A macaron is a sweet confectionery …

… made with egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food coloring. The macaron is commonly filled with buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two cookies. Its name is derived from an Italian word “maccarone” or “maccherone”. This word is itself derived from ammaccare, meaning crush or beat, used here in reference to the almond paste which is the principal ingredient. It is meringue-based: made from a mixture of egg whites, almond flour, and both granulated and confectionery sugar.
The confectionery is characterized by its smooth, domed top, ruffled circumference (referred to as the “foot”), and flat base. It is mildly moist and easily melts in the mouth.
Macarons can be found in a wide variety of flavors that range from the traditional (raspberry, chocolate) to the new (truffle, green matcha tea). The fillings can range from jams, ganache, or buttercream. Since the English word macaroon can also refer to the coconut macaroon, many have adopted the French spelling of macaron to distinguish the two items in the English language. However, this has caused confusion over the correct spelling of the cookie/biscuit. Some recipes exclude the use of macaroon to refer to this French confection while others think that they are synonyms.

That’s according to WikipediA

I am not a particular fan of Macraons. French Macarons that is. But I had to know for sure, and went to Laduree in Beirut Down Town and bought a few.

No, no, no, no, not just two

I got two “small” boxes of six macaron each. And for good measure a box of dragée. So,  twelve macarons and a handful dragée set me back 57.50 $ US. 

The boxes are pretty. So are the macarons …. naturally, I ate them …

Sitting on the terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
  1. Caramel flour de del
  2. Pistachio
  3. Coffee
  4. Chocolate
  5. Raspberry
  6. Licorice
The licorice macaron was absolutely tasteless. Coffee- and pistachio macaroons tasted the same …. no difference …. the caramel had a bit of “caramely” aftertaste. The Raspberry actually tasted raspberry due to it’s fruit filling, and the chocolate had ganache inside which gave it the chocolate taste.

So my conclusion is that if you buy air, packed into pretty and colorful meringue shells, that that is what you get. And worst of it all is that it is filled with BUTTERCREAM. 
I find it very hard to believe, that Catherine de’ Medici’s Pastry Chef in the mid 15 century would have had the balls to fill his maccharone with butter.

If you feel so inclined, here is a recipe for Chocolate Macarons, curtesy of David Lebovitz, the only macaon that makes a bit of sense in my head.

But pretty to look at they are …. 

                                                                                                             …. just not Viennese enough ….

Published by ChefThomas

… born in Upper Austria’s Wels, I have done most of my growing up in Vienna. Only by sheer accident did I fall into the trade of Pâtissier. After a short apprentice ship at a Viennese Bakery, I was accepted for apprentice ship, at "K.u.K. Hofzuckerbäcker Demel’s Söhne", one of the oldest patisseries in Vienna. Learning the trade from the very basics, as the Emperor two Centuries ago would have expected from a "Pâtissier to the Royal and Imperial Court" (That is what the older Pâtissier still calls himself). I soon took to travel the world. From patisseries in America, to hotels in the Far East, Africa and the Middle East, did I accumulate a wealth of experience, ranging from bakeries to first class restaurants in major hotels to banquets for Presidents, Sultans and Heads of States and other famous, infamous and not so famous people. But the true excitement for me is in the "Viennese Café". Not just as an occupation, but as an institution in it own right.

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