Sweet Macarons: Delectable French Confections for Every Day Paperback – 17 Apr 2012
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About the Author
Jacqueline Mercorelli, known as Mercotte, lives in Savoy, France, near Chambery. A self-taught French baker, Mercotte started her blog in May 2005. Since then her recipes have gotten rave reviews and her blog has become a must read for anyone wanting to make macarons at home. In June 2011, Novoceram named Mercotte as one of its top three passion leaders.
Top Customer Reviews
Macarons are a current hot item in the baking world and here is a great chance to pick up a little book showing how to make 25 different macarons without any trouble. Even if you don't have a particularly sweet tooth there can be a macaron for you.
To make such delicate, beautiful items you need to put a little bit of effort into the task, yet you can be rewarded later. As the author says "... macaron making is within every cook's reach, but it does take hard work. This involves several beginner's steps, high-quality basic materials, good kitchen equipment, the right movements, a few tricks, and, above all, rigour and organisation." With the author 'virtually' at your side to help, don't be afraid.
The prospective macaron maker is first given a detailed lecture about the type of kitchen equipment that is necessary and why, along with a similar overview about the right ingredients. A slew of hints and tips are also provided that are well worth a read even if you think you know all of this stuff. There might be a few little wrinkles that you can learn that will be specifically of help making macarons.
Then it is onto the recipes, firstly starting gradually with a few basic types of macarons and you really should start with the basic stuff and become familiar with them first. Of course, if you charge through and start on a more complex, involved recipe you might muddle through. But there is a big risk of not getting it entirely right and becoming disheartened in the process. Go slowly and steadily and enjoy ALL of these nice little recipes and develop your skills.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This small book is packed with useful information on how to make macarons. I've made macarons in the past but my results were hit and miss. My first batch using this book came out perfectly domed with a nice foot. Crisp on the outside and slightly chewy in the middle. I made the Italian meringue version.
The whipped ganache filling technique is brilliant. We made both the mint filling with fresh mint leaves and the salted caramel filling.
The only negative was that I found it difficult to follow the in-text instructions. I prefer numbered steps so I can find my place more quickly when doing a process where timing is important. (Oops, I just noticed that there are numbered steps. I just hadn't paid attention to what was in the colored dots.)
Lots of useful troubleshooting tips and explanations of what makes the process work... or not work. I just wish it wasn't raining today so I could make another batch. Maybe I'll make some more fillings in anticipation.
The author does a wonderful job. If you've never made macarons before, or have no experience with piping, meringues or the basic fillings, she walks you through the steps in a conversational and reassuring way. Starting by explaining the ingredients and giving you tips and tricks for making the cookies including handy things like the best way to fill the pastry bag and how to space them on a cookie sheet.
Then she gets into more detail. Rather than having you go straight into working with meringue whipped egg whites and almond meal, she walks you through 3 cookies that help you learn how to pipe correctly, how to bake meringues and then finally, working with almond meal. After that, she explains how to make the batter for macarons. She gives 2 methods, the more involved Italian meringue recipe, or the simpler, easier French recipe for meringues, and how to turn that into macaron batter.
The next part focus on fillings, and the basic filling recipes given can be flavored many ways. Her basic filling recipes include buttercream, a couple thick creamy fillings, some ganache fillings, jam and praline filling. Using just this section of the cookbook, and varying flavors and colors on the fillings, you could make a lot of types of macarons.
Then the recipes, which are fancy enough to impress anyone. Starting with salted butter caramel, then getting into lots of other flavors. I'm not a fan of licorice flavor, but even skipping the anise/fennel and the licorice flavored cookies, there are still a lot of great options. Some are fruity, some are spicy, some have tea or floral flavors. These are recipes that can be paired easily to echo the flavors of tea, coffee or wine for entertaining. The creme brulee ones are amazing.
If you like traditional cookbook formats, this one may not be your cup of tea. The tone is conversational, and the recipes aren't laid out traditionally. Instead of line by line ingredient lists, the ingredients are listed in a single paragraph separated by commas. The instructions are very well written with good detail. The recipes are also followed with tips for modifying that recipe to suit your own tastes. There are also ideas for things to do with failed macarons and tips on fillings for really quick macarons for when you have cookies in the freezer and just want a fast fix.
My 17 year old daughter is very excited by macarons, and the instructions are perfect for the way she learns. So I'm just thrilled with the layout and the detail. The only thing that would make this book better for my daughter's and my macaron adventures is a spiral binding so it would lay flat. The photographs are gorgeous, the recipes are good, and the step by step breakdown of the process of making macarons is well written.
[I received a complimentary copy of the book to review on my craft blog- Don't Eat the Paste. My reviews are always my honest opinion]
is sure to inspire a love of creativity in baking this confection!
The photos alone are works of art.
The flavour combinations unique.
Thorough in presentation, Mercotte details step by step methods in preparation and handy tips that are sure to increase confidence as she sets out to demystify the creation of these sweets.
In fact, the order of presentation is to first learn the art of making meringues, piping, and working with almond and nutmeat meal. Detailed instructions and descriptive explanations provide thorough understanding of basic processes involved in order to develop required skills.
Imagination in creation is inspired.
Practicing the basics as provided will increase proficiency for the novice.
Exploring the variations will inspire the accomplished macaron maker.
Enjoying the photos will delight any foodie!
A coil binding would be a wonderful aid to the macaron maker!