French Macarons were first presented to the world in the 1890's by Pierre Desfontaines, the second cousin of Louis Ernest Ladurée. Louis Ernest Ladurée created the world famous Ladurée in 1862 at 16 rue Royale in Paris..
The macaron shell, by tradition, is round and made primarily of almond flour, sugar, and egg whites. Some place its origin in Arabic countries (exporters of almonds) having then been brought to Europe as a result of the Age of Exploration and Discovery.
The macaron was introduced to France by the Italian Pastry Chef of Catherine de Medicis in 1533, at the time of her marriage to the Duc d'Orleans. Duc d'Orleans became the King of France in 1547 as Henry II.
Macarons vs. Macaroons
The Italian Macaroon (\ˌma-kə-ˈrün\) is a baked confection made with egg whites, sugar and shredded dried coconut. It should have a light but dense consistency. The macaroon is far less temperamental than the macaron and far easier to make.
The French Macaron (\ˌma-ka-ˈroh\) is delicate and airy. These shells have a light, crunchy texture on the outside and a slightly chewy texture on the inside. Two shells are held together by a filling, made from a ganache, butter-crème, compote or jam.
CHOCOLATE SECRETS'S LADY BIRD JOHNSON
TEXAS MACARON BUTTER CREAM FILLING
20 ounces dark (60 percent cocoa) chocolate, coarsely grated
1/4 cup butter, cut in 6 to 8 pieces
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a medium-size bowl, combine grated chocolate and butter.
In small saucepan, combine cream and vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium heat. When cream boils, pour hot cream over chocolate and butter. Using a whisk, stir vigorously until smooth and dark chocolate in color. Stir in walnuts and salt.
Use as a filling for macarons or 24 cupcakes. May also be used as a frosting.
Makes 24 pieces.
Store tightly covered at cool temperature.
Chocolate Secrets Chef, Libby Addleman, creates over 22 flavors of macarons and counting: Mango, Pistachio, Mojito, Chocolate, Raspberry Vodka, Green Apple, Café, Lemon Verbena, Rose Petals, Strawberry, Orange Cointreau, Popcorn, Figs & Dates, Coconut, Texas Butter Pecan, Lavender, White Peach Bellini, Coffee & Baileys, Lady Bird Johnson, Saffron, Tiramisu, Espresso, and Cafe.
Chef Addleman created the Lady Bird Johnson Texas Macaron using Ms. Johnson's famous Chocolate Nut Drop Cookies recipe.
"I love what I do," says Addleman." I am able to combine so many aspects of my personality, skills and education." Libby Addleman received her B.A. in Restaurant and Hospitality Management from the University of Alabama and studied culinary at Gastronomicom in the South of France. Since graduating Libby has become the mastermind behind all the pastries at Chocolate Secrets.
LADY BIRD JOHNSON'S
CHOCOLATE NUT DROP COOKIES
1 cup Butter
1/2 cup Eggs (approximately 2 - 3 eggs)
3 cups of Cake Flour
1 teaspoon of Salt
2 cups of Chopped Walnuts
two cups of Light Brown Sugar
1 cup of Milk
1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
4 squares of Chocolate
2 teaspoons of Vanilla
Cream the Butter;
Add Brown Sugar gradually; and
Continue to mix until light and fluffy.
Beat the eggs and add to the creamed mixture.
Sift the dry ingredients together and add the dry ingredients together with the Milk to the creamed mixture until smooth.
Add the melted Chocolate, Chopped Nuts and Vanilla and fold into the mixture.
Drop by the teaspoon (one inch apart) onto an oiled baking sheet.
Bake at 375˚F for 12 to 15 minutes.
Makes 6 dozen.
Chocolate Secrets is a gourmet chocolate and fine wine Boutique-Café tucked into the corner of Oak Lawn Ave. and Avondale Ave. in Dallas, TX.