A supersized version of the French favourite, filled with velvety white chocolate ganache
The precise origins of the macaron are lost in the annals of history. Venetian monks are credited with its inception—a meringue of egg white, sugar and almonds, without a filling—the Parisians for its second incarnation some 10 centuries later. The question of which 19th century Parisian thought to fill the thin almond meringue with a layer of jam, buttercream or ganache, we aren’t qualified to judge.
The biscuit’s third age, however, we feel duty bound to inform you has begun not in a monastery, nor even in Paris—but in an artisanal patisserie in Southwark, London. “We specialise in French traditional cakes, but we wanted something new and different for our display,” says Miguel of Comptoir Gourmand in Borough Market—and it was to this end that his head chef, Sebastien Wind, had the idea of doing a giant macaron, instead of the traditional bite-sized (or two bites, if you’ve self-control) sweet.
“It took us some time to develop the flavour,” Miguel continues. “We tried a number of combinations, because to balance the sweetness is not easy,” meringue and ganache being perhaps best known for their sugar content. “The white chocolate and raspberry was the best one by a long way”, the raspberry-flavoured meringue adding a frisson of sharpness; the white chocolate ganache—well really, what possible justification do you need?
Holy trinity of texture
It’s the holy trinity of texture, the fresh raspberry on top proving a juicy crown to the melding of crisp and chewy meringue and sticky ganache flecked with warm, dark vanilla. “One of my favourite things to serve with it is vanilla latte,” Miguel continues, “and fresh raspberries on the side.” Some will say overkill; others will delight in this approach, as one that takes the macaron to its luscious, logical extreme.