“A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.” John Keats
Many, indeed many, people have some kind of a relationship with macarons. Some love to eat them, some love to make them, some have to see them, some can’t stop buying them, some swears never to make them…and so on. The sophisticated, enthusiastic baker belongs to all the groups (Welcome to my world!!!).
The Macaron cookie was born in Italy, introduced by the chef of Catherine de Medicis in 1533 at the time of her marriage to the Duc d’Orleans who became king of France in 1547 as Henry II. The term “macaron” has the same origin as that the word “macaroni” — both mean “fine dough”. The first Macarons were simple cookies, made of almond powder, sugar and egg whites.
Many towns throughout France have their own prized tale surrounding this delicacy. In Nancy, the granddaughter of Catherine de Medici was supposedly saved from starvation by eating Macarons. In Saint-Jean-de-Luz, the macaron of Chef Adam regaled Louis XIV and Marie-Therese at their wedding celebration in 1660. Only at the beginning of the 20th century did the Macaron become a “double-affair”. Pierre Desfontaines, the grandson of Louis Ernest Laduree (Laduree pastry and salon de the, rue Royale in Paris) had the idea to fill them with a “chocolate panache” and to stick them together. Since then, French Macaron cookies have been nationally acclaimed in France and remain the best-selling cookie in pastry retail stores.
4 large aged (stored in fridge for 2-5 days) egg whites or 140g
70 g caster sugar
230 g pure icing sugar
120 g ground almond
2 g salt
gel food colouring (optional)