Friday, February 12, 2010

Sugary Shake-up

Event planners and foodies have been watching a potential trend shift in the dessert world. Geeky, I know. After a long reign; another sweet may be challenging the cupcake as supreme confection.
It appears that the macaroon (macaron is proper French spelling) is appearing everywhere. The macaroon is a cookie-like treat made from egg whites, almond flour, and both granulated and confectionery sugar. According to Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery website, "This classic French pastry filled with rich buttercream has been adored for centuries. Precise baking produces a cookie that has a light and crisp outside and a soft and chewy inside. These two textures are what make the macaron such a special confection."

Mmmmmm. credit

You know the shake-up is a big deal when NPR sees fit to report on a pastry.
"Her (Amanda McClement of Metrocurea) argument about the rise of the colorful little almond-and-air cookies included the following: that the show Gossip Girl has fetishized the macaroon in a manner reminiscent of the way Sex and the City launched a cupcake boom; that Starbucks recently carried a limited edition of macaroons; and that white-hot designer Jason Wu (who designed Michelle Obama's inauguration gown) recently baked them in an issue of Food & Wine magazine. Plus, McClements says, she's just seeing them everywhere."

The story goes on to interview people taking a macaroon-making class. The pastry requires technique that can be difficult for the amateur baker to master. I know I wouldn't try them!

So, will macaroons become the go-to pastry for weddings and events? Our love affair with the cupcake has been going on for some time. Enough that cupcakeries are established small business in many areas. Locally, my personal fave is Carefree Patisserie. In addition, the cupcake is an accessible treat that anyone can try at home. And with custom toppers and wrappers permeating parties (have you seen this?!)- cupcakes are not going away anytime soon.

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