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​The History of the Macaroon

6 January 2017

Why are we reminding you that macaroons exist in January, you might wonder? In this of all months, how can we think it kind or reasonable to share tempting photographs of these delectable treats, with their beautiful pastel shades and deeply alluring crisp-crunchy-soft texture?

Well, it's because we believe January's traditional focus on food needn't be about self-denial. A big part of keeping a closer eye on your eating choices is to make sure that treats truly count. After all, a little deliciousness is good for the soul.

So take a moment with us to explore the rich history of the macaroon - the most worthwhile of indulgences.

You could be forgiven for thinking that France is the home of the macaroon, but the origin of these delicacies can actually be traced back to an Italian monastery in 1792. As befits something made from a simple paste of sugar, almonds and free-range egg whites, macaroons take their name from the Italian word for ‘paste’ – ‘macarone’.

But although Italy was its birthplace, it was the French who made the macaroon truly famous. Brought there by nuns seeking refuge during the French Revolution, the rise of the ‘salon de thé’ and the ambition of French bakers saw them become a popular treat. Despite having the simplest ingredients, they are very hard to perfect, so to produce a macaroon of quality represents one of baking’s highest achievements.

The confectioners at our Craft Bakery in Harrogate are expert macaroon makers. We whisk free-range egg whites to a soft peak before delicately folding the finely ground almonds and sugar through, making sure the desired texture is achieved. Getting the consistency of this mix is absolutely crucial – as is the baking process. Once these miniature shells are baked to perfection, they are sandwiched together with a variety of fillings. The result is a marvellously light and crisp shell with a soft, yielding texture.

Using only the finest ingredients, such as fresh raspberries and pistachio nuts, we are able to craft a rainbow of different colours and flavours, such as our Lemon Macaroon filled with an all butter Lemon Curd or the Chocolate Macaroon filled with a rich chocolate ganache made from Swiss chocolate and fresh cream. These treats are already a firm favourite on the fancy counter at our Café Tea Rooms, but for those further afield our Macaroons can also be purchased online for delivery to your door. Which is your favourite flavour?

Live deliciously and order our macaroons online now

Why 'Macaroon'?

'Macaroon' is the older English translation of the french 'macaron', and though in recent years the latter has become a popular way to refer to these almondy, meringue-like treats (partly to differentiate between these and the popular coconut confections and partly because adopting the French nomenclature bestows a certain je ne sais quoi) both are actually correct as they derive from the original Italian. We stick with the original English translation because we think our Yorkshire macaroons stand up proudly to their Paris cousins.