According to a report by the Palm Springs, Calif., Desert Sun, the macaron is poised to knock the cupcake off its dessert pedestal.
Small, lightweight and delectable, the Parisian cookie has become a staple at gatherings, offering elegance and flavor in a tiny package, the Desert Sun reported.
“Because there are so many different colors and the shape of it, it looks very pretty when presented,” said Gavin Gräbe, chef de cusine at Clementine Gourmet Market Place in Palm Desert. “The movement that sprung up again, has resulted from that.”
Don’t confuse this delicate confection with the coconut-flecked macaroon. Although they both start with a base of egg whites and sugar, the French macarons are so often reserved for boutiques or fancy parties with their bright colors, uniform size, shiny exterior and crinkled “foot” that lies on the bottom edge. Macaroons are little mounds stuffed with coconut flakes, the Desert Sun reported.
The original stacked cookies were made with an almond paste, said Gräbe, instead of the now-common almond flour. The history of the cookie is a little muddled but they have origins in Italy dating around the 17th or 18th centuries, according to Roman Blas, chef and co-owner of Over the Rainbow Cupcakes in Palm Springs. They were later adapted by France’s culinary culture, the Desert Sun reported.
“When they were originally created, they were a single cookie,” said Blas. “The French are the ones that actually put it together as a sandwich.”
Fillings were typically jams or ganaches, but most recently, they’re stuffed with flavored buttercream frosting, the Desert Sun reported.
Like many food trends that originated in Europe and migrated into the United States, Gräbe believes it was New York City where the love of the macaron was rekindled several years ago. Macarons have been increasing in popularity for about two years, the Desert Sun reported.
“It just went crazy,” said Gräbe, “and pretty soon everyone wanted macarons.”
Parties were themed around macarons and even places like coffee shops were getting on board with the trend. A huge appeal to the cookie over the cupcake, said Blas, is the convenience. There is no paper wrapper, nor crumbs. They’re a two-bite-maximum treat. They’re also light, allowing an eater to have a few without feeling indulgent. And, for allergy-sufferers, they’re naturally gluten free, the Desert Sun reported.
The cookies can be finicky to prepare, but are a blank canvas when it comes to flavors, said Blas, including the frosting center. The cookies can be any hue of the rainbow and the flavors can range from simple to the complex. Blas has created lemon pound cake flavored cookies and some utilizing Red Bull or Mountain Dew extracts. Blas has even figured out how to make them nut free. Next on his agenda is making them both nut free and vegan, the Desert Sun reported.
“They’re really a luxury item,” said Blas. “If people see it as someone’s wedding, it’s the first thing that goes. You could have cupcakes, cookies and cake, but if people see macarons, they fly off the table.”
Previous dessert trends have included cupcakes, salted-caramel anything, chocolate-dipped bacon and the cronut, a cross between a flaky croissant and a doughnut, the Desert Sun reported.
“I’m wondering what’s going to be the next one,” said Gräbe. “You always think to yourself, ‘Can I preempt what’s going to happen?’ But you never really know.”
Whatever the next trend, Gräbe thinks it’s going to be on following gluten-free, vegan or healthy eats. “People love sweets, and they love the sugar,” said Gräbe.