With the 20th of March officially dubbed Macaron Day, we celebrate this famous and delicious treat with a few interesting facts regarding its origin and decadent nature.
Like the modern-day macaron, the original recipe, dating back to 1533, was for a soft, airy morsel made from egg-white, almond flour and sugar, topped with flavoured cream. However, the double-decker affair we know today did not come into fashion until the 20th century.
Macarons may be synonymous with Parisian tea houses, but the invention of this meringue-like cookie actually occurred in Italy. Catherine De Medici, the famous Italian noblewoman and eventual queen of France had her personal chef bake macarons topped with creamy ganache on a daily basis. Upon her arrival in Versailles, she quickly introduced her favourite delicacy to the French aristocracy who embraced it with flair. To this day it is the most sold baked sweet in France, beating sales of the native éclair and gateaux by two to one.
The French term “macaron”, as well as the Italian “macaronne” translates as “soft doughy texture”.
Macarons are a healthy alternative to more conventional cakes and cookies as the basic shells are effectively fat and gluten free. Baking macarons with xylitol instead of sugar and topping with sugar-free cream also makes them an ideal Keto or Banting friendly treat.
Artistic bakers across the globe have pushed convention aside by creating macarons with unlikely flavours, like bacon, matcha, salmon, pumpkin, wasabi and even pig’s blood!
Although most bakers would not generally go as far as this, we do recommend getting creative with macarons, especially as we’ve made baking them as easy as can be. CAB Foods Macaron Premix yields perfect macaron shells every time, without the trouble of tediously measuring and weighing ingredients. Our hassle-free and affordable Macaron Premix makes baking traditionally tricky macrons a fun activity for seasoned bakers, beginners and even young confectioners. Simply whip up your batter with a bit of water and let your creative genius take care of the rest. Here’s one decadent idea to get you started:
Caramel Popcorn Macarons with White Chocolate Ganache:
Ganache has long been considered the go-to filling for macarons due to its silky sweetness, which complements the texture of the meringue shell without overpowering it, and a longer lifespan than fresh cream fillings. Although making ganache seems very intimidating, it is actually easy as pie. Before we get started, you’ll need the following:
1 packet of CAB Foods Macaron Premix
1 packet of CAB Foods Caramel Coated Popcorn
385 Grams of White Chocolate Disks
190 ml of whipping cream
1 A4 Edible Print of your favourite floral design
Always start with your ganache filling as it will need time to cool before you can assemble your macarons.
Place your chocolate in a glass bowl, sunken into a dish of hot water. Heat your cream on the stove until it just reaches boiling point. Quickly remove it from the heat and pour over your chocolate.
Stir the hot cream into your chocolate until it has melted completely. You should soon have a thick, silken mixture without any lumps. Once you’ve reached this point you can add a few drops of Barco Electric Yellow Gel Colour and Flavour Nation Caramel Popcorn Essence to your preference.
Remove your ganache from its hot water bath and place it in the fridge to cool while you bake your macaron shells.
Prepare your Macaron Premix as per the instruction on the packet and add a few drops of Barco Navy Blue Gel Colour while it is mixing. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag prepared with a large round nozzle, and pipe equal amounts onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat. The macaron batter will spread a little as it settles, so leave adequate spaces in between as you pipe.
As per your baking instructions, the macrons will require some time to rest on the baking sheet before you can pop them in the oven. Use this time to cut your edible sheet into shapes you can use to decorate your macarons.
A quick and easy way to do this is to use your favourite small cookie cutters. Gently peel the plastic backing off your edible sheet and rest it on a polystyrene surface. An old cake dummy is ideal for this. Firmly press your cookie cutter into the sheet and carefully remove your shape once it is cut.
You can add some extra razzle dazzle by painting your edible paper shapes with a layer of Barco Gold Food Paint. Set the shapes aside to dry while your macarons bake and cool.
Once your macarons are ready, pair them up so each has a mate with roughly the same diameter. Fill a piping bag with your now cooled ganache and pipe roughly a tablespoon of ganache onto one of each pair with a star nozzle. Cover with the top macaron, but don’t press down so hard that the ganache peels out the side. Keep going until all your macarons are filled.
Pipe the remaining ganache into a saucer and use a lollipop stick to dab a small amount on each of your macarons. Gently press your edible paper shapes down on this to secure them to your macarons. You can use another small dollop of ganache to attach a kernel of caramel popcorn to the top of each macaron as a finishing touch.
Now brew a cup of tea and put your feet up. You deserve break while you nibble away at the sweet treat of ages.
The CAB Foods range of easy-to-use baking ingredients and premixes make a lot of traditionally tricky bakes a breeze. Visit any one of our five stores or shop online to discover our amazing products for yourself.