Tuesday 20 August 2013

Cupcakes Out; Macaroons In

I’m so over cupcakes

Sure, they are pretty with swirls of pastel, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth icing.  But enough.  I’m done with the cupcake television shows—do we really need them? Are we all wiser for watching cupcakes wage war on each other?  Has everyone rushed out to buy red velvet cake mix? Really.  I’m so over cupcakes.

But we need something sweet and pretty and dainty to fill our souls and warm our hearts. Do we not? What then is the new cupcake? Macaroons perhaps?  Yes.  Look around.  They are everywhere.

Macaroons—crispy meringue outside; soft buttercream or ganache inside. They are candy heaven in every bite.   Usually presented in tight little lines, like soldiers just waiting for their marching orders—come to me my pretties—they instantly make you feel oh-so-continental. Stare at them long enough and scenes from Moulin Rouge will start scrolling through your mind. 

Just biting into one of these little treats makes you feel special in a raise-your-pinky-finger kind of way.  You don’t chomp at a macaroon. You indulge in it, taking one small bit at a time, savouring its delicateness.  Compare that to taking a whomph bite out of a cupcake, which inevitably always leaves the tip of your nose covered in icing, and that right there is never an attractive sight.
There is debate about where the macaroon originated.  Some believe Italy. Others hold firm to the belief that it was created in Cormery in central France in 1791.  There is a distinct difference between the Italian and the French version.  Italian macaroons tend to be a little heavier and sweeter due to use of hot syrup.  The French macaroon calls for granular sugar, which makes the macaroon lighter.   The French recipe, is the one adopted internationally. 

So, you are in Toronto and craving a macaroon.  Where do you go?

If you are downtown, head to Petit Thuet where you will find more than 12 varieties including rose water, hazelnut and raspberry. You will also find a tower of macaroons, if that is how you wish to take them home.

Slightly more uptown, check out The Cake Opera Company.  Flavours such as pistachio, coffee and roasted hazelnut await you.

In Yorkville, indulge your taste buds at Morocco Chocolat where you can customize and personalize your macaroons.

At La Bamboche on Avenue Road, you will find exciting flavours such as Caramel Sea Salt, Crème de Cassis, Green Tea and Mango, and their Mystery macaroon.  It’s an adventure. Go for it.

If you can’t get to any of these, but your local supermarket has a great bakery, you will most likely find them there.  Loblaws for example, in the old Maple Leaf Garden building has a great selection.

Time to wipe the icing off your nose, make a cup-a-tea and embrace the elegance of the macaroon.  You’ll thank me later. 


  1. Wow! It is looking so yummy; I just want to eat this cake. Buy the latest cupcake decorating supplies online to make unique design candy.