Ever since Adriana Zumbo appeared on Masterchef earlier this year the macaron has been everywhere. Some of my favourite bloggers have made dozens of variations of macarons - have a look at Tartelette's recipe index.
However, I remember enjoying these little coconut biscuits all over France, Belgium and Luxembourg in 2004 and not paying terribly much for the pleasure! These days I can't find a macaron in Melbourne for less than $2.40 (although not so long ago $2 per piece was standard - inflation I guess)
My ideal biscuit? A crisp outer shell with lots of soft coconut goodness underneath before a delicious, creamy, flavourful filling - not overfilled though.
Unfortunately most places get it wrong. Too often there is too much air between the crisp outer shell and the soft biscuit, or even worse, no softness at all. Overfilling is also a problem. To my mind this means that the biscuit is not good enough and the bakery is relying on the filling. Really, a balance of the crispness, the softness and the creaminess is essential.
I don't intend on reviewing every macaron maker in Melbourne (my new home town) but I do seem to be drawn to them at the moment, so expect a few. I'm even considering taking a class and learning how to make macarons. I expect that once I have done that (and learnt how tricky they are to make) I will be more forgiving of the cafes that don't make them perfectly every time