Macarons are delicate French cookies made with two thin discs of meringue that are sandwiched together with some type of flavorful filling. The meringue is made with almonds or other nuts and has a smooth, crisp exterior and a chewy center. They’re a popular bakery item, but lately they have been becoming more and more popular with home bakers who want to try their hand at making these sometimes tricky cookies. Macarons: Authentic French Cookie Recipes from the Macaron Cafe is a small cookbook that provides a great introduction to making your own macarons at home.
The cookbook contains techniques and recipes from experienced baker and macaron-maker Cecile Cannone, and it really gives you all the information you need to not only make your own macarons, but to make them with confidence. The book opens with an introduction two two different types of macaron shells: French meringue shells and Italian meringue shells. The recipes are clear and very easy to follow along with. There are also instructions for how to flavor the macaron shells, so after you’ve made the basic recipes you have a good foundation for making your own macaron flavors. There is also a great troubleshooting section that should help solve any problems that arise while you bake so your macarons have a smooth look and that nice, chewy center when they’re finished.
The rest of the book is primarily focused on macaron fillings. From a simple chocolate ganache to a rich buttercream frosting, there are plenty of filling flavors to choose from. These fillings could also be used as fillings and frostings for other baked goods, and even used to fill other non-macaron sandwich cookies. The final section of the book describes slightly more advanced macaron techniques, such as shaping the meringue shells into different designs or decorating the shells. The photos in the book are lovely and, on top of the instructions, make it easy to follow all the directions described. Just flipping the pages will definitely inspire you to start baking – or at least to discover a bakery in your area that sells macarons so you can munch on a few while you read.