– The difference an O can make
Is it a difference of spelling or pronunciation? It’s both, plus much more.
One thing to know is that both are meringue-based confections. And they were both popularised by the French. It is still hazy where macarons originated, but we know for sure that the French were the first to go crazy about them. The French have a good taste sometimes.
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
‘A macaroon is a type of light, baked confection, described as either small cakes or meringue-like cookies depending on their consistency. Most recipes call for egg whites with ground or powdered nuts, generally almonds. Alternatively, coconuts can be used. Almost all call for sugar. Macaroons are sometimes baked on edible rice paper placed on a baking tray.’
They’re dainty and pretty, with delicate shells and a decadent filling. Oh, the fillings! They are to die for. Ganache and buttercream are classic favourites.
Simple yet bursting with coconutty flavour, they have an attractive golden color. They’re crispy at first bite, but inside they’re so so soft and literally melt in your mouth.
They’re made with egg whites, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, and almond flour. Flavours, flavours, so many flavours! The shells and the fillings – so many color and flavour combinations are possible. It’s a true artisanal treat, and really, the sky is the limit when it comes to experimenting with macaron flavours.
They’re made with egg whites, shredded coconut, and sugar. You can substitute the coconuts with almonds, but there’s not much variation possible. Sometimes, they have cherries on top, or they’re chocolate-dipped, but that’s the extent of their versatility. Honestly, they don’t even need that. A macaroon is comfort food at its best.
Both are perfectly gluten-free!
These are made in a very stringent procedure – meringue is temperamental and can go wrong if you’re off by even a little bit. These are difficult to make but so worth it. There is even a word for the process of folding the dry ingredients in with the egg whites – it’s called macaronage. That’s how tough it is, even if you are an experienced and passionate baker. But there’s a special happiness you feel when you get your first perfect batch. It will take quite a few tries to get there though – we give you fair warning.
These are super easy to make. It is one of the first things kids bake growing up – in the kitchen with grandma! It has a grand total of three basic ingredients; even kids can’t mess that up.
These have a shelf life of a week, maybe longer if stored properly. In fact, they taste best if eaten they day after they have been baked. They’re just as flavourful and fresh after a few days.
Best eaten as soon as possible! It is delicious when it’s got that crunchy exterior, and as the hours pass, macaroons get softer. This is something you should not keep for later. Some things, there is no point being patient about.
The most important point to remember is this – they are both super yummy and you should waste absolutely no time trying them and falling in love with these sugary treats.
Now that you are well educated in the difference between a macaron and a macaroon, don’t forget to go buy them and enjoy these delicious treats. The best place in London for macarons are Laduree and Pierre Herme, whereas Macaroons are available in pretty much any grocery store, including Tescos and Marks and Spencer.
Words: Myra Naik