Where to buy these cute and colourful confections…
Equally likely to be found on the counter of an independent bakery as an afternoon tea menu at a high-end hotel – not to mention many a food bloggers’ Instagram feed – macarons are the darlings of the patisserie scene. These little pastel-hued treats (not to be confused with the similarly named but rather different coconut macaroons) are thought to have originated in Italy in the 1500s, with the more recognisable modern incarnation with the ganache filling coming into play in the 1930s thanks to famous French bakery, Laudrée.
Macarons have been called ‘the supermodels of the cake world’, presumably due to their appealing aesthetic, but also perhaps because they are notoriously diva-like when it comes to baking conditions – the temperature must be just right, the batter mustn’t be mixed too much or too little, and the mixture must be evenly piped for a perfect finish. It’s enough to put off even the most ardent baking fan. Luckily, there are a whole host of online purveyors of these dainty delights offering an easy macaron fix. Here are a few of our favourites.
Macarons & More
Masterchef finalist Dr Tim Kinnaird must really love macarons – he left a career in medicine to open his very own macaron shop, Macarons & More. And thank goodness he did, or we would be deprived of his wonderful creations.
Boxes of 12 marvellous macarons are available to order from the website – you can even choose the flavours to create your ideal selection. Perhaps plump for rose, dark chocolate and mint, lemon, coffee, vanilla, pistachio and creme brulée – and be sure to include the bestselling, Great Taste Award-winning salt caramel too.
Only natural colours and flavours are used at Macarons & More, and all macarons are gluten-free and made with free-range egg white. And if you don’t fancy ordering online, you can pop into the recently opened shop in Norwich.
Yorkshire residents have no doubt already heard of Bettys tearooms – there are six in the county, and the first was opened back in 1919. But did you also know that they have an excellent online shop offering all manner of gifts and treats? Tea, coffee, hampers, biscuits, chocolates – you name it, they’ve got it. Including, of course, boxes of six or twelve cute and colourful macarons, which are made by hand in the traditional way in the craft bakery. Each box contains an assortment of delectable seasonal flavours – autumn’s selection features the likes of pistachio, orange blossom, salted caramel and fig. Yes please.
Those ordering macarons from London-based On Café should expect the unexpected; chef proprietor Loretta Liu doesn’t just offer tried-and-tested flavours, but exciting new taste sensations inspired by her Asian heritage. Loretta’s innovative style has earned her confections a place on the shelves of high-end retailers such as Harvey Nichols and Selfridges and in the hearts of macaron devotees across the land.
Treat yourself to a box of twelve macarons and mix and match from Loretta’s unique themed collections. The Asian collection, for example, reflects the eclectic culinary culture of Singapore, Loretta’s home country, and includes exotic confections like mango, yuzu (a Japanese citrus fruit related to the mandarin orange), Matcha green tea, black sesame and dark chocolate, and Champagne and peach. Feeling romantic? Order a box of adorable heart-shaped macarons to bestow upon your special someone – if you can bear to give them away, that is.
The two friends behind Galeta started out with a small stack of baked delights on a market stall on the King’s Road. Selling out in a couple of hours, the pair returned with more treats over the following weeks and were inundated with wholesale enquiries. By the following October, Galeta’s goodies were being sold in posh shops and cafés such as Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Fernandez & Wells. The online shop is a haven for the sweet-toothed – devilishly good cookies, brownies, pies, traybakes and cakes can all be delivered to your door.
Their macarons, according to the website, are made with a magical mixture of ‘egg whites, sugar and dreams’. If you’ve already got a favourite flavour, order a box of 12 and get stuck in. Those on the fence, meanwhile, can create a bespoke mixed box and try out a few different types – maybe the coffee and walnut, peach and strawberry, chocolate and cherry and caramel. Or the pistachio, rosewater, vanilla, Champagne, lemon, chocolate and cappuccino flavours, for that matter. It seems ordering one of each is the only way to go.