There’s nothing more sublime than a bite from a macaron. This sweet treat is the top of approachable gastronomic luxury, divine pleasure, guilty or not, Paris’s favorite dessert and the number one attraction in the world’s top pastry windows.
But behind pastel shades and delicate textures, there is true art, supported by a science that draws its inspiration from sweets, flavors, and unexpected but sublime sensations.
Macarons did not become a business until the beginning of the 20th century. Initially, macarons were served as cake, but the growing popularity, with the advent of so many flavors and creams, made this dessert more and more desirable and commercialized.
Today it is sold in dozens of flavors, from caramel to strawberries, and the creams are increasingly interesting, even with bacon, foie gras, and matcha. In France, however, there are a few cities where macarons are made by pastry chefs and sold only in the original version.
What are macarons?
Macarons is a very fine meringue dessert, prepared from almond flour, sugar or sweeteners, egg whites, and ganache, the filling. It consists of an almond flour dough cooked in the meringue style, perfectly balanced with the slightly crispy exterior and soft interior, and filled with cream of various refined flavors. The cookies are slightly damp and melt easily in the mouth. Macarons can be found in a wide variety of flavors, ranging from raspberries and chocolate to pistachio.
There are two main methods for making a macaron: the French and Italian methods. The difference between the two is how the meringue is made. Initially, the dessert consisted only of “coating”, as Pierre Desfontaines later had the idea of adding ganache.
The name comes from the Italian Maccarone, referring to the fluffy texture of the meringue.
It is among the few gluten-free desserts as the original recipe is prepared only from almond flour.
The standard size of a macaron is between 3.5 and 4 cm, although there are smaller ones, known as mini-macarons, and larger ones. Usually, on the market, you will find those standard macarons in size. We think this is the right version of the macaron because each is eaten in 2 to 3 bites. Because of this size, they are neither large nor small.
How Much Do Macarons Cost?
The cost of macarons is from $1.5 to $4, or even more, for a single piece. A box of macarons will probably cost you way more than you might expect.
Macarons are expensive and prices vary widely depending on the location and bakery, but in the United States, the average cost for a single macaron is from $2 to $3, while a box of 6 macarons is around $12 to $14. Most bakeries charge for a dozen macarons $25 – $30, with an average of $28.
Why are Ladurée macarons so expensive?
It’s no wonder that Ladurée advertises in the pages of Vogue and Elle, right next to the latest generation of dresses, jewelry, and designer bags. These are designer desserts, after all. But this type of real estate marketing costs money, which contributes even more to why their macarons have such a high price.
Where to buy the best macarons
Laduree Paris is the most famous macaron bakery in Paris. The price for a box of a dozen macarons starts from $45.
Bouchon Bakery has macarons made by Chef Thomas Keller. Here, a classy box of six macarons has a price tag of $55.
La Fournette has authentic French macarons made by Pierre Zimmermann, a world baking champion. At La Fournette the price of macarons starts from $55 per dozen.
Sucré is a sweets shop from New Orleans. The price for a box of 8 delicious macarons starts from $55.
How much does it cost to make a homemade macaron?
If you want to try to make macarons at home, the cost will depend on the quality of the ingredients you use. A low price will cost around $0.30 for a single macaron, up to $0.50/$0.60 per pastry.
How much does it cost to make a dozen of macarons?
Here is a sample of the cost of ingredients and the cost of making macarons:
- Almond flour $0.97
- Eggs $0.38
- Sugar powdered $0.16
- Sugar granulated $0.08
- Cream of tartar $0.02
- Couverture Chocolate $0.98
- Cream $0.3
- Total $3,75/DOZEN
- Total for a homemade macaron $0.31
The most expensive macaron
Baking macarons require a high level of pastry expertise.
The price and quality of ingredients will definitely influence the final taste.
Macarons require to make a long time. To make a batch of macarons, from scratch to the final product, takes around 2 hours more or less.
Another important factor is the prestige of the pastry, the bakery that sells macarons.
Whether French or Italian, macarons are delicious. For a long time, it was not known exactly what ingredients they contain and why macarons are so expensive. According to gastronomy sites, there are restaurants in the world that sell this dessert for $7,000 a serving. It seems that the incredible secret required to make macarons is almond flour, which gives it a perfect refinement and taste, but even so, it is exorbitant. In French pastry shops, a macaron costs an average of $2.5.
The French region is famous all over the world due to the great macarons. However, you should know that in the most luxurious restaurant in Paris, you can order the Macarons Haute Couture dessert, a sweet created from more special ingredients, completely unknown even today, ingredients that make this dessert cost even $ 7,500.
The most expensive macaron ever was sold at the Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami, Florida, for $9,000. The prestigious macaron was made with edible 24-karat gold and white tea and served in a crystal box.
Best macarons in Paris
- Dalloyau – $3 per macaron
- Pierre Hermé – $3.5 per macaron
- Fauchon – $4 per macaron
- Angelina – $3 per macaron
- Carette – $3 per macaron
- Ladurée – $3 per macaron
- Maison Mulot – $3 per macaron
- Jean-Paul Hévin – $1.5 per macaron
- Sadaharu Aoki – $2 per macaron
- Carl Marletti – $4.5 per macaron
Are macarons French or Italian?
Their ancestor appears to be a simple cookie, made from almond flour, egg whites, and sugar, traditionally made in Italy and brought to France by the Italian chefs of French Queen Catherine de’ Medici. Since 1533, during the reign of King Henry II of France, the macaron became an extremely popular product up until the macaron we know today.
The name comes from the Italian language, from the same Maccherone which gave the name of macaroni or macaroons (pasta with cheese), meaning „ fine dough”. Almond cookies entered the French kitchens, but they became known only in the years of the French Revolution.
Then, two nuns took refuge in Nancy due to political unrest and began selling these desserts for a living. They became known as les Soeurs Macarons, the „ Macarons sisters”.
Overcoming some fame, the cookies also reached the chic confectioneries in Paris, including that of Mr. Louis-Ernest Laduree in the city of Paris. Today, the name of the miller who became the owner of the bakery and confectionery is already a symbol in the world of French gastronomy and inseparable from the universe of colorful macarons.
In its confectionery opened since 1862, in the ’30s of the last century, his nephew had the idea to stick two macaron shells with ganache cream and to prepare them with various flavors. Success was instantaneous, and today Ladurée is the most famous macarons brand in the world, with boutiques on all continents.
How long can you keep them?
Technically, they can last for a few days in the refrigerator, although pastry shops recommend that you keep them no longer than a week, and some flavors resist even a few days outside the refrigerator. But ideally, you should consume them on the same day after purchase or the next day.
Many of the customers of this dessert prefer “rested” macarons for one or two days in the fridge before eating them.
A very important thing, besides keeping them in the refrigerator, is to leave them at room temperature between 10 and 15 minutes before consuming them so that they are not very tough when you eat them and also you can feel the flavors and fine texture of these delicious and fine sweets.
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