Macaron Magic

Similar to the flavor explosion spawned by America’s cupcake craze a decade ago, French macarons are the new platform for widespread experimentation of unique flavor combinations in the dessert world. Tropical fruits, teas, espressos, liqueurs and other bold flavors are making their way into macaron fillings, and customers appear hungry for more. Macarons are one of the hottest trends going at bakeries and patisseries.

This meringue-based confectionery is made from a mixture of egg whites, almond powder, icing sugar and sugar. They are filled with creams or ganache. Traditional French macarons date back nearly 400 years to the 1660 wedding of King Louis XIV of France and Marie Therese.

San Francisco’s Tout Sweet Pâtisserie— a partnership between Top Chef Just Desserts winner Yigit Pura and Taste Catering and Event Planning’s co-owners, MeMe Pederson and Janet Griggs — features macarons in flavors such as Aztec spiced chocolate and Raspberry and Wu Long Rouge Tea.

In Seattle, pastry chef/owner Neil Robertson of Crumble & Flake Patisserie is pushing the envelope of macaron magic with unusual flavors derived from everything from aged balsamic to black currants or lavender.

Chicago’s Bennison’s Bakery unveiled new holiday flavors for the Christmas season, including gingerbread and egg nog.

So it is anything but plain to see that plain flavors of macarons may no longer cut it with today’s consumers, who more often are seeking out adventure in their desserts and flocking to bakeries and patisseries that satisfy their cravings for unique flavor combinations.

Fun flavors of macarons across the nation

Bennison’s Bakery ― Chicago

Gingerbread

Egg nog

Salted caramel

Rose

Passion fruit

Crumble & Flake Seattle

Grapefruit

Milk chocolate and lavender

Pistachio and cherry

Strawberry cheesecake

Black currant and violet

Cupcakes Cubed ― Dallas

Snickerdoodle

Cotton Candy

Orange Dreamcicle

Espresso

German Chocolate

La Maison du Macaron ― New York City

Lemon champagne

Fig and aged sweet cherry balsamic

Apple calvados

Banana bread

Poached pear red wine

Macaron Queen ―Atlanta

Mango white chocolate

Peanut butter

Grand Marnier

Orange Blossom

Pomegranate

Tout Sweet Patisserie ― San Francisco

Tahitian vanilla bean

Pearl jasmine

Apricot and St. Germain liqueur

Aztec spiced chocolate

Raspberry and Wu Long Rouge Tea