Why Are Macarons So Expensive?
What are Macarons?
Macarons are a famous French dessert. They are sandwich-like cookies with delicious filling. The filling can be made from anything that can sandwich the two cookies together, from caramel, jam to buttercream frosting. Macarons may take a bit of time to make. They are much better than the average cookies especially when they have a delicious filling such as caramel and chocolate.
The name macaron comes from the Italian name Macaroon. If we were to take its literal translation, it means soft dough. Macarons should not be confused with Macaroons. The two pastries are different not only in looks but also in taste and the way that they are made.
There is nothing quite like that first bite into a delicious macaron. That crispy outer texture with that sweet, gooey middle wrapped around a hearty icing is enough to make anyone's mouth water. You have to wonder what makes them so good and what goes into making them.
There's a reason that macarons are not an “everyday treat”, not only from a pricing standpoint but also because they are quite deceiving and naughty.
And who says macarons need to be round? You can be creative and create heart-shaped macarons and macarons in other types of shapes too. How about a lollipop macaron or macaron sandwich? You can also use them to decorate your cakes too. There are many creative macaron recipes and designs you can try today. So don't restrict yourself to thinking macarons should only be in its traditional shape but it can be in many others too.
What goes into making macarons?
As you would expect, anything that takes this good can't be without sugar. Macarons are no exception, with several different types of sugar used in the process of making them, not to mention the butter and salt that goes into them also. However, you can use organic unsalted butter and sugar alternative such as stevia powder, which is a natural sugar sweetener to make healthier yet delicious macarons.
Depending on the flavour or type of macaron, the ingredients will vary from white chocolate and gold flakes for golden macarons to sea salt and brown sugar for salted caramel macarons. There are a whole plethora of different sorts of macarons you can make, and your imagination only limits you. My personal favourite happens to be pistachio flavour, mmm yummy!
What are the things you need to know about making macarons?
First, you need to have the right baking equipment and good quality basic ingredients which include creaming butter, margarine, vegetable oil and powdered sugar. For a healthier recipe, you can replace margarine with unsalted organic butter and reduce the amount of sugar used by substituting it with pure stevia.
You can start off by learning from YouTube videos. There are many videos on making macarons so you can get an idea how it is made at a high level or before you decide if making macarons is something you want to pursue learning.
Once you have a glimpse of the process, you can pick up some hands-on experience and learn step by step techniques in making the French macarons. It is essential to experience making macarons in a real life kitchen and also participate in the actual making of the French pastry in a hands-on macaron baking class as opposed to watching it being made on TV to practice after all.
You can be creative and make different colour meringue shells and master the art of making the buttercream that makes the macarons taste all so delicious.
You can also make special flavour macarons such as chilli chocolate, chai masala, blue ginger with lychee, strawberry and matcha and cheese with durian. Yes, some of these combinations might seem unusual, but they do taste delicious. Isn't this makes baking fun? You get to experience the new taste and create your signature dessert!
How are macarons made?
The main reason macarons are on the expensive side is how much work, skill, and effort go into actually making them.
It starts off by making a meringue for the outer shells of the macaron. This is a complicated process which involves dissolving the sugars and syrup with water, whisking egg whites, slowly pouring the sugar solution into the egg whites which continuously stirring. The stirring has to continue until the mixture is cool.
There are nine steps in finishing the shell batter and a further eight steps involved in making the filling to put in between the shells once they cool off. All in all, there are 22 steps involved in making macarons from scratch. We will talk more about this in our next blog. So watch out in this space.
What are the skills needed to make great macarons?
Creating delicious macarons takes time, dedication, the right equipment and the right pastry skills.
You need to know your way around the kitchen and be able to use the tools correctly as cooking pastries take a lot of skill. You will need to use items like a kitchen hand, whisker, scales, oven, stove, piping bag, etc.
There are other skills like separating egg yolks and whites and how to age your egg whites (this is important).
Timing is also critical, so you are better off studying a recipe in advance because different ingredients cook at different times, so you will have to plan what you are doing before you start.
It is also a good idea to get to know your equipment and understand how it all works and what results it will produce. This preparation will pay off in the end as making macarons is difficult enough on its own. It is also a good idea to get to know your equipment and understand how it all works and what results it will produce. This preparation will pay off in the end as making macarons is difficult enough on its own.
You most probably won't get it right the first time, but that’s ok. Making macarons is a skill and requires practice and repetition to get it right. This is the main reason they are so expensive to buy.
Benefits of taking hands-on baking classes
Attending hands-on baking classes that help understand the effective pastry making techniques can be fun activities that can be enjoyed as part of a group and it also gives you a chance to learn from others. Here are the reasons why.
- Teamwork! You can collaborate, work together to prepare these delicious cookies that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
- Hidden talent. Unleash your hidden talent and passion by taking this 2-day course in making French macarons. Some people never know that they have that special hidden talent until they expose themselves to such an experience.
- No cleaning up! The greatest thing about taking these classes is that you do not have to clean up afterwards! We all love food, we love to eat, but we hate the cleaning up that comes later. The best part about taking a hands-on cooking class is the fact that you get to make all the mess that you want without having to worry about cleaning up!
- Learning the right skills! This is a chance for participants to improve their cooking skills, and this will provide a platform for them to discover what you do know and what you do not find out when it comes to making French pastries!
- Food tasting! Unlike watching the pastries being made on the television, participants get to taste the food being prepared and perfect their skills in class with the help of the learning instructors.
- Asking Questions! Smaller class sizes do contribute to improving your cooking skills a lot quicker because participants can receive one on one coaching from the cooking instructors that help to improve and perfect your cooking technique.
- Access the right class! These classes are suitable for beginners as well as intermediate or even those that have advanced cooking skills and just want to improve on the existing cooking skills that they have!
- Get subsidised Funding! A lot of cooking classes are claimable under the SkillsFuture scheme which makes them less expensive for you. Remember to check this out before enrolling into the hands-on class.
We hope you have enjoyed this blog post. On the next blog, we will share with you the techniques in making macarons in more detail. Have a great weekend!
Cooking Class Foodie Lover
P.S. Cooking Class Singapore brings a vast variety of cooking and baking classes to your fingertips.
Fill out our enquiry form to find out the class schedule for our next Macarons Making Classes.