According to some historians, the Macarons first appeared during the Middle Ages. However, it is supposed that Catherine de Medici may have introduced the Maccarone from Italy to France in the 1500’s.
The description has a comical side as they were produced in Venetian monasteries and dubbed ‘priests’ bellybuttons.’ Due in part to the shape of the pastry.
Fully Developed in France
But France is where this delicious sweet fully emerged. First, various versions, names, and spellings were added over the centuries. Then, in different regions of France, they were adopted as a delicious specialty.
In the 1830s, the modern creation of the macarons appeared in France. Two meringues were made and stuck together with a flavoured filling. This was dubbed the macaron Parisien.
In 1862, Laudress, a patisserie company, popularized this scrumptious sweet.
At the start of the 21st century, confectioners began producing macarons with varying fillings and even used savory tastes.
Its popularity has spread worldwide, especially after being shown in the film ‘Marie Antionette,’ where the queen is surrounded by a multitude of various coloured macarons.
During the French Revolution, two Carmelite nuns known as the Macaron Sisters seeking asylum in Nancy survived starvation by baking and selling these mouth-watering morsels.
There is a vast store of fascinating history surrounding this special sweet to be found on Wikipedia.
- 6 ounces Icing sugar
- 4.5 ounces of ground almonds
- 60 ml of egg whites using 2 medium eggs for two batches
- 5 ounces of granulated sugar
- Food colouring of your choice
- 4 ounces of double cream
- 12.5 grams of butter
- 37 grams of jam to your taste
- Piping bag with a large round nozzle
Step 1. Pulse the almonds and icing sugar into your processor bowl. Do this seven times.
Add the first batch of eggs to the mixture and mix to a thick paste.
Step 2. Pour the second lot of egg whites into a heatproof bowl. Pour 25 ml of water and granulated sugar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. At this point, use a sugar thermometer and heat it to 110C. Start to beat the eggs at high speed.
Step 3. When the syrup reaches 118C, pour it gently down the side of the mixer bowl. Then whisk meringue ingredients to high peaks. Finally, add the colouring to your taste and satisfaction.
At this point, prepare your baking sheets with parchment paper ready for the meringue mixture.
Step 4. Gently fold the almond mixture and the meringue together until it is thick. The mixture should easily fall from your spatula.
Now place the mixture into your piping bag. Pipe rounds of approximately 2.5 cm in diameter onto the prepared sheets.
Leave to rest until the meringues develop a skin. Preferably overnight.
Heat oven to 170C/150C or gas oven 3-4.
Bake macarons for 14 minutes.
Allow the macarons to cool before peeling them from the paper.
For the filling, mix butter and cream together. Then place this on top of one macaron and then stuck to the other macaron.
Sainsbury’s Good Food Team inspired this recipe.
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Katy lives on the South coast with her husband and a loving hyper friendly dog who likes to greet and lick everyone on sight. She has a BA Hons (Psych) BA Eng.Lit. MA in Religion and Mysticism and a Hon Dr. Science for research into pain control.
She was a psychologist and hypnotherapist before changing direction for full time creative writing, Her main genres are historical romance, crime and science fiction.