All About French Macarons (and macaroons)

French Macarons and macaroons are not the same thing. This short read will give you the basics on which is which, focusing on the delicate deliciousness of Chantalguillon’s
Macarons as a treat of choice among many who appreciate their eclectic and sophisticated nature. Read on and learn how these two treats may sound alike, but are totally different.

I. The recipe (and the name)

Before we break down the basics of this amazing dessert, let’s set the record straight: It is Macarons, not Macaroons! While the words “macaron” and “macaroon” may sound, and look similar, the two terms cannot be used interchangeably.

Chantalguillon’s Macarons (with one “o”) are made with a traditional recipe that includes:
• Almond powder (sometimes almond flour)
• Egg whites
• Powdered and granulated sugar
• Ganache, fruit curd or buttermilk filing

The macaroon (with two o’s) is yet another confection usually made with
• No flour
• Egg whites
• Sugar
• Dried coconut

II. The look

The macaron is meant to be two soft, easy to crumb meringue-type cookies that will sandwich together a mix of ganache, fruit curd, or buttermilk, in between. The resulting sandwich cookie is about half an inch tall and one-inch wide. The flour can be mixed with food coloring to make beautiful displays of this delicately light treat. Chantalguillon’s macarons range from a wide diversity of colors, including a gold finish made with real gold powder!.

On the other hand, the “double O” macaroon takes the form of a dense, moist biscuit. It is piped with a star-shaped tip, which makes its top surface get toasted once baked. Macaroons can be dipped in chocolate, which eventually hardens like a shell. Read more on that under “Taste and Texture”

III. Taste and texture

Chantalguillon’s macarons follow the French tradition of delicate flavors and smooth texture. The biscuits are not meant to be too sweet, hard to bite, or even decadent, even though they may look it.

The meringue cookie will crumble easily in your mouth and even melt away like a wafer.
The flavor of the cream inside is meant to go smoothly. The ganache will stand out for its natural, buttery finish; just like the fruit curd will lets its acidity and tartness be at center stage. Even chocolate Macarons are not too sweet, the way chocolate in candy bars normally is.

Coconut-based macaroons have a nutty, coconut finish, a dense, thick consistency, and are usually sweet in nature because of the combined moisture of the dry coconut and sugar.
When chocolate is added, it is usually melted on the tip of the macaroon. It then gets hard, which adds, both, sweetness and thickness of the treat.

Why Macarons (one “O”) are the best

Macarons are becoming super popular, especially in Paris, where they are, literally, the best-selling pastries. Still, the pastry itself originated in the Italian house of Medicis, during the 1503’s, when Catherine de Medicis was to marry the future king of France, the Duc d’Orleans. Once it hit France, the cookie was formally adopted and re-invented by many pastry shops throughout the country.

Verdict:

Macarons surpassed cupcakes in the “fancy dessert” category.
They are less messy than cupcakes, and the colorful meringue can even be brushed with powdered gold to make a dramatic presentation. Moreover, with gluten-free versions of this treat, it has never been a better time to enjoy this delicacy anytime you want!