Friday, July 23, 2010

You say tomato . . .

My friend Anna is crazy for macarons and has already decided she's having a tower for her wedding cake.

Not too sure on Adriano's kalamata olive take on the classic!

There seems to be some confusion in the food fraternity (or perhaps it's outside the fraternity where the confusion lies!)

Is it macaron . . . or macaroon?

Wikipedia says:

A macaron is a sweet confectionery. Its name is derived from an Italian word "maccarone" or "maccherone". This word is itself derived from ammaccare, meaning crush or beat, used here in reference to the almond paste which is the principal ingredient. It is meringue-based: made from a mixture of egg whites, almond flour, and both granulated and confectionery sugar.

The confectionery is characterized by its smooth, domed top, ruffled circumference, and flat base. Connoisseurs prize a delicate, egg shell-like crust that yields to a moist and airy interior. The French macaron differs from macaroons in that it is filled with cream or butter like a sandwich cookie, and can be found in a wider variety of flavors that range from the traditional (raspberry, chocolate) to the exotic (truffle, matcha tea).

The Melbourne Gastronome agrees:

Yes, I'm one of those food wankers that goes cuckoo for macarons. And yes, I'm a tiresome pedant when it comes to calling them 'macarons', NOT 'macaroons'. If you found this page by googling "best macaroooooons in Melbourne", I submit the following for your consideration:

A macaron is a variety of French petit four made from two halves of almond meringue with a filling (often a ganache) in the middle.

A macaroon is most commonly a sort of chunky biscuit, often containing large quantities of desiccated coconut (or sometimes almond), popular in Scotland and the US.

Her blog on the best sort in Melbourne is fabulous and definitely worth checking out here.

Wouldn't these make a gorgeous present, when you're not really giving a gift?

So I'll stick with the foodies and call them macarons from now on. I just know that someone will correct me and act all smart and 'French', but I'll stick Claire on to them and see how they fare!

Wouldn't these be fab take home gifts at a baby shower, 60th birthday or Bastille Day celebration?

Macarons are all the buzz since the Masterchef special, but I've been on the bandwagon for ages. I just love them, they're so colourful and decadent yet delicate and sinful.

I'm yet to attempt to make them myself, but am planning a working bee with the girls to perfect the art. I think they'll make lovely Christmas presents and figure I've got five months to get my technique sorted!

The shop window of the Champs Elysees Laduree boutique. Ah-mazing.

Scouring the internet for flavour inspiration and colour combinations, I saw the name 'Laduree' pop up again and again.

It is the godfather of all things macaron and with stores all over the world, it prides itself on its perfect macarons and other pastries.

Can you imagine dining in such an elegant setting? You'd feel like Marie Antoinette!

The salon at the Champs Elysees store

Their flavours include:

Chocolate - Bitter Chocolate - Vanilla - Coffee - Rose - Pistachio - Raspberry - Blackcurrant Violet - Caramel with salted butter - Red Fruits - Orange Blossom - Liquorice - Lemon

And they celebrate each season with a new flavour such as Jasmin Mango

The store in Harrods, London. Squeal!

From Scratch has a stall at the Adelaide Showground Farmers Markets every Sunday

Here in Adelaide, we've been swept up in the macaron craze and have the farmers markets and street stalls to thank for our obsession with the crisp little treats.

From Scratch Patisserie has a lot to answer for with Radelaideans going crazy over their colourful range. For me, it's their presentation that impresses - they package them up in egg cartons and string for you to take home, and display them in old round wooden cheese cases, highlighting the rainbow of colours and flavours on offer.

The strawberry macarons with white chocolate and strawberry puree cream were a hit at Bree's farewell brunch and doubled as a gorgeous centrepiece for the table.

So while you say tomato, I'll say macaron.

Pics from, From Scratch and Laduree


Rustic Tarts said...

I've had fun reading through some of your posts, after discovering your blog from The White Shed. I was fortunate to take a baking class in Paris recently, where we learnt to make macarons not macaroons!
I cringed watching that episode of Masterchef when they kept calling them macaroons!

claire said...

Nice post! And thanks for the mention. Each time one of the Mastersooks said 'macarooooon', I wanted to throw something at the TV. I'm glad that they at least got it right on that magazine cover. :)