. The macaroon tells people you've travelled to central London to a posh shop like Laudree or Fortnum & Mason and paid hand over fist for two chews of something delicate and beautiful.

I'm always told how the skill in baking justifies the high price an how they are oh so difficult to make yourself. I decided to make my own to see just how difficult or easy macaroons can be.

A macaroon essentially is two almond meringues with some buttercream in the middle. They do come in all flavours and colours and sometimes the almonds can be substitued with pistachios and the buttercream with whatever you like. I decided to make pure and simple almond macaroons with no other flavourings or colourings apart from sugar. I had scout around the internet for recipies and found an amalgamation of two to be the best. They are this one from Timeout where they're allowed into one of Paul's kitchens and this recipe from the BBC.

Here's the meringue of ground almond, icing sugar and egg whites. I followed what one recipe suggested and sat the egg whites for a day in the fridge before whisking.

Next time I attempt this I'm going to use a piping bag. I used a sandwich bag with the corner cut off and my meringues were not perfect circles and were quite large.

In the oven they rose perfectly. It's quite tricky to get them off the grease proof paper.

And here they are. I made a really basic buttercream using butter, granulated sugar and ground almond. As I said before as it was my first time making them I wanted the basic almond flavour.

In the end I would say that they are not too difficult to make. Like all baking you follow a methodical process which actually doesn't have too much room for error as long as you stick to the ratios and timings. I definitely need to invest in a piping bag after getting in a mess shaping the wet discs.


  1. Getting the Macarons off the baking paper once cooked is really tricky... how did you do it without snapping the macarons?


  2. I poured a little bit of water on the baking tray and as soon as it soaked into the paper the macaroons came off