Unique Flavors: The Secret Ingredient to the Ever So Tasty Macaron

A macaron and macaroon; although both cookies; are different in many ways than spelling alone. Just looking at the ingredients used, origins, presentation, and flavor will give you enough proof that these two cookies are miles apart. This article will focus more on macarons, although one can argue that a macaroon is just as tasty.

Although popularly known as French macarons, the word "macaron" actually comes from an Italian word "maccarone", which means paste. This is because the batter (a flourless base made from egg whites) used in making macarons closely resembles sticky paste. The Italians added their own twist to traditional macarons by using coconut, while the French opt for jam or cream filling sandwiched between two almond meringue biscuits. As for the Macarons in Singapore, each bakeshop offers its own twist. Some offer a more fruity taste by adding in lychee brandy, and others add the most exquisite and unusual ingredients - black sesame, sea salt, and salted egg yolk, to name a few.

Over at Obolo Bakeshop in Singapore, each award-winning macaron is a masterpiece, as exquisitely designed by the so-called "architects of bliss". Of the many flavors for their macarons, Obolo's chocolate ganache sandwiched between almond meringue shells is a popular favorite. With just the right amount of sweetness in their macarons, it's no wonder that Obolo has earned itself a top spot among Singapore's leading bakeries.

How does one make French macarons? It's easy enough, but the trick to tasty macarons lies in adding a little twist to the traditional taste. That's the reason behind many bakery success stories. But basically, all macarons start out the same - egg whites, sugar, and almond flour. 1 cup of confectioners' sugar and 3/4 cup of almond flour mixed together in a food processor will do. Whisk 2 egg whites until you get a foamy mixture, add in a pinch of cream of tartar, and then gradually add 1/4 cup caster sugar (a teaspoon at a time). Mix at high speed for no longer than 10 minutes, or until the meringue looks a bit stiff.

Carefully sift the almond sugar and icing sugar mixture onto the meringue. Using a spatula, fold the mixture around 50 times, or until it has a smooth, thick, and rich texture. You'll know its ready when it has a soft sheen. Pour the mixture onto a pastry bag, and pipe them onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Ideally, keep the size of each round to 3/4 inch and around an inch apart from each other. Preheat the oven to a temperature of 375 degrees Fahrenheit while you leave the macarons at room temperature for around 45 minutes.

Once the macarons are ready to bake, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, making sure to bake a sheet at a time. This takes around 12 to 15 minutes for each batch; make sure to increase the temperature to 375 degrees in between batches, and reduce to 325 degrees once baking resumes. Let the macarons cool on a wire rack for around 3 minutes, after which you can add in the filling - cream, ganache, jam, or whatever you prefer.

When it comes to macarons, don't be afraid to experiment and try out new flavors. Who knows, that flavor might turn out to be your favorite. 

Macarons in Singapore. Each French-styled macaron is an art piece. Appealing flavours, natural, smooth, light, not overly sweet. Obolo craft an award winning macarons!

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