Table of content
- What is a macaron?
- Macaron Texture
- Are French macarons good
- Shell / Filling ratio
- Filling should be soft
- Smooth shells
- Balanced sugar
I'm Anthony French chef at Pastreez. I will answer in this post questions that I get a lot daily: what is a macaron, and what do macarons taste like.
Many of us have tried macarons at some point in our lives. When tasted in its best form, one bite will fill you with a warm and fuzzy feeling.
They are not just mouthwatering without a reason—they are remarkably tasty while being so elegant, bringing freshness and joy to the palate.
Nevertheless, macarons are not about sweetness. The perfect macaron is a balanced delicacy. It’s a sweet meringue, a delicate duet of two cookies that share a filling of almonds, buttercream, ganache, jams, powdered sugar, and egg whites.
The shells are crispy from the outside, and chewy and soft from this inside, so moist that it dissolves in your mouth.
Almost everyone who visits France has tried a macaron because patisseries and cafes in France have macarons it is one of the top 10 things to do in France. Nowadays you can find macarons everywhere.
But if you are looking for petite, cream-filled French macarons, there are some things that you may need to consider.
It is also important to know that macarons are a dessert of balance. They will satisfy your cravings for something sweet but they will not overpower you like a candy bar. A balanced macaron has a nutty flavor, and while sugar is part of the recipe but not the highlight of a macaron.
In other words, the balance between sweet and nutty will determine the goodness of a macaron.
Macarons come in a variety of flavors. You can choose from fruit, caramel, and chocolate to pistachios and jams. Regardless of the flavor, the sweetness should be balanced.
A meringue is quite similar in taste because both macarons and meringues are made with sugar and egg whites and that is why the texture is very similar between the two.
A macaron is never too sweet, if it is then you will have a lingering sweetness in the back of your throat and that ruins the other flavors.
What is a macaron? What do macarons taste like? Here are few aspects that will help.
What is a macaron?
A macaron is a French pastry composed of two shells and a filling in the middle. The shells are made with almond flour, egg white and sugar.
The filling is either a buttercream or a ganache (butter replaced with white chocolate).
Not everyone can make good macarons and it takes some time to perfect the texture. Because the texture can determine whether a macaron is good tasting or not.
Professional chefs around the world make macarons differently and in some regions where there is high humidity, the texture can be affected, which will make the macaron too mushy.
In any case, a macaron should be light, crunchy on the outside, and soft in the center.
People love jam fillings, buttercream fillings, and ganache fillings, which add to the softness.
On the same note, when you eat a macaron, you should be able to eat a few without feeling heavy.
And many people enjoy a couple of macarons with a glass of champagne or with a cup of tea.
Are French macarons good?
Macarons are delicious. It is one of the most popular French dessert, and it's specific taste and shape makes it perfect for special occasions.
Do you know what is the difference between buttercream vs ganache? Both are a type of filling used to fill macarons.
The buttercream uses butter as main ingredient, and ganache uses white chocolate.
At Pastreez, we use ganache for all our fillings. We find the result to be smoother, lighter and flavorful.
As a macaron expert, I'm always extra careful with the Shell and filling ratio in a macaron.
Shell / Filling Ratio
We are not expecting anyone to measure ratios here but believe it or not, top French chefs use ratios of 2:1 and 1:1.
So yes, there is some science behind creating the perfect macaron. If you see a filling that makes a macaron look like a blob—avoid it.
The spread should be not too thin and not too much that it is oozing outside the edges.
If you see an under-filled macaron, you will know by just squeezing it, just a little bit.
Filling should be soft
Think of ganache, how smooth is it? That is exactly how the filling should be. Rich but light, and moist but not sticky.
Also, when you eat a macaron, you can expect a few crumbs falling here and there but it should not be crumbly and not stick to your teeth.
However, for caramel fillings, there is an exception and maybe for jam fillings too.
A tasty macaron has a smooth cookie texture. A good way to know is by looking for bumps, if you see any, this means that the chef did not use finely grounded almonds.
Sure, you will still enjoy a chunky macaron but it tastes much better when the almonds are finely grounded.
Additionally, the crust should also be thin. It is like a protective cover for the softness underneath.
I wrote a full study on major Online Macaron Bakeries like Dana's bakery or Ma-ka-rohn, where I review all these points.
You'll find out that smooth shells and soft filling might be altered by some key elements.
On the other hand, if the crust is semi-hard, it will probably shatter and it is no fun to eat.
You need the cookie to be mushy, even to the point where it might look uncooked, but that is how we like our macarons, and you will too.
We all love sugar, but macarons are not about sugar. In other words, the macaron should give your palate a variety of flavors where sugar is part of the equation.
There are two types of macaron flavors: Creamy or fruity. A creamy flavor is Salted Caramel for example.
We use chocolate as the main ingredient for those. Since chocolate contain sugar naturally, there is no point to add extra.
A fruity flavor would be Raspberry, for example. Fruit purée is the main ingredient.
Same thing here: Fruits already got sugar in it. No extra sugar needed.
I hope my answers were clear enough you now know a bit more about macarons!