As we are approaching Bastille Day (The French National Day,, better know in France as “Le Quatorze Juillet”), I thought I’d bring a little touch of France to the blog today. Afterall, it’s where I come from.
For a party, an event or wedding, there is nothing that shouts French Chic to me better than macarons. Which is a little ironic as they weren’t born there. Read on to find out more, it’s quite a fascinating story….
What are macarons and where do they come from?
According to Wikipedia, macarons are a sweet meringue-based confection made with egg white, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food coloring. The macaron commonly consists of a ganache, buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two cookies.
Macarons have been produced in the Venetian monasteries since the 8th century A.D. During the Renaissance, Catherine de’ Medici‘s Italian pastry chefs made them when she brought them with her to France in 1533 upon marrying Henry II of France. And there we are!
Making your own macarons…
When it comes to macaron recipe and method, for me you need to turn to Pierre Hermé, le Grand Monsieur du macaron in Paris. When the macaron craze started in France a few years ago, he definitely led the pack of artisan patissiers with seasonal collections of new flavours. Always perfectly executed too. He’s written several books on macarons if you are keen on making your own (They take a little practice but can be achieve with patience and time on your hands). There’s a good piece by David Lebovitz on his blog about Pierre Hermé macarons cookbook HERE.
How long do macarons last?
Fresh macarons are best eaten within a couple of days. However, if you have a large box and can’t get through it all…they freeze really well. So uyou can pop them in your freezer and take one or 2 out at the time, in the morning for example. Leave them on your kitchen counter to come back to room temperature gently. They will be perfect by the time you have your 11am cup of coffee. (or tea…)
How much do macarons cost?
Prices will vary from one supplier to another but I’d expect to pay from £1.20 upwards for macarons. That’s for a simple box or in bulk. If you want them in individual boxes for weddng favours, or personalised/branded, then from experience I’d say count from £3.50 per box upwards.
What flavours can you have?
Pretty much anything! including savoury flavours, cocktails…the sky is the limit!
Where to order them from?
There are lots of suppliers in the UK. Try to find one local to you. In London you can go to Comptoir Gourmand. They have a unit in Maltby Street Rope Market SE1, and also sell at over 20 street markets including Borough Market. You can contact them HERE
Down in Sussex, if you are having a wedding or a party, there are several suppliers you can contact starting with Pudding Fairy. You can also get in touch with Julien Plumard in Brighton, Becky at The Garden Chef, and Queen Bea Treats . And yes I have tried them all so I can recommend all those guys happily.
How to use macarons as a showpiece?
Instead of a French croque en bouche choux tower, it’s quite trendy right now to have a macaron tower. It can be a cone shape or individual macarons presented on a pespex tiered tray… or evn macaron pies, to which you can add a single cake topper so you can still have your “cut the cake” moment on your wedding day. the beauty of macaron towers, which ever style you choose, is that you can completely customise the mix of flavours and colours. Let your imagination loose and create an effect that’s really individual and tailored to your event!
Adding macarons as a finishing touch to a wedding cake or a celebration cake
personally I like a subtle approach in this case, with just a few macarons added to your design…
Macarons for wedding favours?
Branded macarons for your business event?
of course! For example, I can add edible logos to your macarons either printed on rice paper, icing sugar paper …..or even small chocolate discs!
Creative ideas with macarons
From ducks to teddy bears to elephants; seashells and carrots; snowmen and Christmas baubbles…..have your wish come true. I have a whole board on Pinterest where I collect macaron ideas. Just click on the board image to browse through…and prepared to be amazed at the possibilities!
(note- headline image credits : Designed by Freepik)