Macaron Mania: The Recipes of the World’s Top Pastry Chefs

When I first wrote a recipe tutorial for French macarons in 2012, I couldn’t have imagined that, even to this day, it would be the most popular post on IronWhisk. Back then, the macaron craze was just gaining steam. Today, the almond-meringue cookies, which sandwich a ganache or jam filling, are ubiquitous.

Macaron Mania: Testing the Recipes of the World's Top Pastry Chefs

The macaron’s popularity means a plethora of surprisingly different recipes are available to play with. What, then, is the best way to make this famous cookie? Over the past few weeks, I have made it my mission to find out. After getting my hands on the formerly secret recipes of the world’s top pastry chefs, and baking dozens of batches and hundreds of macarons, my side-by-side tests and surveys provide the much-needed answers.

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La Fraise

Ladurée Patisserie’s La Fraise (French for simply Strawberry) caught my eye two weeks ago, when I was vacationing in London. After interrogating a sales associate with a barrage of questions, I learned that the interior of La Fraise consists of fluffy coconut sponge cake and house-made strawberry compote enrobed in a heavenly strawberry crème mousseline.

A homemade version of Paris’s Ladurée Patisserie’s La Fraise entremet cake, bursting with strawberry flavour!

The crème is then covered with strawberry-red dacquoise cake, studded with royal icing “seeds”, and impaled with a gum paste stem before being neatly arranged in rows in the Ladurée display case. Don’t be turned off by the cartoony, almost gimmicky appearance of this eye-catching entremet cake; La Fraise is incredibly tasty.

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Lemon Tartlets

These lemon tartlets are light and refreshing, yet contain over a pound and a half of butter. I was quite impressed that I was able to fit so much butter into such a seemingly light dessert. Less impressive, however, was the plate that I was able to smash to pieces while making these.

Lemon tart with sweet and crumbly pâte sucrée, white chocolate ganache, lemon cream, and candied lemon. Simply amazing, and EASY! Click to get the recipe.

I had grabbed some butter out of the freezer and placed it on a flowery porcelain plate.  I use the flowery porcelain plates since I can just throw them in the dishwasher, unlike most bowls. Also, they’re flowery.  That is a big plus.

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