We've already started writing the first chapter of the book "2014"...)) Write it as well as it's just possible..
For me,I've decided to have a sweet start... The first post of the year is going to be about tiny little classy cute and nice French "macarons"..one of the most coveted cookies not only in Europe...
I'm a big big fan..and today I've decided to share some interesting stuff about this little pretty princesses with all of you..
Macaroon is a type of light, baked confection, described as meringue-like cookies depending on their consistency. The original macaroon was a "small sweet consisting largely of ground almonds" similar to Italian amaretti.
The English word macaroon and French macaron come from the Italian maccarone or maccherone. This word is itself derived from ammaccare, meaning to bruise, used here in reference to the almond paste which is the principal ingredient.
Most recipes call for egg whites (usually whipped to stiff peaks),almonds,coconut, or nuts. Almost all call for sugar. Macaroons are sometimes baked on edible rice paper placed on a baking tray.
The earliest recorded macaroon recipes are for the almond meringue variety similar to amaretti, with a crisp crust and a softer interior. They were made from egg whites and almond paste.
The name of the cookie comes from an Italian word meaning paste, maccarone. About the origin, culinary historians claim that macaroons can be traced to an Italian monastery of the 9th century. The monks came to France in 1533, joined by the pastry chefs of Catherine de Medici, wife of King Henry II. Later, two Benedictine nuns, Sister Marguerite and Sister Marie-Elisabeth, came to Nancy seeking asylum during the French Revolution.The two women paid for their housing by baking and selling macaroon cookies, and thus became known as the "Macaroon Sisters".Recipes for macaroons (also spelled "mackaroon," "maccaroon" and "mackaroom") appear in recipe books at least as early as 1725 (Robert Smith's Court Cookery, or the Complete English Cook).
Italian Jews later adopted the cookie because it has no flour or leavening (macaroons are leavened by egg whites) and can be enjoyed during the eight-day observation of Passover. It was introduced to other European Jews and became popular as a year-round sweet.Over time,coconut was added to the ground almonds and, in certain recipes, replaced them.Potato stretch is also sometimes included in the recipe, to give the macaroons more body.
The Scottish macaroon is a sweet confection with a thick velvety centre covered in chocolate and topped with roasted coconut. Traditionally they were made with cold leftovers of mashed potatoes and sugar loaf. When the macaroon bar became commercial the recipe no longer used mashed potato because of shelf life limitations. The modern macaroon is made from a combination (depending on producer) of: Sugar, Glucose, Water and Egg White. These ingredients make a fondant centre. This recipe was reportedly discovered by accident in 1931, when confectioner John Justice Lees was said to have botched the formula for making a chocolate fondant bar and threw coconut over it in disgust, producing the first macaroon bar.
In North America, the coconut macaroon is the better known variety. Commercially made coconut macaroons are generally dense, moist and sweet, and often dipped in chocolate. Homemade macaroons and varieties produced by smaller bakeries are commonly light and fluffy. Macaroons made with coconuts are often piped out with a star shaped tip, whereas macaroons made with nuts are more likely shaped individually due to the stiffness of the dough. Because of their lack of wheat and leavening ingredients, macaroons are often consumed during Passover in many Jewish homes.
DominicanA coconut macaroon is a type of macaroon most commonly found in Australia, the US,The Netherlands(Kokosmakronen) and Germany, and is directly related to the Scottish macaroon. Its principal ingredients are egg whites, sugar and shredded dried coconut. It is closer to a soft cookie than its meringue cousin, and is equally sweet. Many varieties of coconut macaroons are dipped in chocolate , typically milk chocolate. Versions dipped in dark or white chocolate are also becoming more commonly available. Nuts are often added to coconut macaroons, typically almond slivers, but occasionallypecans,cashews or other nuts. In Australia, a blob of raspberry jam or glacé cherries are often concealed in the centre of the macaroon prior to cooking.
Macaroons in the Dominican Republic are very dark. Grated coconut is mixed with ginger and cinnamon.
In France, the coconut macaroon is known as the "congolais".Another name for the coconut macaroon is "le rocher à la noix de coco". The almond flour version is simply called "le macaron" in French.
In Asturias, Spain, there is a macaroon variety made with hazelnuts and honey called "carajitos."
In Puerto Rico, coconut macaroons are called besitos de coco (little coconut kisses). A few variations of besitos de coco can be found on the island, the most popular ones including lemon zest and vanilla as additional ingredients.
Tuticorin and Mangalore have their own varieties of macaroon made with cashews and egg whites, adapted from those introduced in colonial times.
A macaroon chocolate bar is made by Wilton Candy in Co. Kildare, Ireland. The description on the packaging is "macaroon pieces in Irish milk chocolate." It was first made in 1937.
This little cookies are so light and beautiful that I,personally, feel like having them at all kinds of Italian/French cafes,restaurants or just take them home to share with my loved ones..
For me,it's a perfect detail to bring a bit elegance to the celebration,or your breakfast table...Simply chick :)
Just had a dream..another one to go lay in my huge DreamBox and wait it's turn - wouldn't it be great to appear somewhere in Paris..sitting in a classy cafe..enjoying some kind of nightly green tea that would go great with my sweet macaroons...?...))