09 November 2012

French Macarons Goodness: Everything You Need to Know About Parisian Macarons!

What are French macarons
Small, round cakes, crisp on the outside, smooth and soft in the middle, macarons are made of  almonds flour, egg whites and icing sugar. Macarons are mildly moist and easily melt in the mouth. In France, there are many French regional variations, but the colourful macarons known overseas are what we refer as 'Parisian Macarons'.



Correct spelling
The confusion between macarOOns and macarOns is a common one. While both delicacies are gluten free, they are completely different desserts and it’s important to not confuse the two. MacarOOns are small cakes made of coconut (called Congolais in French - meaning 'from The Congo'). 



History of the Macaron
The Larousse Gastronomique (French dictionary) dates the creation of macarons to 1791 in a convent near Cormery, France, but some have traced its French debut back to the arrival of Catherine de' Medici's Italian pastry chefs whom she brought with her from Italy in 1533 upon marrying Henry II King of France.

Anyway, it wasn’t until 1792 that macarons gained fame in France, when two Carmelite nuns seeking asylum in Nancy during the French Revolution baked and sold macarons in order to support themselves. These macarons were a simple combinations of ground almonds, egg whites and sugar. No flavours. No filling. Just 100% biscuit. 

The macaron as it is known today was created in the early 20th Century by Pierre Desfontaines of the French world famous pâtisserie LadurĂ©e, who decided to join two macaron shells together with a flavoured ganach, a layer of butter cream or jam.


Care
French macarons are very fragile and they should be kept refrigerated. For best taste, macarons should be consumed within 3 days from the date of purchasing. Macarons are extremely sensitive to moisture in the air. If you plan to keep them for more than 3 days, store them in airtight plastic containers in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to 7 days. For longer storage, you can freeze the macarons for as long as 6 months.



Calories
Depending on the recipe and filling, the average macaron has between 100 and 160 calories per serving.




What is your favourite macaron flavour?

Have you ever tried making macarons?

Photo credit: These photos are the entire property of Mademoiselle Slimalicious. Do not use without permission. 

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