LADURÉE macarons, the story of the famous French pastry treat!
The French macaron, a delicious little sweet treat, is as famous as the French croissant. It is an iconic symbol of Parisian gastronomy and the French “art de vivre” and is loved throughout the world.
As true food lovers, we are delighted to be a partner with the most renowned pastry shop, LADURÉE for a Spooktacular Halloween French Event. To celebrate this special occasion, let’s discover the whole story behind the yummy macaron!
The story of the LADURÉE macaron starts in the middle of the 19th Century with Pierre Desfontaines, LADURÉE founder’s grandson, who first thought of taking two macaron shells and joining them with a delicious ganache filling. The recipe has not changed since.
So it all begins with ground almonds mixed with confectioner’s sugar. Then an Italian meringue is made by heating a mixture of water and caster sugar to 120°C (248°F) and pouring it into the beaten egg whites coloured with natural food colourings. At Ladurée it’s always an Italian meringue because it gives the finished macarons their glossy appearance. The mix of ground almonds and sugar is added to the meringue, and the macaron mix (or “appareil” as it’s known in French) is ready.
The “appareil” is poured into a machine called a “trémie”. This is the only stage that isn’t performed by hand, because only a machine can form identical shells. The 14 macaron flavours and the 5 “Incroyables” are made daily, moving from the lightest to the darkest coloured so none are stained.
The “trémie” pushes out small discs of “appareil” onto baking trays covered with parchment paper. The trays are tapped lightly so that the macarons finish settling and are then baked for 20-25 minutes. The exact temperature is a closely guarded secret; all that’s known is that it’s not so hot as to brown the shell.
Once out of the oven, half the batch is removed from the trays to be covered with filling, while the other half patiently awaits the topping off stage.
A whole room is dedicated to filling the macarons, the stage when they are given their layer of ganache or jam. Everything is done, once again, by hand – and you need impressive skills with a piping nozzle to drop exactly the right amount onto each one. The jam used for the fillings, such as those in the raspberry or blackcurrant macarons, is more concentrated than one you might eat at home. It’s a delicate process making jam-filled macarons, because you have to be extremely careful not to soak the shell!
Finally, it’s time to top off or sandwich the macarons by popping a second shell on the filling. After a night in a cold room, the only thing left to do is to package the little treats in their pretty pastel coloured boxes. Then it’s immediately off to be sold in all the many shops around the world.
Fancy a delicious French pastry treat for Halloween?
Then why not discover the special Chocolate and Marshmallow Limited Edition Ladurée macaron at Harrods?!
Come along to our fun Halloween Event on Thursday 31st October from 3pm to 6.30pm.
There’ll be free face-painting and arts & crafts activities (all in French!) with the dynamic Club Petit Pierrot teachers, but only when you buy some macarons.
At Halloween your kids will soon be saying “Trick or macaron” not “Trick or treat”!!