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Posted on December 22, 2016
TV cookery shows like the Great British Bake Off have led to an explosion in home baking in recent years, as home cooks attempt to put their own spin on classic patisserie like meringues and macaroons.
Although the pair are similar in base ingredients, they are vastly different in flavour and texture and are both easily adaptable to incorporate different flavour combinations.
The meringue is a type of dessert often associated with French, Swiss, and Italian cuisine. It is made from egg whites whipped with sugar into stiff peaks, then baked.
They are light, airy, sweet desserts, chewy and soft, with a crisp exterior.
The macaroon, by contrast, is a type of small circular cake, typically made from ground almonds, coconut, sugar and egg white, sometimes coloured, and often filled with jam or chocolate cream.
The original macaroon recipe is thought to have originated in an Italian monastery, in the 9th century and passed down through generations. In 1533, monks from the monastery travelled to France, where they were joined by two Benedictine nuns who were seeking asylum during the French Revolution. The two women paid for their housing by baking and selling macaroon cookies.
Italian Jews adopted it because it contained no flour or leavening, so could be enjoyed during Passover. It spread across Europe through the Jewish community and quickly became popular as a year-round sweet.
If you’re interested in finding out more about these iconic desserts, why not join our expert pastry chefs, Graham and Rose Dunton, for a hands-on one-day course which will teach the secrets of producing stunning meringues and macaroons.
Graham and Rose have a wealth of experience, perfected over many years of producing patisserie for some of the world's finest hotels and restaurants.
Throughout the course, you will learn the techniques and methods used to create delicious macarons, macaroons and meringues, such as mixing, using a Bain Marie and meringue types.