I’m not much of a sweets person, but one dessert I do enjoy are macarons. Originating from Paris, they’ve been a hot commodity in North America ever since they were introduced here a few years back. This lead me to think, what’s so special about these round and delicious pastries?
Now I’m no expert in macarons or ever had the real deal from Paris, but I can tell you that I see many of my friends and café enthusiasts rave about them and take photos of their colourful macaron filled boxes. There are many cafés and bakeries in Toronto that sell these treats – Butter Avenue, La Bamboche, Nadege, Mon K Patisserie to name a few. People enjoy how this dessert is very light in comparison to other pastries, having the crisp outer shells made typically from egg whites, almond flour, and powdered sugar. Of course the filling can make or break the macaron as well, having to be careful not to be too rich or too bland. I think people also love the fact that the macarons come in a variety of flavours that go beyond the traditional vanilla, chocolate, and pistachio. They’re so colourful! I always enjoy how pretty macarons are – the pinks of raspberries, green from matcha, pale yellow from lemons- they’re a treat for your eyes as well! I was also intrigued by the Japanese inspired macaron flavours (matcha, chestnut, yuzu… I think oolong was my favourite) that go great with your tea or coffee.
Apart from all their cuteness, I do think that macarons are a little pricey. They typically lie around the $2.50 mark but a box of macarons can add up quickly. The ingredients are usually high quality and the presentations at the cafés are very appealing, making you want to buy every single macaron (Butter Avenue on Queen St. was modern and inviting!). In the end, these tiny pastries are like a bundle of joy when you need a little pick me up from life!
From my understanding, it’s popular to make your own macarons from home now. One of my friends’ attempted this recently. It’s her third time trying and her tip is that it’s all about practice! It’s hard to get the outer parts to be the right crispiness without overcooking it. Maybe that’ll be my next project!