What’s the Difference between a Macaroon and a Macaron?

Words: Jess Spiro

There seems to be confusion when it comes to what a macaroon is versus a macaron and we’re going to put that to bed today. They’re both certainly delicious, there’s no doubt about that, but is there a difference? Yes there is a massive difference. Does it actually matter what I call my confections? Yes, it most certainly does. Whoever named these sweets really did them no favours. Both names are derived from the Italian word ammacare, meaning to crush. And in France, macarons are sometimes known as French macaroons. So if you’re confused, you’re definitely not alone. To clear things up, here is the definitive difference between two equally tasty, but ultimately dissimilar, treats.

First things first, Macaroons starts with the same egg white and sugar base as a macaron. It’s whipped into a stiff meringue, to which shredded coconut is added. Spoonfuls of this coconutty mixture is dropped onto a baking tray. They are then baked until the exterior is crispy and the interior is soft and chewy. The macaroon can be dipped in chocolate if you choose, there are no rules here. See @weareds pic from her Instagram feed below.

A macaron is like the more grown up sister of the macaroon, the sister who spent a year in Europe becoming more civilised and cultured. The egg white and sugar meringue base has ground almonds gently folded in and flavourings and colours are added. The mixture is carefully piped into rounds before being baked. The baking process causes the little disc to rise slightly, resulting in the iconic ‘foot’, as well as a little shell to form. The interior is soft and chewy, almost marhsamallow-y and the exterior has a neat little crisp bite to it. Two shells are then sandiwched together either with ganache, buttercream icing or fruit curd. Technically, the macaron can require more of a deft touch, where the macaroon is more forgiving when mixed together. See a pic of macarons from possibly one of the most famous macaron maker of all Maison Ladurée in Paris (@mainsonladuree).

When it comes to these two, you can’t go wrong with either. The macaroon is like a hug and the macaron is like an air-kiss, both leave you feeling loved, the one is just more aloof.

Want to make macarons? For the recipe for these little lemon ones click HERE.

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