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.
These photos are not from the book!
If you have a Japanese copy of the book, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.
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.