- Both have their origins in Italy.
- Both start off with the same base of egg whites and sugar
But then they go their separate ways:
- Macarons with ground almonds
- Macaroons with shredded coconut
1. Macaroons – are coconut based (mack-ah-RUNE)
The story goes that inventive bakers experimented with the recipe adding shredded coconut to egg whites and sugar.
This version became very popular with the European Jewish community and was particularly suited to Passover as an unleavened treat. A good macaroon has:
- Delicate rounded peaks of shredded coconut
- A light golden crust which gives a subtle toasted coconut flavour
- An inside that is light, soft and slightly chewy
Try this recipe for Chocolate Coconut Macaroons.
2. Macarons – are meringue based (mack-ah-ROHN)
Cousin of the macaroon, the macaron is probably the most well known, colourful member of the family.
Ground almonds are added to the basic egg white and sugar which adds a little bit of chewiness to the inside whilst keeping the outside crisp.
The french term macaron has the same origin as the Italian word “macaroni” – both mean “fine dough”.
It is thought that macarons were brought from Italy to France by the chef of Catherine de Medici.
Patisseries often like to experiment with their own unique flavours and entice with a wide selection of rainbow colours.
Originally a simple biscuit, it was not until the middle of the 20th century that it became a double-decker.
Famously, their present form is credited to patisserie chef Pierre Desfontaines from Laduree Salon de The, 16 rue Royale in Paris. Pierre had the idea of joining two macaron together with a delicious ganache filling.
Today, the beloved, revered macaron of Parisian tea salons, has become an internationally famous, trendy, treat.
A good macaron is perfectly balanced with:
- A delicate crust that is light and crunchy (this is tricky to achieve well)
- Elegant, slightly chewy sweetness and melt in the mouth meringue texture
- Endless combinations of flavours and colours which entice and delight the eye
For a sensational macaron visit Laduree
How about making your own macarons with tips from
chef Adriano Zumbo?
So what do you prefer?
The chewy coconut macaroons or the crispy meringue-like French macaron?