After being introduced to the macaron on Masterchef Australia, many chefs, cooks and bakers have been obsessed with these delicate, almond-flavoured morsels of happiness.

According to wikipedia, “a macaron is a sweet meringue-based confectionery made with egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food colouring.”

The macaron is commonly filled with ganache, buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two cookies. Its name is derived from the Italian word maccarone or maccherone. A macaron is characterised by its smooth, squared 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 flavours that range from the traditional (raspberry, chocolate) to the more bizarre (foie gras, chilli). The fillings can range from jams to ganache to butter.macroons1-001

Since the English word macaroon (a type of light, baked confection, described as either small cakes or meringue-like cookies), can also refer to the macaroon, many people have adopted the French spelling of macaron to distinguish the two items in the English language. This however has caused confusion over the correct spelling.

If you just want a simple recipe for a basic macaron, then see our recipe of the week. If however these little bundles of joy really capture your fancy, then it is well worth investing in Secrets of Macarons by Jose Marechal, the perfect guide to baking macarons. The book gives extensive information on every stage of the baking process, from the ingredients and equipment required to an array of dazzling finishing touches, together with full page descriptions and the use of specific ingredients. The book also contains loads of hints and solutions to a number of problems.  Apart from the informative text, it is well illustrated with clear photographs throughout.

Definitely a book worth getting if you are into baking this delicious treat.

Interested in buying this book? Visit –Red Pepper Books – The South African online bookshop, is able to offer you great prices on any book you are looking for, and they deliver to your door. Pay only R110 for this book (Recommended Retail Price = R129)! Red Pepper Books is offering Wickedfood Cooking School subscribers an EXTRA 10% off this book. Simply type in the promotional code WICKEDFOOD on the shipping page of the checkout process and your purchase will be reduced by a further 10%, a total saving of R19.

Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studio. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – teambuilding cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference. Our cooking lessons are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.