Macarons are really quite delightful to look at. They come in different colors, whether bright rainbows or subtle pastels, and are loved by both children and adults alike.
However beautiful macarons look, most of the emphasis is put onto their taste. If you’ve never had one before, you’re seriously missing out.
So, what do macarons taste like? Macarons come in many different flavors, which of course affect their taste, but macarons should have a basic sweetness that is not too overpowering, and a slight nuttiness from the almond flour. They should be slightly crunchy on the ouside and a bit soft and chewy on the inside.
The perfect macaron can be difficult to come by. To help you better understand macarons, their texture, and what they taste like, we have listed just about everything there is to know!
What Are Macarons?
Macarons originated in France, and are an almond-flour-based confection.
Very similar to meringues, macarons are made with a base of egg white and sugar, with the signature addition of almond flour.
The beauty of macarons is in their chewy and soft texture, but also the range of flavors that they come in. Macarons have a thin filling of cream or jam between two layers sandwiched together.
With a soft and chewy inside, a delicious filling, and a crunchy texture on the outside, macarons are popular around the world and are considered quite a delicacy.
As macarons are made with almond flour, they are gluten-free, and this means that people on a range of diets and restrictions can enjoy their delicious flavors.
Making macarons takes some finesse and effort. Finding the perfect balance of sweetness and the perfect chewy and soft texture is quite a fine art.
However, getting it right means that you will have the most delicious treat to enjoy, in just about any flavor you could dream of!
What Does A Macaron Taste Like?
Macarons have an amazing balance of sweetness. They will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth, but they aren’t overpowering. The taste of a macaron is also highlighted with the subtle nuttiness that comes from the use of almond flour.
The base flavor of a macaron is sweet and slightly nutty, but it is the added flavors that really make macarons as interesting as they are. There is such a wide range of flavors that you could choose from, from salted caramel or chocolate, to pistachios and fruit.
The flavor added to a macaron is the biggest factor in how the treat tastes, but this flavor should still be balanced with the sweetness of the macaron.
A similar tasting treat would be a meringue, as both a meringue and a macaron are made with egg whites and sugar, with different ingredients added in later on. The texture between the two is very similar as well.
It is important to note that while macarons are a sweet treat, there should be no lingering sweetness left in the back of your throat when enjoying one.
A macaron that is too sweet was not made properly, and the sweetness should never overpower the other flavors of the macaron.
The beauty of macarons is that you can play with so many different flavors!
The Texture Of Macarons
As important as the taste of a macaron is, the texture is truly the test of a good macaron. Perfecting the texture takes some patience and a bit of experimenting.
In fact, even professional chefs may make macarons differently from region to region, as the process can be affected by certain factors such as humidity and elevation.
Macarons should be lightweight, with the center of the macaron being chewy and soft, but not mushy or to moist. The outside of the macaron should have a slight crunch but should give away easily to the soft and chewy center.
Between two layers is a filling of either jam, buttercream, or ganache, which helps to add a little moisture and sweetness to the macaron as well.
Macarons should not be heavy or leave you feeling full after enjoying one or two. Their soft and chewy texture should be light and easy to eat, with the balance of sweetness and flavors making it a delightful treat.
The Basics Of A Good Macaron
While there are different variations of macarons, there are still the basics that a good macaron should have, no matter the color or flavor.
Here are some things that make a good macaron:
- The ratio of the cookie and the filling of a macaron should be around 2:1, or a little less when it comes to filling. There should be more than a thin, spread-out layer of filling, but not too much that it oozes out. This filling adds so much flavor to the macaron; there should be enough to enjoy so it doesn’t end up being dry!
- The surface of a macaron should be smooth. If there are bumps along the surface of the macaron, it shows that the almond flour was not ground down enough, or wasn’t sifted enough. The taste won’t be too affected, but it should be a smooth texture.
- The filling of the macaron should be smooth too. It shouldn’t be too thick and should be light. The filling should not spill out or squish out of the macaron sandwich, so while it should provide a delicious layer between the two cookies, it should be firm enough to stick to the cookies and not leak out.
- The crust of the macaron should be slightly crispy and shiny, but it should not be thick. The crust should be thin and just enough to hold the inside of the soft and chewy cookie. It should not shatter and ruin the inside of the macaron when you take a bite.
- The inside of the macaron needs to be soft and chewy, but it should not be mushy. It should not be wet or sticky, and while it can look slightly uncooked, it should be light and a little soft.
- A sugary sweet flavor of a macaron should be bearable and just noticeable. If the sweetness is overpowering, then it is a sign that something has gone wrong. The sweetness should not overpower the flavor of the macaron, and you should be able to taste each different dimension that the macaron has.
The Most Popular Macaron Flavors
Being able to experiment with many different flavors has allowed us to experience some amazing flavor combinations. There is probably a macaron for every flavor you can think up, so it can be difficult finding your favorite!
However, with all the favorites available, there are some clear favorites. Here are some of the most popular and delicious macaron flavors to try:
- Pistachio – Pistachio is an absolutely delicious macaron flavor! It is nutty, slightly salty, creamy, and perfectly balanced out with the sweetness of the macaron.
- Raspberry – Raspberry is a great flavor for many things, but it is especially great as a macaron. What makes raspberry macarons so great is their jam filling, which adds the perfect tart and sweet juiciness to the macaron.
- Coffee – The rich notes of coffee, and a coffee crème filling makes for the perfectly decadent macaron, which is especially great as a tea time treat.
- Almond – Almond is the original macaron flavor, with the added almond notes only working to highlight the almond flour, all rounded off with a subtle sweetness and creamy filling.
- Passionfruit – Nothing is as fresh and summery as passionfruit, and this flavor makes for a light and refreshing macaron that is particularly delicious in the summertime.
- Strawberry – Strawberry macarons taste like your childhood all in one bite. The sweet, juicy strawberry flavor is brought out even more with a delicious cream filling. The perfect blend of strawberries and cream.
- Lemon – Tart and sweet, lemon macarons are ideal if you are not wanting something too sweet or too heavy. The sourness of the lemon is balanced out by the creamy filling.
- Salted Caramel – If you are wanting something a little more decadent, but not too sweet, salted caramel is the macaron flavor for you. The caramel is highlighted with flakey sea salt and a rich filling.
- Chocolate – You just can’t go wrong with chocolate, and a soft, chewy chocolate macaron with a chocolate ganache filling is simply amazing!
- Hazelnut – Hazelnut macarons have a subtle flavor, and are best suited for when you want something nutty and not too sweet.
- Lavender – Lavender is a popular scent, but it is also a delicious macaron flavor. Lavender macarons are floral and light and centered with a lovely crème filling.
- Vanilla – Vanilla is a classic flavor for sugary treats of all kinds, and for many, vanilla is their favorite macaron flavor. The simple scent and flavor of vanilla is a lovely compliment to virtually anything, and with a vanilla buttercream, these macarons are perfect for any treat time.
- Rose – Rose flavored macarons might not be to everyone’s taste, but they are floral and unique, with a subtle buttercream filling.
- Apricot – If you are a fan of apricots, there is no doubt you will be a fan of apricot macarons! Fruity, fresh, and ideal for a summer’s day treat.
A big factor in a macaron’s taste is the filling. Often, the filling is suited to the flavor of the macaron, but there are some popular filling choices that go well with different flavors.
The different types of macaron fillings include buttercream, jams, curds, chocolate, and even jelly. As long as the filling is thick enough to not spill out of the macaron when sandwiched together, it is fine to use.
You need to stay away from moist fillings, as these can make the macaron shells soggy, and this just ruins the texture. These wet fillings will also run out of the macaron when it is sandwiched together.
Here are some other popular macaron fillings:
- Chocolate ganache
- Pistachio cream
- Raspberry buttercream
- Orange cream
- Vanilla buttercream
- Lemon curd
- White chocolate ganache
- Strawberry jelly
The Difference Between Macarons And Macaroons
Macarons vs. macaroons – it’s easy to see why people might get confused between the two.
While the names are fairly similar, the two treats are quite different, although both come from a cookie made with egg whites, almonds, and flour. “Maccherone” is the Italian word for fine dough, which is where the names come from.
Macarons are meringue-based cookies, sandwiched together and filled with a buttercream or ganache. Macarons are made with almond flour, egg whites, food coloring, and confectioner’s sugar.
On the other hand, macaroons are drop cookies that are made with shredded coconut, sugar, egg whites, and added flavorings such as vanilla. They can also include ground almonds or sweetened condensed milk, depending on the recipe you are using.
Macarons and macaroons sound similar and have similar ingredients, but each has a unique taste and texture and definitely deserve to be appreciated as individual treats!
How To Make Macarons
Making macarons does take some skill and patience, but the little meringue-based cookies are worth the work.
When making macarons, you would come across two different methods. First is the French method, which consists of the egg whites being beaten until stiff peaks form, and second is the Italian method where the egg whites are whipped up with syrup to make the meringue.
Once the egg whites have been whipped, the dry ingredients are folded in and the mixture is placed in a piping bag and then piped onto a baking sheet. This is then left to cool until a skin forms on the tops, which takes around an hour, and then the macarons are baked.
Once baked and cooled, the filling is placed between two shells and sandwiched together.
It is so important to follow the recipe and measurements exactly when making macarons, or else they will not turn out right. A little bit of patience and determination will soon see you with perfectly baked and shaped macarons!
If you decide to make some for yourself, you may want to check out our article for how to store macarons for later so you can get the most out of your delicious batch of colorful confections.
For a full tutorial with some fantastic tips and tricks to make pefect macarons every time, we found a great video from the Preppy Kitchen channel on YouTube.
Are Macarons Chewy Or Crunchy?
Macarons are supposed to be both chewy and a little crunchy. The outer shell of a macaron should be crispy but thin, with the inside of a macaron being soft and chewy. Together, they make for the perfect bite!
Are Macarons Supposed To Taste Like Almonds?
Macarons are made using almond flour, and some might think this gives them a very strong almond taste.
While macarons do have a slight almond flavor, it is not overpowering or too strong, and often the flavor of the macaron is highlighted more.
The almond flour does however give a good nuttiness to the macaron, no matter how subtle.
Why Are Macarons So Expensive?
Macarons are slightly more expensive than other treats because they use more expensive ingredients, and quite a bit of time and effort goes into making them. The different flavors and added ingredients can all add up.
Why Are My Macarons Not Chewy?
If you have made macarons at home and they have not turned out chewy, it could be that you have overbaked them and left them in the oven for too long.
However, sometimes this could cause them to be too chewy, so you really have to be careful with following the recipe and the correct timing as best as possible. The smallest mistake could ruin them!