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Transcript of Macaroons
by Natalie Lau
What's a macaroon?
A macaroon is a type of light, baked confection, described as either small cakes or meringue-like cookies depending on their consistency. The original macaroon was a "small sweet cake consisting largely of ground almonds" similar to Italian amaretti.
The name of this cookie comes from an Italian word meaning paste.
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. Later, two Benedictine nuns paid for their housing by baking and selling macaroon cookies, and thus became known as the "Macaroon Sisters".
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 starch is also sometimes included in the recipe, to give the macaroons more body.
How to make? - Ingredients
-1 cup confectioners' sugar
-Chocolate: Chocolate Ganache
-Coconut: 1 cup Swiss Meringue Buttercream, mixed with 1/3 cup angel-flake coconut.
-3/4 cup almond flour
-2 large egg whites, room temperature
-Peanut: Chocolate Ganache, or store-bought dulce de leche, jam, or peanut butter.
-Pinch of cream of tartar
-1/4 cup superfine sugar
-Pistachio: 1 cup Swiss Meringue Buttercream, mixed with 1/3 cup finely chopped pistachios.
-Raspberry: 3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
-Swiss Meringue Buttercream
How to make? - Steps
1. Pulse confectioners' sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.
3. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macaroons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.
How to make? - Steps (continued)
4. Let macaroons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macaroons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macaroons.)
5. Sandwich 2 same-size macaroons with 1 teaspoon filling. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thanks for watching!
~ Ladurée, Paris is a famous shop for macaroons.