I Heart Macarons, by Hisako Ogita

I Heart Macarons, by Hisako Ogita on I Heart Macarons, by Hisako Ogita
As you can tell from my posting spree this week, I have a little love affair with the macaron. So when I Love Macarons by Hisako Ogita came up for presale on Amazon, I added it to my cart immediately. Here’s a funny thing about macarons – they’ve become really popular with Japanese chefs, who are taking this elegant little cookie to new heights.


First, a bit about the book itself: it’s thin. This book is only 80 pages long. I guess I was hoping for a Tome de Hermé, but macarons are a fairly simple recipe that requires a lot of personal precision, so I guess it makes sense that you wouldn’t need to dedicate a few hundred pages to the process.

Second, I love the photos. I’m such a sucker for colorful photos, especially photos of macarons, and this book is full of them. Woot.

A Plethora of Macaron Recipes

The recipes themselves are inspired, such as pistachio with bitter ganache filling and purple yam with chestnut cream, and there are lots of photos of the macaron making process, which is undoubtedly helpful for beginners. Ogita also talks about two different ways of making macaron batter – the classic method, using a French meringue that results in a softer cookie, and a second Italian meringue method, which yields macarons with a crunchier surface.

I Heart Macarons, by Hisako Ogita on http://www.theculinarylife.com
These photos are not from the book!
When it comes to baking, Ogita’s directions are easy. Actually, almost too easy. Macarons are relatively simple to make, though there are countless pitfalls that beginners can fall into. Fortunately, she has included a section at the end of the first chapter that provides some basic troubleshooting techniques, though recommendations are only one or two lines and leave a lot for interpretation. And therein may be the problem – the book was originally translated from Japanese, so something may have been lost in translation.

If you have a Japanese copy of the book, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, though, I really liked this book. While it might not be appropriate for someone with no baking skills at all, if you know your way around a silpat, you’ll probably work through the recipes just fine. Ogita dedicates an entire chapter to making a variety of fillings, another on how to creatively wrap your sweet little gems (big plus in my book), and a final chapter on how to use the leftover egg yolks you will inevitably end up with after an afternoon of baking macarons.

If, like me, you love macarons, then you’ll enjoy I Love Macarons by Hisako Ogita. In fact, I’d say order it now, or give it as a gift to someone you know who is equally obsessed. Maybe wrap it up with a box of colorful macarons, straight from a local bakery. If anyone did that for me, I have to say I’d have a hard time controlling myself.

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Comments from other ninjas:

  1. autumn says

    I am SUCH a visual person when it comes to food and my often mis-matched outfits would tell you that I love bright colors. I love macarons because they are naturally gluten-free and GORGEOUS!

  2. Casey@Good. Food. Stories. says

    I have never attempted to make macarons, so this could be my inspirational teaching tool. (or I’ll just try one of your excellent recipes instead.)
    .-= Check out Casey@Good. Food. Stories.

  3. Vivian says

    I love this book and have been baking macarons from it for the past 2 months. Macarons are wonderful once you get the hang of them. I encourage anyone who is up to the challenge to make them because they are so worth the effort involved. I will say this, even the most experience macaron bakers fail from time to time, so be patient and don’t skip steps. You will be well rewarded for your efforts.

    *I already have the book so do not enter me for the drawing. I just wanted to share my thoughts on it :)

  4. stephanie says

    Macarons are awesome because they are these bite-sized pieces of deliciousness and the texture when you bite down into one is just incomparable to anything else. But I think my favorite thing about macarons are how many wacky flavors people are making these days! (I mean, yam, ketchup, or foie gras? bizarre!)

    This book would be useful because I’m always hesitant to incorporate anything liquid into my macaron recipe for fear of failing, so I’d definitely like to see how it’s done…
    .-= Check out stephanie

  5. Fuji Mama says

    I fell in love with them living in Paris and then all over again when living in Tokyo. I love the slight crunch of the shell and then the chewy almond. Plus they are so darn pretty!
    .-= Check out Fuji Mama

  6. Anneke says

    Oishisou! I love how the Japanese are the ones who really understand the French – at least when it comes to baking. They’ve got a ways to go on the cheese. But seriously – the pastries I had in Tokyo and the pastries I had in Paris were pretty hard to tell apart.

  7. Melanie McMinn says

    I’ve never, ever seen one for sale and haven’t made them. But I’d love to!
    .-= Check out Melanie McMinn

  8. OysterCulture says

    I love macarons but confess to having never made them before. The first time I had them was in Paris, then I stumbled across them in London, and when I worked in downtown SF, I found “legit” excuses to run to the Ferry Building to get some to have with my coffee. I want to make them and figure out for the last time what the heck it means for them to have “feet” its driving me CRAZY!
    .-= Check out OysterCulture

  9. Barbara Kiebel says

    I need this book; mostly because I’m in the second month of a challenge with MacTweets and I need help! Yep, got some feet the first time but a bit swirly on top so today trying again. Daughter thought of buying it for me for Christmas but instead gave me book by author of ‘Julie and Julia’…what, I’m not reading that; it’s Julia I love!

  10. Karen Bannan from NaturalAsPossibleMom says

    My mom’s favorite snack is a good macaroon. I’m inspired. Her birthday is at the beginning of February. I’m going to try and bake some of these for her. How bad could they be even if they don’t look as pretty as the ones above? (Fingers crossed!)

  11. Jennifer Margulis says

    I love them because the outside melts in your mouth when you eat them!
    .-= Check out Jennifer Margulis

  12. Anne says

    Macarons, -rons, “ronds”…
    you are so “bons, bons, bons”,
    You are all my childhood…
    ah, if you could be my only food !

    I am a French lady living in the US for the past 15 years – I want to learn how to make macarons – and make them known around me, especially to children, to pass on the love of food that makes you pause…

  13. Alisa Bowman says

    I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never had a macaron before–to my knowledge. So I can’t tell you why I love them. But they do look very bright and friendly in the photos, and you’ve made a great case for making and trying them.
    .-= Check out Alisa Bowman

  14. Patricia says

    I am late to the macaron party having just tasted my first one last night. And soon after my second and third. I now understand the love of macarons completely and am eager to try making them though am a little intimidated because they are so delicate and French. Anyway, I think after that first bite macarons may have become my new favorite cookie.
    .-= Check out Patricia

  15. Diane {createdbydiane.blogspot.com} says

    I love macarons because they look so delicate and taste so delicious.
    .-= Check out Diane {createdbydiane.blogspot.com}

  16. jule says

    i love macarons because, well, they’re so pretty. and because of the endless-oh-endless variations.
    .-= Check out jule

  17. Cafe Pasadena says

    The more I think about why I love macarons the more reasons I wood come up with! But, I’ll just say this:
    -they are relatively rare in the USA
    -tasty texture
    -many flavors
    -and, I like when people will see one and then ask me, “Wha’s That??!”
    .-= Check out Cafe Pasadena

  18. astheroshe says

    i love macarons…because , simply they can fit into any flavor profile. Sweet to savory. Vanilla, lemon , nuts, chocolates. and multiple fillings from jams to Ganache. You can create soo many tastes! and you need a great deal of skill to perfect them. Plus, the colours cant be beat! :)
    .-= Check out astheroshe

  19. Barbara Kiebel says

    I made some yesterday for #Mactweets challenge on Twitter…won’t say third time was quite a ‘charm’ but they’re improving with each experience!

    Whole tray stuck to silicone baking sheet but easily came off parchment paper, so that was one more lesson learned certainly.

    If you would like to see the result, you’re welcome to peek at – first time in my life to make a purple food item too!

  20. Elizabeth Ray says

    Light and tasty. Also, my family (strange people that they are) don’t care for them, so there are more for me! (evil laugh and grin)

  21. Rona says

    when they are made well, they are the perfect combination of crunch, light as air flavour, intensive deliciousness. they also remind me of Paris.

  22. notblueatall says

    What’s not to love about the delectable macaron? Petite little tastes of colorful perfection! They evoke an image of my childhood wandering the isles of “Sunshine Station” for the first time (they sold all that Sanrio stuff and stickers)! Your eyes capture the colors with delight, your nose catches a glimpse of what’s to come, but your mouth is the ultimate victor as it gets the best (and maybe the soul if food has one) part as the little morsel is devoured!
    .-= Check out notblueatall

  23. Kate says

    I love macaroons! So soft and so crunchy and still so delicate. I did not know a macaroon to be anything but a soft ball of cooked coconut until about 2 years ago. I was lucky enough to go to my friend’s wedding in the south of France. She had a “wedding” cake made of many flavors of French macaroons and topped with sparklers! It was so thrilling to put that little cookie in my mouth and get just a burst of flavor!
    .-= Check out Kate

  24. DeeAnn S says

    I’ve never had Macarons but am an avid baker. I’m always looking for new recipe books and would love to try making these cookies. They’re so colorful and would make a great additon to holiday cookie trays. Thanks.

  25. Jennifer W says

    I am just discovering macarons and I can’t wait to bake a successful batch :( Tried for the first time on the weekend, and while they are tasty…they don’t look anything like what i’ve seen on line!
    I’d have to say I love the look of a colorful box of macarons…so dainty and pretty! I also like that they are gf by default, so you don’t have to introduce them at a party as ‘gluten free cookies’ they can just be macarons :)

  26. Karissa says

    I love macarons because they are without a doubt the cutest cookie i have ever seen. The colors can be soft and pastel-y or bold and vibrant. Even better than the array of color combinations are the crazy flavors you can make! I don’t know one other cookie that could possibly be as versatile as a macaron. I am such an amatuer when baking them but the first time I got the foot I was jumping around my kitchen singing. I love the challenge every time you try a new type and even better the satisfaction and how impressive they look. Macarons are unquestionably THE best cookie out there.. and thats why i love them!

  27. Mar S. says

    What I love most about Macarons is actually a one time thing. I remember when my brother (he bakes, I cook) was first making them and I remember how terrified he was that they weren’t going to work properly. Then, a little bit later, I heard him say “They’re footing. Oh my god. They’re footing!”
    So, that’s a little memory I will always hold close to my heart…
    But other than that, they’re just such fun to eat. They’re also EXCELLENT for Passover because you don’t need to use flour.
    Also, if you make them a lot of them and if you make them small enough (we’re talking smaller than a dime and smaller than a toothpaste cap) you just end up eating them like popcorn.

  28. menyui says

    let me count the ways:

    – i had my first macaron in japan.
    – there are unassuming & classical, and being pushed into new innovating territory.
    – perfect mouth size.
    – gluten free dessert.
    – the foot.
    – confused w macaroons. both are gluten free.
    – brilliant colours.
    – require simple & technical skill
    – combination of caramel and soft goo

    what’s not to love?!

  29. Jason says

    I love them because they are delicious and they sound like something Dr. Seues would eat!


  30. Kat says

    Macarons are little bits of faerie dust wrapped up in moonbeams, stardust and the prettiest cherry blossoms you can imagine. 😀 They are also full of Awesome & Win! You can create so many different flavours…sweet or savory…they are a nearly perfect cookie. I love them, and wonder why they aren’t more popular in the US, what with our obsession with sweet stuff. -Kat dragongirl at gmail dot com

  31. Tracy says

    I love macarons because, well, what is not to love? They’re sweet, crunchy, chewy, with a practically unlimited array of flavor combinations!

  32. Hippo Flambe says

    I love puttering and playing in the kitchen so macarons fit right in. A baked good that everyone loves to put their own stamp on. Now I just need a cookbook!

    .-= Check out Hippo Flambe

  33. Laurel says

    I love macarons because as someone who is both gluten and dairy free they are the most “normal” treat I can have…with just a smear of dark chocolate to sandwich them together or perhaps a lovely jam… I like that they don’t require all sorts of crazy ingredients and blends of flours and that they are just so extraordinary (despite being “normal”!) They are also the one thing that I can sometimes get at a pastry shop… always a plus!

  34. Chez Us says

    I feel in love with macarons the first time I went to Paris some 20 years ago. I love how light the shell of the macaron as well as the slight “crisp” when you bite into it and it just progresses to heaven with that slightly creamy and ever so flavorful filling. I have been on the look out for the best macarons, in the bay area and have yet to find them as good as in Paris. In the mean time I have been working on perfecting them at home and I have to say they are pretty darn good! I have had this book on back order for two months now, I would love to get my hands on it, so that I can continue the fine art of perfecting the ones I am making at home!

  35. maggie says

    I love them because if you have enough will power to not eat them in one bite, you can see the gaps of your teeth in them.

  36. Jenn/CinnamonQuill says

    I mad my first batch of macarons a few months ago! They have always been a favorite because they are so light, yet so rich, and naturallllllly gluten-free! Happiness :)
    .-= Check out Jenn/CinnamonQuill

  37. Lindsey Raines says

    I love macarons because every time I eat one I have an emotional reaction. I laugh, I cry, I carry on. I actually can’t eat them in public! Never have I had any other food that stimulates such a complexly visceral reaction. It also helps that I learned to make them from a very handsome baker in France. It is a process like no other.

  38. ThatsSoYummy says

    I heart macarons, besides being so beautiful to look at they are simply delicious and the perfect ending to a long day. I really need to test my hand at them one day soon. :-)


  39. Deborah R says

    My Dad used to order a huge tray of cookies for his business at Christmas time. He always took out a bag full of macarons for me, starting from when I was very little, until he retired.

    So, for me, macarons means holidays and special attention for Daddy’s Little Girl.

  40. heather c says

    Well, butter my booty and call me a biscuit! I thought you were talking about macaroons…and I kept thinking, well, why is everyone misspelling macaroons? I had no idea there was such a thing as macarons. Obviously, I need to come out from my terrestrial abode every now and again.
    Anyway, while I can’t tell you why I love them, I can tell you that I’d love to try them and making my own is a great place to start.

  41. Easy Blueberry Cake says

    I loooove macaroons, I grew up with Marzipan and it’s become one of my favorite treats!
    .-= Check out Easy Blueberry Cake

  42. angela d. says

    I LOVE macarons! You can make them in all sorts of flavors and really impress others. I missed getting this book and would love to get a copy of it.

  43. parisbreakfasts says

    I bought the Japanese version because…it was the first one out on macarons and not in Fr.
    But I don’t read Japanese
    I don’t like the way they look in the book-not French enough in my opinion-too bumpy and fat and lumpy.
    NOT French at all-no finess
    found you by way of Diane J

  44. Christina says

    A single macaron easily brings a smile to your face even if you’re having a bad day. Once you taste your first macaron, you are a fan for life! I heart macarons!

  45. Jay says

    I heart macarons because they are like a star. They light up the night and day and plus they look, smell, taste,and feel good.

  46. Jay says

    Thanks! Besides, I think I only tried them once or twice… But I think I’ll try making them. I hope they’re easy… :)


  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

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  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stephanie Stiavetti, Rachael, Vivian Boroff, Brette Sember, Barbara Kiebel and others. Barbara Kiebel said: Hey! @sstiavetti is giving away a copy of Hisako Ogita

  3. […] week I wrote a book review on I Heart Macarons, by Hisako Ogita, so don’t forget to enter to win a copy of your […]

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  5. […] of fun learning about the history and technique behind these ridiculously cute little cookies, from Hisako Ogita’s “I Heart Macarons Book” to David’s discussion of his macaron background. I’ve got some plans up my sleeve, and […]

  6. […] I’ve written about macarons extensively on my blog, and made hundreds of them while testing recipes for a macaron cookbook. I’ve eaten them at every location in San Francisco that I learned made them, and it’s […]