Learn the Art of Making French Macarons in Paris

It was embarrassingly recent that I learned the difference between macaroons and macarons. The first being the chewy, coconut mound of deliciousness and the latter being the colorful sandwich style cookie known predominantly as a French confection.

I am a fan of both. I never discriminate when it comes to cookies.

But, we were traveling through in Paris which meant that this would be a more practical place to learn how to make macarons, not macaroons. Of course afterwards, there would need to be a taste testing battle against two of the most famous macaron shops in town.
Macarons in Paris, France

Though the macaron’s true origin is uncertain, the French macaron cookies have been nationally acclaimed in France and are the best-selling cookie in confectionary shops. That’s a good enough reason for me to want to learn how to bake them.

Peter and I showed up for our lesson at Cook’n with Class, in the heart of Montmartre, ready to learn the art of making this delicate confection. And to indulge a little too.

There were three different types of macarons that we would be to making: caramel beurre salée, raspberry jam and black currant with passion fruit.

The fours students in the class started with making the filling. With a bit of whisking, folding and heating the flavorful insides were complete and put in the fridge to chill while the cookie shells were prepared.
Making Macarons in Paris, France Making Macarons in Paris

The technique for making the macaron shell was more detailed, precise and time consuming.

Now I know why they cost so much at the pastry shops.

But, with lots of guidance we completed the recipe and using a pastry bag we were instructed how to expertly pipe dollops of dough on parchment paper.

Then into the oven they went. I stared through the window mesmerized as they slowly began to rise.

Truth be told, when they came out of the oven I was surprised at how perfectly shaped they were. Success.
Making Macarons in Paris Making Macarons in Paris

We delicately assembled our macarons and packed about a dozen cookies into a box for us to take with us. Though a few didn’t actually make into the box, they made a pit stop into my mouth.

These pastry chefs needed to critique their work…and their work was really good. 

But, it was hard to tell what a perfect macaron was suppose to taste like unless we had something to compare it to. Lots of research had to be added to this already tasty food experience. Enter inner city traveling to Pierre Hermé and Lâdurée, two of the most famous macaron shops in France.

I was all up for a macaron taste testing battle if it meant eating more cookies. So, we first popped into the modern Pierre Hermé, named after a man who has been called the pastry provocateur and the Picasso of Pastry.  I ordered one Truffle Blanche & Noisette macaron (white truffle with hazelnut) for 2,05 €. It was crunchier than our homemade version, with a more unique flavor profile. Quite tasty, but not necessarily better.
Pierre Herme Macarons in Paris Pierre Herme Macarons in Paris, France

At Lâdurée, a company that has been making macarons since 1862, I ordered a pink pepper macaron with a grey shell. This one was chewier than ours, but again not better.
Laduree Macarons in Paris Macarons in Paris, France

All that cookie eating and there was still no clear winner in the bunch. Pierre Hermé was crunchier, Lâdurée was chewier and ours landed in middle. I believe it would be a good idea to test another round…

Where is your favorite macaron from? Will learning to bake macarons be added your bucket list?

Read More Bucket List Worthy Things to do in Paris

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Bucket List Itinerary: 12 Hours in Lyon, France
See the Carrières de Lumières Art Show in the South of France
23 South of France Photos to Inspire Your Bucket List
Take a Christmas Market Cruise Along the Rhine River
Attend Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France
Get Spooked at the Catacombs in Paris

2017-04-28T16:20:28+00:00 April 6th, 2014|Categories: Europe, FOOD, France, TRAVEL|Tags: , , , |

34 Comments

  1. Jen April 7, 2014 at 1:57 am - Reply

    What a cool experience Annette! I absolutely adore macarons with the best I have had coming from Laduree in Paris. I just discovered the other day that there is a Laduree store opened in Sydney and I nearly died! I’ve tried making them myself and while they tasted good they didn’t look anything like the picture in the recipe book.

  2. Ruth2Day April 7, 2014 at 3:45 am - Reply

    I can so relate to this great blog as I also attended a macaroon class in Cape town at the Lindt studio last November. It was great fun, and a lot more tricky than I expected, but oh so very good to much afterwards

  3. learn french April 7, 2014 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    SOOOO GOOOOOOD!!! I love La durée!!! I am sure your macaron were really good 😉

  4. Jasmine Brown April 7, 2014 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Likewise I’ve always thought macarons was the same as macaroons that I have tried. I thought that they were just too lazy spelling the word out.lol! Now that I know that they are different.

    • Annette White April 8, 2014 at 7:21 am - Reply

      I agree! I always knew what a macaroon was because they were one of my favorites, but I thought that macaron was just a different spelling!

  5. Sucheta April 8, 2014 at 8:30 am - Reply

    The best ones I ever had were at a bakery called Paillard in Quebec City. Absolutely to die for! Some places in Montreal are a close second.

  6. Jonathan Look, Jr. April 8, 2014 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    I am not normally a big dessert fan but these look delicious. Okay, well I pretend not to like dessert but eat it whenever it is offered! I didn’t know the difference between macaroons and macaronss either. Now I think I am expert!

    • Annette White April 9, 2014 at 6:53 am - Reply

      I don’t even pretend to not like dessert! I probably should, so people will stop offering it up 😉

  7. Michelle April 9, 2014 at 7:17 am - Reply

    Oh cool! I’d love to learn how to make macarons!! I love them although they are pretty expensive! I’ve never had them when I was in Paris but the best ones I’ve had were actually in Prague…they had these big ones that were like a small cake and they were so amazing!

    • Annette White April 9, 2014 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      I think I would enjoy macarons that are the size of a small cake!

  8. Taylor April 9, 2014 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Oh those look delicious. I would love to get to try one.

  9. J in Beijing April 10, 2014 at 4:20 am - Reply

    Oh wow- heaven. I don’t know what it is about macarons that make every girl swoon ha, but they are so cute and I love the melt in the mouth texture. I used to teach at a school with a lot of French children in London and I would get amazing boxes of macarons for presents!

    • Annette White April 10, 2014 at 7:55 am - Reply

      Now that would be the perfect present! Forget the roses, give me macarons!

  10. Rachel April 10, 2014 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Weirdly, I just had a conversation this week with a Thai-American friend who insisted she’d just made macaroons and had loved them.

    I couldn’t figure out why she would have done as she hates coconut :), and then it dawned on me – er, yep, macarons.

    Oh and, yes, I like both as well, but I’d choose macaroons over macarons if I was forced to, just because I love coconut so much!

    • Annette White April 10, 2014 at 10:57 am - Reply

      It’d be a tough choice, but I may have to choose macaroons too for the same reason as you 🙂

  11. Hamish Healys April 11, 2014 at 3:22 am - Reply

    This is embarrassing. I didn’t know the difference between macaroons and macarons. Now I know. And you’re in Paris to learn how to make macarons? Wow! You’re not going to Rome to learn how to do a pizza, right?

    • Annette White April 11, 2014 at 7:00 am - Reply

      I am going to Italy to learn how to make pasta. Does that count? 😉

  12. estherjulee April 11, 2014 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    ooh how fun! my friend recently took a macaron class and she told me she would share what she learned with me after she buys a scale that measures in grams. I had no idea you had to be so precise you had to be. I actually prefer eating many other types of cookies over macarons, but i do love them because they are so photogenic. 🙂

    • Annette White April 12, 2014 at 8:04 am - Reply

      How precise you have to be while baking is absolutely why I prefer other types of cooking. I like to just throw handfuls and pinches of stuff into a pan to create something yummy! So, I may only buy macarons from here on out 😉

  13. rebecca April 18, 2014 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    haha sounds like a great job to become a professional Macaron baker and tester 😛

    • Annette White April 19, 2014 at 1:55 am - Reply

      I’ll be the tester! The baking part would be much too precise for me to do every day 🙂

  14. Cindy May 2, 2014 at 11:34 pm - Reply

    Macarons are amongst the hardest cookies to bake, not to make but litteraly to bake. You need perfect oven temperature and perfect cooking time ! I have to say most French don’t bother making them, we just buy them 😀

  15. MACH May 8, 2014 at 6:48 am - Reply

    Normally gray looks off putting as food but even the gray one looks delicious! thanks for sharing.

    • Annette White May 8, 2014 at 6:57 am - Reply

      I completely agree, this is one gray food that made my mouth water 🙂

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  18. Milena Yordanova July 9, 2014 at 1:31 am - Reply

    Such a great experience! The macarons are one of my favorite things in Paris. Yours look lovely. I have to try to bake macarons 🙂

    • Annette White July 9, 2014 at 4:53 pm - Reply

      Not only do the macarons taste delicious in Paris, but they are so pretty with all the different colors.

  19. AliceEspai July 25, 2014 at 12:01 am - Reply

    Haha I didn’t even know there was a diference between macaroons and macarons. I’m a big baking fan and I found this post while searching for recipes. Sounds like quite a challenge for an amateur like me but we’ll give it a try.
    Inspiring blog by the way! You’re so lucky!

  20. Elyse June 10, 2015 at 12:33 am - Reply

    How far in advance did you need to book the cooking class? A lot of places I was checking were sold out.

    • Annette White June 10, 2015 at 7:37 am - Reply

      I think it was about two weeks. But, i also didn’t go to Paris during peak travel season, so that may have been a factor.

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