Macarons, by Cecile Cannone

03 December, 2010
Page 18 

Ulysses Press (available from 6 January or as an e-book version from 14 December)

When it comes to 'the next big thing', macarons have been the pretender to the cupcake throne in the confectionery fashionista stakes for some years now. While they've yet to tap into the universal appeal of the latter, the slow burn of the macaron trend yes, the French spelling is taking over, best get used to it is still evident. Earlier this year, Pierre Hermé opened his first UK store in London, selling what have been described as the world's best; he joins the likes of Ladurée, Yauatcha and Paul as the capital's foremost macaron peddlers.

So if you're interested in offering these dainty treats, which also double as a sweet choice for gluten-free shoppers, this book from Cecile Cannone of the MacarOn Café in New York, is a good entry point.

She stresses the importance of humidity and temperature, ensuring you're using dry ground almonds and not baking too many macarons in the oven at one time, as this raises the oven's humidity and risks shell cracking. Another tip is to add powdered egg whites to the batter, whenever you're working in a humidity level above 60%. She adds it's important never to over-mix the batter, as this can result in stains on the product.

As far as flavours go, chocolate ganache is the best-seller in Cannone's café. She offers variations from white chocolate to chocolate orange and chocolate ginger. There is also a variety of buttercream options, including apple-cinnamon, rose, espresso and lemon. Or you could simply use jams as a filling.

For those wanting to move on from cupcake wedding cakes, how about a macaron wedding cake, she suggests? And with cake pops in vogue, why not try macaron lollipops?





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