An exhaustive look at Parisian macarons (with pictures of Laduree macarons), lots of recipes from around the web and how to make them in your own home!
**Update** Since writing this I’ve made a few kinds of macarons myself: Chocolate Macarons Recipe, Colorful Cinnamon Easter Egg Macarons Recipe, Dark Mint Chocolate French Macarons Recipe, and Hazelnut Macarons with Nutella and Spicy Nut Centers.
When I was in Paris, France several months ago, I took some time to make as many stops as possible on David Lebovitz’ 10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris list.
One of my top priorities was to try Parisian macarons so I could get them straight from the source. I had been reading about them for months on other food blogs. Laduree was across the street from our hotel, so it was the obvious and very dangerous choice for my macaron de-flowering. Inside it was darkly lit and I meekly pointed at first the size box that I wanted and then it was point-by-color to fill up the box. I knew to ask for the caramel which I was definitely missing living in Italy.
The Laduree box before opening. I loved the packaging available in the Laduree and Pierre Herme shops for the macarons. Some were very elaborate and would have made nice gifts. I wanted just a plain box since I was going to be eating them. ALL FOR ME.
More colorful than a bouquet of flowers! And I’ll feel better not having to throw out stale water and dried stems later.
The money shot. Laduree’s caramel macaron was by far my favorite. I was disappointed in Pierre Herme’s caramel macaron as it was a creme de caramel – caramel cream filling and not a pure caramel like Laduree’s.
Inside the caramel macaron. I’m a bit of a messy eater, but these macarons were really fragile so it was hard to get that perfect bite.
Inside the dark chocolate macaron. Excellent.
Much as I wanted to, I couldn’t finish all the macarons that I bought, so I was able to courier them directly to Italy where I shared them with Robyn and Sara. I loved Dorie Greenspan’s interview about how and why to love macarons. I think she’s right you need to experience the beauty and authenticity first-hand in Paris to understand the craze! I do now. So now I’m ready to start making them myself! After extensive “research” I am still deciding if I need to draw circles on parchment paper or use a Silpat or to let macarons set before baking or run cold water under them after baking. The ingredients in macarons are fairly simple, it’s the technique that seems to be the time-consuming part. Until you get it right. **Update** Since then I’ve made a few kinds of macarons myself: Chocolate Macarons Recipe, Colorful Cinnamon Easter Egg Macarons Recipe, Dark Mint Chocolate French Macarons Recipe, and Hazelnut Macarons with Nutella and Spicy Nut Centers. Serious Eats had a “Macaron Week” right after I got back from Paris, including where to find macarons in the U.S. Robyn, who above tasted my macarons, was the mastermind of the list.
- Monday: Introduction to French Macarons
- Tuesday: Where to Find Macarons
- Wednesday: How to Make Macarons
- Thursday: Interview With Macaron Specialist Dorie Greenspan
It wouldn’t be a complete mention if I didn’t mention Tartelette and her macarons. She jumpstarted my own obsession, and she actually used the word “magma” in her recipe, as in “batter that flows like magma.” How cool is that? I think magma should be used more in recipes. You can search the category “macarons” on her blog for her many creations. Other macaron recipes and pictures:
- David Lebovitz does some experimenting for you regarding the “set” or “no-set” macarons with a chocolate filling.
- Shuna from Egg Beater talks about the French macaron and method.
- Kuiadore may not have any recipes of macarons on her site (you have to take her classes for that!) but she’s got some heavenly pictures of macarons for inspiration!
- Chocolate Macarons with Peppermint Ganache from Dessert First
- Some Christmas-themed macarons from Mad Baker
- La Tartine Gourmand has some lovely step-by-step pictures for making macarons.
- Paris Breakfasts does an excellent job of painting these lovely beauties and even toured a macaron shop.
Any tips for me in making macarons? What flavors would you love to see in a macaron?