You’ll be hard-pressed to find a French Pastry more iconic, delicious, and Instagrammable than the Macaron. Macarons consist of a layer of jam, buttercream, or ganache filling sandwiched between two almond meringue discs.
Ideally, Macarons should possess the following qualities:
- A 1:1 – 2:1 cookie-to-filling ratio. Skimpy fillings are bad enough but even worse, a blob of filling that seeps out around the edges is even worse. You should be able to taste both the filling and the cookie in the same bite.
- Smooth cookie texture. Air bubbles and bumps are signs that the almond wasn’t sifted or ground properly.
- A light, smooth, and firm filling. Eating a macaron should never be messy (a few crumbs are to be expected). There are a few exceptions such as Jam and Caramel fillings which can be on the sticky side.
- The crust of the cookie should be thin with a soft layer underneath. Nobody likes a hard or dry cookie!
- The cookie underneath the crust should be light and chewy. It should never stick to the filling or come apart from the crust.
On a recent trip to Paris, we stopped into a few of the usual suspects in search for the best Macaron in town.
One of the best known sellers of Macarons world-wide. They sell approximately 15,000 Macarons daily. My obsession with Laduree began when I saw an episode of Gossip Girl where Blair Waldorf is eating a box of Laduree Macarons while taking a bubble bath. You can find their stores in Australia, Belgium, Philippines, USA, UAE, and the UK just to name a few.
In 2016, Pierre Herme, a pastry chef-chocolatier, was named World’s Best Pastry Chef. Popular in France, Japan, and the US, Vanity Fair refers to Pierre Herme as “The Picasso of Pastry”. You can shop online or in one of their many stores in France, the UK, Qatar, South Korea, Hong Kong, UAE, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Germany, and China.
Carette definitely wasn’t on my radar until I started planning for my trip to Paris. It kept popping up on blogs and i’m so happy that I decided to visit the location at Place du Trocadéro. The atmosphere as well as the service were both wonderful and the view was hard to beat. They also have a second location in the Marais.
Angelina’s is famous for its decadent hot chocolate, which is amazing, btw! They also have a wide array of cakes and pastries, including Macarons. You can find teahouses and boutiques in Dubai, Hong Kong, Doha, Beijing, and Tokyo. Announcements have been made regarding expansion throughout America, Europe, and Asia.
Their Macarons are incredible and I would highly recommend the Salted Caramel flavor.