If you've ever been offered a "macaron" and a "macaroon" and wondered what the difference was, you're not alone. While the two terms sound alike and both originate from France, they are two entirely different desserts.
Macarons are delicate, brightly colored sandwich cookies made with egg whites, almonds, and sugar. They are meringue-based, which means they are airy, light, and chewy. Sometimes, they are filled with a ganache or buttercream.
On the other hand, macaroons are denser and heavier mounds of sweetened coconut flakes. They can be either baked or unbaked and don't have any filling inside them. They have a crispy exterior with a moist, chewy center.
In this article, we will explore the differences between macarons and macaroons, their origins, and some tips on how to make them.
The macaron and the macaroon have different origins. The macaron, with its delicate shell and creamy filling, originated in France in the early 16th century. The word "macaron" comes from the Italian "maccherone," which means fine dough. For a long time, the macaron was a dessert reserved for high society.
The macaroon, on the other hand, is a traditional Jewish dessert that originated in Italy during the 1700s. It was initially made with almond paste, but it evolved to include coconut as the main ingredient.
One of the main differences between macarons and macaroons is the ingredients they are made with.
Macarons are made with almond flour, egg whites, and granulated sugar, and sometimes confectioners' sugar. The egg whites are beaten into a stiff meringue that is then folded into the almond flour mixture. The batter is piped onto a baking tray and then baked.
Macaroons, on the other hand, are made with coconut flakes, egg whites, and sugar. They are often flavored with vanilla or almond extract. The mixture is scooped onto a baking tray and then baked.
Texture and Appearance
Another noticeable difference between the two desserts is their texture and appearance.
Macarons have a crispy shell that gives way to a soft, moist center. The shells are smooth and glossy, and they sandwich a creamy filling. The filling can be flavored with chocolate, coffee, fruit, or any other flavor.
Macaroons, on the other hand, have a crispy exterior with a moist and chewy center. They are golden brown in color and have a rough appearance.
Baking and Preparation
The preparation and baking process of the two desserts are also different.
Macarons require a little more effort and precision to make. The egg whites need to be beaten until they form a stiff meringue, and the almond flour needs to be sifted and folded into the meringue. After piping the batter onto a baking tray, the macarons need to rest for some time before being baked.
Macaroons, on the other hand, require minimal preparation. The egg whites are beaten until they are frothy, and the sugar and coconut flakes are mixed in. The mixture is then scooped onto a baking tray and baked.
Both desserts can be baked in a home oven but require different temperatures and baking times.
Which is Better?
Choosing between macarons and macaroons depends on your personal preference. Macarons are lighter, more delicate, and have a wider range of flavors. They are perfect as a dessert or even as a snack to be eaten any time of the day.
Macaroons, on the other hand, are more substantial and are perfect for those who love coconut. They can be enjoyed as a sweet treat or as an addition to a dessert.
Tips for Making Perfect Macarons
Making macarons can be a bit tricky, but following a few tips can help you achieve perfect results.
1. Use the right ingredients.
Using high-quality ingredients is essential when making macarons. Almond flour should be finely ground to avoid lumps in the batter, and the egg whites should be at room temperature.
2. Follow the recipe closely.
Macarons require precision, so it's essential to follow the recipe carefully. Weighing the ingredients and measuring them accurately is vital.
3. Use a kitchen scale.
Using a kitchen scale is highly recommended when making macarons. Measuring the ingredients by weight ensures accuracy.
4. Let the macarons rest.
After piping the macarons onto a baking tray, let them rest for some time before baking them. This helps the skin to form, which is essential for the cookies' shape and texture.
In conclusion, macarons and macaroons are two different desserts that originated in different countries and are made with different ingredients. Macarons are light, airy, and have a crispy exterior with a creamy filling, while macaroons are dense and chewy with a crispy exterior. Although they require a bit of effort to make, they are worth the extra time and effort, making for a delicious and impressive dessert.