Editorial Reviews of Mad About Macarons
Scottish transplant shares the joy of Parisian patisseries with a glossy guide to the macaron.
Not to be confused with the mini-coconut haystack some may refer to as a “macaroon,” the gerbet, or Parisian macaron, is the star of Colonna’s debut cookbook. Macarons are known for their smooth “rounds” (airy meringue tops and bottoms), their ruffled trim, known as the “foot,” and their light filling, “macaronnage.” The author provides detailed and precise steps for readers looking to tackle everything from traditional flavors, like Chocolate-Hazelnut, to more unusual and exhilirating combinations like Pistachio-White Chocolate-Wasabi or Prune-Armagnac-Orange. Those looking to step even further outside the box should head to the “Mad Macs,” where they’ll find instructions for Bloody Mary and Tikka Marsala macarons. Readers will need an electronic digital scale, because measurements for macaron making are ultra-meticulous, and Colonna’s instructions are in metric. Suggested wine and tea pairings for each recipe are also a nice touch, as are the author’s suggestions for how to use all those pesky egg yolks you’ve discarded when creating your egg-white–only macaron masterpieces.”
Kirkus Reviews, “The World’s Toughest Book Critics” (1 May 2011)
In Mad about Macarons! (Waverley Books), Jill Colonna provides tips and recipes for producing these little charmers with nothing more exotic than a digital scale, and at a cost considerably less then an airfare to France. Because they keep and store well and are sublimely elegant, they make excellent gifts and party favors. The book – pretty as the macarons themselves, brightly colored and positively French – includes recipes for traditional flavors as well as a myriad of more creative confections both sweet and savory.
By Jennifer Sperry Steinorth: ForeWord Reviews (June-July 2011)
By David Lebovitz: Favorite Cookbooks of 2010
A bubbly woman came up to me at the end of a recent meet-up here in Paris with a bag of homemade macarons and a book which she just published on the same subject. In the bag were the most lovely little macarons I’ve seen in all of Paris, even in the fancy places that churn out a gazillion of these cookies annually. Macarons have gone rogue, leaving the confines of Paris and spreading across the globe.
“Mad About Macarons!” by Jill Colonna is lavishly photographed with lots of clear steps of the process for how to make classic macarons as well as interesting and unusual variations (curry, chocolate-beet, and pistachio-wasabi to name a few).
If you like macarons, it’s likely you’ll love this book.”
David Lebovitz (6 December 2010)
Review of the Year – Cooking: A Veritable Feast For Armchair Cooks
Masterchef-junkies bewildered by all that messing about with macaroons in the last series – les macarons having replaced the cupcake as the must-have dessert de nos jours – can learn how to do it right in Jill Colonna’s “Mad about Macarons” (Waverley Books). The macaron, to distinguish it from the more brutal macaroon, is a “delicate, airy meringue-based shell with a moist centre of fragrant custard cream” which, being flavoured with raspberry, pistachio or vanilla, is the stuff of Parisien dreams (though a flavouring of Thai green curry might be a bit too Blumenthal for me).”
Elizabeth Luard – Scotsman.com, (11 December 2010)
The Penny Dropped on Macarons!
This book made the penny drop on Macarons! I had tried on a couple of occasions, with dreadful results that went straight in the bin and had more or less given up. When we were away at Christmas I was reading your book and suddenly went aah! Came into the bakery when it was quiet and tried a batch – behold they worked! That week tried them out on a couple of willing samplers one of whom came rushing back to say it was the best thing she had ever tasted so within another week or so tried them out on our market stall and they were an immediate hit! I have a couple of customers who I think would lynch me now if I didn’t have them! I have done a few for wedding favours and have my first wedding cake “tower” coming up!
It’s amazing what you can learn from a good book!”
Janice, AbsolutelyCakes.co.uk (January 2012)
Review by ParisPatisseries.com
Imagine my shock, about a month ago, when I stumbled across a Facebook page called Mad about Macarons. I feared it might house an anti-macaron diatribe – the chronicles of a woman inexplicably enraged over these dainty little treats. But my fears were quickly allayed when I realized not only was the page mad in the “crazy about”/”in love with” sense, but that it was actually the prelude to a work of meringue-sandwiched brilliance about to hit the bookshelves.
I quickly shot an e-mail to its author, Jill Colonna, asking if I could be sent a preview copy. What would be in it: pretty photos, recipes, sage advice on macaron-making technique, 10 pages of scratch-and-sniff stickers that I could affix to my computer monitor and Justin Bieber notebook? As it turned out, it was all that and more . . . well, except for the scratch-and-sniff stickers.
The opening chapters touch on everything from dire warnings about macaron addiction to the origin of macarons and the author’s own discovery of and obsession with these Parisian classics. I mean, there she was, a bonnie young lass, fresh from Edinburgh those 20 years ago. A self-described “apple and some cheese” kind of girl, where dessert was concerned, sweets were the last thing on her mind. But after a brief dalliance with the charms of the millefeuille, her attentions turned to macarons, which she ultimately learned to leverage as her foray into Parisian social circles. Fascinating, n’est-ce pas?
Though I have to say my favorite part comes on page 16, when she explains how to eat macarons and other French pastry without becoming morbidly obese. My personal technique, when is Paris, is to inhale a 3 viennoiserie breakfast that seamlessly rolls into a 4 pastry lunch – which turns out to pretty much be the antithesis of what she prescribes. Go figure!
As you progress in this treatise on macarons, you’re guided through musings on technique for both the macaron shells/meringues and the fillings. Jill’s been kind enough to demystify and simplify the processes. There’s even a chart in the back for converting her master recipe, if you come up short on the amount of egg whites you have on-hand. You know that’s going to come in handy.
The real treat, of course, is the recipes. I was expecting maybe 10 or 15. No, there are almost 40! That includes a nut-free version and a ton of varieties that range from the super sweet to the super savory. Thai Green Curry Macaron, anyone? There are some so adventurous that even Pierre Hermé’s wilder creations would seem tame by comparison. The sweet versions definitely make up the bulk of the recipes though: vanilla, almond, rose, pistachio, tiramisu, coffee, dark chocolate, sticky toffee, orange blossom, and on-and-on.
Perhaps the swankest facet of this tome is that she prescribes beverage pairings for each and every macaron. “Serve with Lapsang Souchong tea” and “enjoy with a peaty single-malt whisky” is just the type of advice I love. Should I ever have occasion to show up to a get-together with a box of homemade macarons, and the host doesn’t have a fine Yunnan at-the-ready, I’ll be quick to admonish them with a dirty look and a, “But I told you I was bringing Liquorice & White Chocolate Macarons! Did you just forget to buy the tea, or are you simply so classless as not to know any better?”
Mad about Macarons has yet to be released in the U.S., but since most of you guys live in Europe… lucky you. You can easily snag it on amazon.co.uk or in fine bookstores throughout the UK. If you’re already in Paris, then just grab a copy at Galéries Lafayette, WHSmith Paris, La Librairie Gourmande or Le Bon Marché. And, of course, no matter where you live, you should like the Mad about Macaron Facebook Page immediately.
www.ParisPatisseries.com (20 October 2010)
…and in the News
Editorial Review posted on ParisVoice.com by Mel Fenson (15 January).
Webzine for English speaking Parisians.
Turn to pages 14 & 16 of The French Week (Issue N°20, December 10-16 2010) for recipe on Giant Chocolate Macaron with Mango & Passion Fruit.
See the Living Section of The French Paper’s November issue for an article about “Mad About Macarons! including recipes from the book.
Also, article in Spectrum Magazine from Scotland on Sunday, 6th November 2010.
For media related or review queries, please contact Liz Small at Waverley Books.
ONLINE CUSTOMER REVIEWS of the Book
Recipes that Work
Hi Jill, I am from Panama (Central America) and I love you book. I am not a professional baker, however I learned how to bake with my mom since I was little, and have been baking non stop since then.
I have made 4 of your recipes following your instructions step by step, and they all come out perfect (at least for my standards), and considering the very humid weather we have.
I absolutely love the level of detail provided in the book, and that every recipe does actually work (unlike other books/recipes).
Anyways, Ijust wanted to say hi, and to let you know you have a fan in Panama.
Maria Fernandez, via le blog, 23 February 2015
Such a good informative book! Really easy to read and understand especially for first time bakers. Came very quickly and good price. The best macaroon book there is. Fantastic.
Ella Taylor, Amazon.co.uk customer, 6 January 2015
Excellent Book. I’d been trying to master macarons and …
Excellent book. I’d been trying to master macarons and was using a variety of recipes I found on the internet with no luck. I started looking at books. Mad about Macarons had several good reviews. My first batch came out great. Was a good purchase.
Margaret A. Doolin, Amazon.com customer, 8 December 2014
Very basic macaron book that is an excellent starting place for beginners
Very basic macaron book that is an excellent starting place for beginners. The recipes are simple and easy to understand, and the ingredients list is something home bakers can easily purchase at their local supermarkets. Highly recommend as a gift to someone who is learning the basics of the basics!
Le Chat Noir, Amazon.com customer, 3 December 2014
I’ve tried about two thirds of the recipies in this book, and they have all worked really well! My family & friends are all very impressed too! The basic recipe is easy to follow, and there’s a very useful conversion chart at the back for different proportions according to how many egg whites you have. Highly recommended.
Miss L C Miller, Amazon.co.uk customer, 29 July 2014
Easy to follow. Great results.
Ng Wei Ling, Amazon.com customer, 13 July 2014Five Stars
Such a great book! Simple and easy to follow, making me great at my dinner parties.
S A Lewis, Amazon.co.uk customer, 4 July 2014.
This is a great book to learn how to make classic French macarons. I have worn it out.
Missey Wilhelm, Goodreads, 15 May 2014
Fool Proof Macarons
Been addicted to making the perfect Macs for a few months now and this book has the perfect formula ( and uses less sugar than other recipes). It uses the French methods and has lots of stunning pictures to inspire!
Amazon.co.uk customer, 8 May 2014
New IdeasAs a bakerer and chocolatier I am always looking for new ideas and inspiration which I get from books as this one.
Noemi Podhorzer, Amazon.com customer, 28 February 2014.
A brilliant book! Everything worked first time and has some amazing flavour ideas. Clear instructions and great pictures to help you understand exactly when your macaron mix is just right. Defiantly would recomend to anyone who wants to learn to make macarons.
Kimbo, Amazon.co.uk customer, 10 February 2014.
Excellent Book, A MUST for All Macaron Fans!
I ordered this book as a present for my mum as she has been desperate to try and master the art of making macarons. She has had a few problems in the past with them cracking or cooking too quickly and this book solved these problems. Not only does the book include an easy to follow guide for making them, but also offers a troubleshoot section which helped her recognise where she was going wrong. It includes loads of recipes for different fillings which make the macarons even better. Highly recommended!!! P.S. Love that the author is so helpful and offers help if there is anything that you are still struggling with. Definitely worth the money and more!
K. Kennedy, Amazon UK customer, 30 December 2013
Perfect with No Previous Experience
I bake a lot but nothing like macarons normally, so the entire process was a bit alien to me. Using the tips and instructions in this book though my first batch turned out perfectly and by the end had been pretty painless. I will definitely be making more of the recipes to test out other flavors, but I can say that the vanilla recipe is delightful. Not too sweet and the flavor is neither too strong nor too weak, and the almond flavor melds very well with it without overpowering the vanilla. Delicious!
Liana, Amazon.com customer (WA, USA) 5 September 2013
I wish your book was the first one I bought…
I recently bought your first book, after throwing batter 5 or 6 times from other books. You made things so clear and easy, if you follow the directions. I’m still learning to make them small enough, but I finally feel competent. I just finished chocolate ones for a party I’m having. I’m freezing the shells to see how that goers.
I wish your book was the first one I bought. You are fabulous!!
Helen Miller, Reader comment via the Mad About Macarons blog, 16 July 2013
Easy and Delicious
I’ve tried making macarons several times before from three French cookbooks/macaron books purchased in France/Switzerland and failed each time. I decided to try it again and bought Mad About Macarons. The first try, I had wonderful success. They were absolutely delicious. I’ve had macarons in France from the best pastry shops like LaDurée and Gérard Mulot’s. The ones I made from this book were just as good as those or even better! And mine were much, much better than any than any I’ve eaten in the US from our pastry shops where the texture is all wrong.
The recipe is great because it uses the easier French meringue as opposed to the more time consuming Italian meringue. Also, it is much easier to not worry about treating the meringue with kid gloves! (…) the book is absolutely worth the price for the basic recipe and technique.
Macarons were my favorite dessert before I became aware of my wheat and dairy allergies. I am so happy to be able to make them and enjoy them here in the States!
Amazon.com customer, 17 June 2013
I was very excited to receive this book. Inside Jill describes exactly what to do, what the macaronage should look like ect. which I found a bit lacking in other macaron books. There are also lovely photos through out the book, even a photo of the inside of a macaron which I must say is helpful if you’ve never had the chance to run downtown Paris and buy a couple to compare. It will truly be an inspiration to me now and in the future.
Swiss32, customer on Amazon.com, 27 May 2013
Love your book, thanks for such specific step by step instructions.
Camella Esaklul, via message on MadAboutMacarons on Facebook, 4 May 2013
I rarely write reviews, but felt I wanted to with this book. Before buying this book I researched other books on the market, bit the bullet and bought Mad about Macarons. I have followed Jill Colonna’s advise to the letter and have produced perfect Macarons every time. I have been so pleased with the result. A big thank you to Jill for a well presented and helpful book.
Mandy Stone, Amazon UK customer, 22 April 2013
My First Macarons!
Lorraine of Lolly’s, Cakes & Candy via MaM on Facebook, 15 April 2013
Finally I am able to make perfect macarons…the tips are great and my macaron came out perfect every time.
Very easy to follow.
I. Gaor, Amazon.com customer, 24 December 2012
Facinated by these delicious little cakes but staggered at the Paris prices ( £3 a cake/biscuit!) I searched for a recipe book which would help me produce my own. There are a number of them available but I am pleased to say that I picked “Mad about Macarons”. I have just finished my first batch and they look and taste wonderful. The book is straightforward and very easy to follow. The finished product is gorgous. If you want to make French macarons simply with delicious results, this is the book for you.The photography and illustrations are brilliant. The instructions easy to follow aand there are all kinds of other extras such as stockists and trouble shooting. Also a page of notes for American cooks. Great book, I love it. Thanks Jill Colonna.
Mois Mak, Amazon.co.uk customer, 22 November 2012
Step by step instructions
Very pretty and colourful book! Love the step by step instructions. its difficult to go wrong with this book. Finally got macarons right!
Simone, USA Amazon Customer, 22 November 2012
The essential Macaron book for novices
A year ago, when my son and his fiance’ (now married) announced their engagement, we agreed that they would have the traditional Western Pennsylvania Cookie Table at their reception. My future daughter-in-law made a special request of a cookie called a “macaron”. Not a “macaroon” she emphasized. I had never heard of them. She had them several years ago when her high school band went to California. Well, it was a start of a year of research, experimentation, failures and successes. I was mastering the art of macaron-making, but was not getting consistent results – until I bought Jill Colonna’s book “Mad About Macarons“. Using the methods in Jill’s book, I get excellent results 95% of the time. Jill gives step-by-step instructions, photographs to go with them, and a good number of recipes – from basic to fancy. Her instructions are good enough that I am daring to try my own flavor combinations. As others have mentioned, the measurements are in metrics. I have an old Weight-Watchers scale that I use. It’s got the metrics on it and I have used that to weigh my ingredients and it has worked well. I would recommend an inexpensive scale that has both metric and standard measures. Anyway, if you want a fool-proof method of making macarons, “Mad About Macarons” is an excellent book! Oh, and the macarons for the wedding? They turned out perfect! I made Chocolate Macarons with a dark chocolate coffee ganache, Macarons with vanilla custard filling, and Basic macarons, colored pink, with a white chocolate/raspberry ganache filling! Thank you Jill!
Since posting the above review, I was reading the other reviews and note that some are surprised that the cookies are the same basic recipe. Actually, you can be creative with your macarons and match the flavor to the filling. I put a little cinnamon in my dry ingredients and match it with a pumpkin filling using pumpkin pie spice, or replace the almond flour with some ground up black walnut and pair with maple filling. YUM!!! Oh boy, I think I’m going to start aging some egg whites now!
Kathy Dean, Indiana, USA Amazon customer, 20 August 2012
One of the Best Books on Macarons
Out of the many Macaron books I’ve read, ‘Mad About Macarons’ has been the most engaging to read and with the most consistant results for the included recipes. It’s thoughtful in it’s presentation and instruction and unlike many other macaron books, it provides additional information including measurements for smaller or larger batches allowing for flexibility. It’s also the first to provide me with 100% usable good looking shells from a batch compared to other recipes I’ve found online and in other books. It is also great for the beginner with pictoral and written descriptions and is a must have for anyone wanting to start out baking macarons.
Rillystar, Canadian Amazon customer, 19 June 2012
This is THE book
I bought this because my wife challenged me to make her Macarons. I have almost no baking experience (other than the pilsbury cake mixes) and I kept hearing from everyone how Macarons are impossible and that it takes 10 or more tries until something decent comes out.
So I did the sensible thing and cruised amazon for the right instructions. Based on the reviews, this book seemed to be it.
Well, it is! My first batch produced nice macarons. Nothing you could sell at a shop, but true macarons.
My second batch was better. My third made me think I’m the world’s expert macaron expert. Well, I’m probably not, but it’s a nice thought.
– The recipe is foolproof. If I can do it, everybody can. Seriously.
– Measurements have to be exact. This is not a feature of this book, it’s true for Macarons in general (google it)
– The most difficult part was finding the American equivalent of the British ingredients. I now know where to find it (on their facebook page and here on the amazon reviews). Don’t try to substitute unless you know what you’re doing; almost all of the ingredients can be found in your local safeway or ordered on amazon.
AJ, Amazon.com customer, 11 February 2012
Macarons, Je t’aime!
I am really excited to have Jill Colonna’s cookbook “Mad about Macarons”. I have tried in the past to make macarons unsuccessfully but I made them yesterday and they were fantastic. If I can make the shell so easily, then I know that the possibilities are endless. I would recommend this book both for experienced macaron makers but also for novice in baking, as well as people like myself who were terrified to make them. The directions are very detailed, the recipes are professionally written in language that is easy to follow, and the book is beautifully designed with beautiful mouthwatering pictures.
I noticed that there is a nut free macaron recipe for people who are allergic to nuts, so that is very considerate and useful. The fillings range from the classic to exotic flavours and colours. There is also a variety of savory macarons. I was really impressed at the end to see a Quick Reference Guide for Egg whites by weight, which if added up gives you a lot of combinations, depending on the egg whites you want to use. Another section which impressed me the most is that although this is a cookbook about macarons, the author has sacrificed valuable space to give recipes with the leftover egg yolks. I have seen chefs using one part of the egg and throwing away the other, which made me really frustrated to waste food just like that. Thank you Jill for the great job!
Ivy Liacopoulou, Athens, Greece, 6 February 2012
At last a recipe that works
After numerous failed attempts at last a book that gives a perfect recipe for perfect macarons. What is brilliant about this book it also gives quantities for all different weights of egg white along with the correct amount of icing sugar and almonds, would give 10 stars if I could.
Amazon.co.uk customer, 31 January 2012
I don’t remember the first time I ever saw a Macaron. I didn’t even taste one until a few weeks ago (and it was just a shell), but I’d been hunting for a good macaron book for awhile. After reading the reviews raving about this book, I decided to purchase it. And I was not disappointed!!
Like some people, I was a little startled about all the metric measurements. Already having a food scale ($10 at Kohl’s), I didn’t see it as being a problem. And it’s very easy to do a quick google search for conversation calculators!! I can’t imagine giving this book a bad review because it uses the metric system. Macarons are a french dessert, there’s no reason why this book should be specifically catering to Americans. The author also notes that ingredients are listed in grams because some measurements may be too small to measure in cups.
Some of the ingredients were hard to find, but knowing your grocery store really helped. Castor sugar (note: NOT the same at icing/confectioner’s sugar) can be found at Wegmans, while Almond flour and custard powder (used for a lot of the fillings) can be found at almost any grocery store. I had to make a few investments like sieves, scrapers, etc. but the outcome was completely worth it!
With my very first batch I was so excited (like others) to see feet when I opened the oven!! I do not think I whipped my egg whites well enough, and I had to adjust my oven temperature to 325F (as opposed to the 320F/160C stated in the book) for the third cookie sheet. I was not surprised because the author mentioned that without a convection oven the temperature may have needed to be higher. My first two cookie sheets had gooey shells and were odd shaped because my cookie sheets were warped and made the batter run. I think my batter was also a little bit too thin as well. But after the temperature adjust I had some really beautiful macarons…on my FIRST try!!! I only ended up with 12 sandwiches total (out of about 30) but trial and error was really easy with this book. Everything was simple, spelled out, and had great photographs for comparison. The first filling I made was the lemon filling and it came out delicious and was super simple to make.
I do not regret buying this book for any reason. While my first batch wasn’t absolutely perfect, I was amazed at what I was able to do!! This is definitely the book you want to buy if you want to make your own parisian macarons. Out of all the other books on the market, this one has the best reviews and the greatest success stories. I would recommend this book to any baker. While the ingredients and supply list can be a little intimidating, the process of making macarons was a breeze. With only 12 successful macarons I am not discouraged; I am inspired and excited to try more. Jill Colonna has really hit it big with her passion for macarons, and will quickly turn any baking novice into a brilliant french pastry chef!!
S. Markowski, USA, 13 January 2012
This book is a winner!
After trying out several recipes, the one found in this book was the most foolproof one that gave out the best macarons….just short of perfection! I had to supplement my macaron making by viewing several You Tube videos and blogs, but nonetheless, the formula provided by Jill was very good. I gave the book 4 stars though because there were a few minors:
1-the macaron shells seemed to be based on one basic recipe, with little alternatives to other shell flavors (except for the usual chocolate);
2-the fillings’ recipes seemed ordinary, again based on a basic and simple formula (although this could also be a positive point as it simplifies things a lot);
3-the resources in the back of her book are not very much geared for the North American consumers, and that’s not the author’s fault but do keep that in mind as some of the ingredients may be a little harder to find and her stocklist may not be easily accessible to us North Americans;
4-there is no section on troubleshooting.
But having said that, I still consider this a very good book and much more home baker friendly in comparison to Les petits macarons by Kathryn Gordon (another macaron book I bought at the same time as this one – see my full review there).
It was only through Jill’s macaron formula that I finally got rid of the hollow – empty air pocket problem. I am happy I bought this book.
Mady, USA, 11 January, 2012
Mady – The aim of this book is to take the fear out of making them and so it’s kept as simple as possible. The great news is that the 2nd edition will be out at the end of the month – it’s geared more for American readers with extra sections such as a list of stockists and a troubleshooting section. – Jill
Good recipes but need adjustment
Her recipes are very good but I had to adjust the tempurature to 300F. On top of that I let my eggs sit at room temperature for 24 hrs, the mixture is perfect and won’t crack. You have to make sure after you pipe out the mixture on the baking sheet let it sits for at least 20 mins, this step and let your eggs sit for 24 hrs are very important. DO NOT TAKE SHORT CUT!!!
If you buy diced almonds and decide to grind it at home be sure to weight it again it has to be exactly 180g
I also tried something new,too. I substituted the almonds for hazelnuts and it turned out very good!
(Kriztine, as I mention in the book, ovens can vary – so it’s great you found what was just right for your particular oven. – Jill)
Kriztine, USA (6 November 2011)
I have tried only one of the recipes but I have to say it’s DELICIOUS! I’m a very inexperienced cook but followed the instructions and I cannot believe how good they turned out.
Erika, UK (2 October, 2011)
I cannot recommend this book highly enough! I had wanted to try Macarons for a long time, but their reputation made me more than a little scared!!! I am not the worlds best baker by a long shot, but usually I follow a recipe and things work! This book gives detailed step by step instructions with photographs. So not only are you told what each stage should look like, but you can also SEE…something I feel is massively important. My first macarons turned out perfectly! My joy on opening the oven and seeing a perfect ‘foot’ on each shell simply cannot be described!! They were crisp on the outside and gooey in the middle just as they should be! I don’t think I’ll be trying the ‘Mad Macs’ tho…a curry flavour macaron sounds simply revolting!!!
(everyone is entitled to their opinion 😉 I’m sure if you did try it, you would be totally surprised. Jill)
Middymee, Lancashire, USA (23rd September 2011)
This is a must-have for making macarons!
My first batch came out PERFECT!! This book is the reason why! I read a lot and did my research before making my first batch. This book gave me suggestions and ideas on how to make them and aided to my success. My first batch made a lot of macarons so it’s really nice that the back of the book gives other measurements for making smaller batches. This book made making macarons really easy plus they were delicious! I loved the picture demonstrations on what each step should look like. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to adventure into making macarons!
SarahIC (7th September 2011)
Buy it just for the basic recipe – it’s a MUST!
I would say this one is an absolute must if you want your shells to not only taste perfect, but look perfect for giving.
What is cool about this book:
- it firmly recommends you sift your sugars, powdered sugar (which she calls icing sugar by the way), almond meal, cocoa powder if using, etc). I like it! I throw out my big almond chunks and although I had some initial heart ache about wasting expensive stuff, it really makes the mix look so soft when you are dry mixing it with your whisk!
- * in this book it states you can mix the liquid and dry mix together crazily and not worry about it. I was so scared of how to mix my batter before, I kind of like this method. Don’t over mix though…I saw oil stains in my shells last time I did that.
- tells you how to get perfect round macarons. Follow what it says. Let your tip rest on the cookie sheet and then put pressure on to build a circle. It really works! Do this at a 45 degree angle. Previously, I was doing a 90 degree angle and my shells were uncontrollable and not perfectly circle. Totally bugged me!
- I like my new tools. They make everything easier. Love the hand spatula. Love the strange looking strainer. Love Love Love!
- No need to open the oven sporadically to let the humidity out.
A.Ko, Houson, Texas (16th July 2011)
My Go to Book for Macarons!
This book is fantastic and the only macaron book you will ever need. The basic recipe and technique section is explained well and easy to follow and I have produced batch after batch of delicious macarons. Recipes range from classic macarons to more adventurous flavour combinations – the pistachio, white chocolate and wasabi are delicious – and also some inspired savoury suggestions.
This book does lack a trouble shooting section (very well covered in I Love Macarons) but if you follow the instructions and know your oven then you shouldn’t need one.
“Too Many Books” UK (8th July 2011)
I have not read the book. I just bought it to give to the better half. And it works. Food books have been the fuel of a marriage for some time. I buy the books, Madame cooks, I praise the cooking. Harmony reigns at home. This one seems to tap into a current passion and fashion for these sweet French biscuits. In my dim male brain I managed to link the celophane wrapped souvenirs from many gift shops on our last French tour with the equally colourful book jacket. And I got it right.
Charlie E (11th July 2011)
This was my 3rd attempt at making macarons and finally I got it to work. I followed the recipe exactly and bought myself a digital scale and oven thermometer so I could get the measurements and temperature exactly right. I am eager to try out some different fillings now that I have mastered the cookie part! The only draw back was that I had to wait to start making them to let the eggs “age.” I wish there was a short cut for that.
Amazon.com customer (18th June 2011)
Bought primarily to expand my repertoire of flavourings this macaron book is set out clearly & concisely. A good (and inexpensive) buy if you are slightly beyond a novice skill level.
Fiona, GoodReads Google Books review (June 2011)
After several failed attempts at making macaroons, I refused to give up, saw this book and thought I would give it a go, I followed the recipe to the letter and made the most amazing macaroons the first time around; so pleased and would tell anybody to buy this, as it’s the best on the market.
A. Sussames, UK (27 May 2011)
Would Rate it a Ten!
What an awesome book! Colors are great, pictures are perfect, recipes are easy to follow. I am planning on buying another book just in case anything should happen to my other one!!!
by Millie (24 April 2011)
Don’t Try and Cut Corners!
Because the author has already done that!
If you do what you’re told TO THE LETTER, then the whole method works brilliantly. Yes you may have a few cracks or a couple of wonky ones but get to know your oven, mine for example needs to be set to 140 not 160 and the tray needs to be near the bottom or the macarons brown, and no body wants that!
on my 3rd attempt (and in fairness the only time I didn’t rush through or not check my measurements meticulously or properly do the macaronage process…)I had 3 trays of PERFECT macarons that would have given Laduree a run for his money!
So thank you Mrs. Colonna, I am completely addicted to macaron making now!
Jenny Thomasson, UK (25 April, 2011)
My First Batch of French Macarons Were DELICIOUS!
I purchased this book after Christmas. The directions are well-written. I was surprised by the measurements being in metric but nothing that a $20 electric scale won’t fix. There are food staples that I was unsure of so I got on Facebook and found the Mad About Macarons page. I commented to the author about, “what is this and what is that?” and she quickly replied with a link to help American macaronivores find substitutions (such as for ‘custard powder’, substitute instant pudding)
PS: my first batch of French Macarons came out delicious (not perfect looking but I’ll keep practicing)! My husband is now a fan of them!
Rachel A. Navarrete, Soledad, CA United States (April 18th, 2011)
My Macaron “Holy” Book
Jill’s blog and her perfectly written book have converted me from a mother who receives a few wonderful Macaron’s from Sucre’ in New Orleans for Mother’s Day or nice gift bag of delicate little bites of Macarons from Mrs. Obama’s community garden / farmer’s market at the White House as gifts from my son into a Chef Patissiere in my own home!!
Not only are the perfect recipes varied from savory to sweet, but she willing discusses your successes and mishaps with you almost instantaneously on her blog!
She has a list of American mesurements and ingredients translated for you as well! (Dare I say from English to “American” as many of my international friends like to say?)
I own three cookbooks dedicated to the Macaron Parisien and this is by far the best of any I have read. From Larousse Gastronomique as my “Bible” of French cooking to my “Mad About Macarons” as my sacred source that takes me from my prayers to baking action, I feel secure in using this cookbook any day. I cannot believe I have access to the author for advice and encouragement! I adore this cookbook! And frankly have never encountered a more willing, kind,helpful or multilingual author in all of my years!
bzy bzy, Grand Rapids, MI (12 March, 2011)
I made my first macarons the other day after the book arrived on my doorstep. I could’nt wait to age the eggs, i know the book says to age them 4 – 5 days first but i’m an impatient person! I think they turned out pretty great for a first attempt but they were a little flat and the feet seemed to spread out. I later found out that the eggs are aged for a reason and thats what gives them nice ‘feet’ apparently. Also my oven is not the best and they started to brown near the back of it. My second attempt was a little better, I aged the eggs and got nice ‘feet’ and I turned down the temp on my oven about 10c. They are not the easiest things to make but i can definitly see how they become addictive because not only do they look pretty they taste absolutely divine and one will just not be enough!
The book has lots of pictures, is straight forward and has easy to understand instructions. The recipes are great and there is enough flavour choice to please everyone. I would definitely recommend it to people wanting to try these Macarons and if you follow the instructions perfectly you wont be disappointed. I love my book!
Emma T (10 March, 2011)
I tried making macaroons prior to to buying this book and they tasted delicious, but were hideously deformed. I followed the instructions to the letter (except for leaving the egg whites to age for 4-5 day – I just left mine overnight) and my first attempt was a total success – they looked and tasted great. We love creme brulee in our house…. the egg whites will never go to waste again!
By Raymon Sanchez (2 February 2011)
Best Macaron Book Yet!
I have purchased every macaron cook book that is available in English ( I <3 Macarons, Macarons; authentic french cookie…, and others), this is by far the best macaron cook book yet. The others have some good tips, but this one makes making macarons a piece of cake. initially I found a good recipe online, because the books just werent doing it, but this new recipe and tecnique is amazing!!, and all of the flavor combos, you could make a new macaron every day for a month, maybe longer.
I have thus far made two flavors, with a new recipe I always start with plain, and then move on tho flavors (which seemed to be harder in the past), tonight was the chocolate beet flavor and I decided to make the cookie chocolate too….They came out perfect!!!
I am the happiest camper!
Buy this book if you want to make macarons, and feel warm and fuzzy inside, buy the other books if you want to buy expensive ingredients, attempt to make macarons, and feel sad when you fail.
(1 February 2011)
I HAVE MADE THE BEST MACARONS – I used the Mad abut Macarons Method, now I have made many successful batches and had rave reviews by all. The book is informative, detailed and very accurate. This is definitely a book for professionals and amateurs alike as there are handy hints and tips which which are very useful. Chef’s have asked me how I got my macarons so glossy looking, as his had a “dull look” this is all part of the secrets that Jill reveals in her book. I love the dessert ideas and the ideas for what to do with the egg yolks which are left. (I personally, have been making my own Creme Brulee Tarts). Even if you do not make a single macaron-its a beautiful “Coffee Table Book” .
“Green Apples” (16 March, 2011)
The Best Macaron Book…
When I went to Paris in 2009 I fell in love with macarons. Unfortunately finding them in the States is not that easy. When I found out that you could make them at home I tried, and trust me it was a mess. Some of the other books out there are not as exact!! Jill goes into just the right amount of detail. Just finished my first batch from the book, they turned out perfect!! If you are looking to try making macarons at home Mad about Macarons is the way to go!!
by Elizabeth Halko (11 January 2011)
No More Flubbed Macaron Shells!
I’ve made at least 15 batches macarons from various recipes and none would turn out correctly. Once I tried Jill Colonna’s method of just mix the hell out of the batter and then fold it towards the end to achieve the right consistency – my macarons came out perfect. I’ve made 8 batches of macarons using this method with great success each time. I won’t be going back to the gently folding the batter until it looks like molten lava method. The flavor combinations are great. There’s a section just for chocolate! What I liked best is that at the end of the book Jill gives you an egg equivalent chart for any amount of leftover egg whites you have. This is a great resource. Her macarons are not as sweet as the other recipes also.
I highly recommend this book for anyone is starting to make macarons. It takes the frustration out of trying to make macarons. No more flubbed shells with this method!
By Babs54 (11 January 2011)
Best Macaroon Book
Not only did I feel like Doris Day when I was given this book as the cover and design is so much fun and kitsch, but the recipes work. Rather daunted by the thought of two hours of my life making a french delicacy I set out with resolve nonetheless. The rose one, and lemon meringue pie ones are amazing.
Customer on Waterstones.com (22 February 2011)
Mad About Macarons
This is a beautiful book that has super easy instructions for the first time Macaron maker. It give great details, a product information list in the back and delicious recipes from the sweet to the savory! Perfect for making this delightful treat.
By Christina Balch (14 January 2011)
Best Macaron Book
I highly recommend this book. Follow the recipe carefully and it works, the macs look the part and taste delicious. The book is well researched and the pictures look beautiful. The four flavours I have made so far were delicious, and I look forward to trying the rest. As an impressed friend commented when we brought out the macarons after dinner “they look like you picked them up at Paul’s”…
By Jonag (7 January 2011)
If you’re mad about macarons, this book is a must!
I have made countless macarons in the past but with no success, from sticking to the baking tray to cracking to just not turning out comme ca, the recipes I had encountered simply didn’t work.
When I read the rave review that Paris Patisseries wrote, I decided, ok, let’s give “Mad about macarons” a try. And I did. And the results were FANTASTIC. I am so over the moon, my macarons can now easily rival those of Laduree and I have now decided to make a batch a week because I am madder than ever about macarons!
By Marija Crnkovic-Pilas (16 December 2010)
At last a dedicated Macaron book where the recipes actually work. I run a wedding cake business and am often asked to supply extras, like cupcakes and cookies; but until now have always been a bit reticent about offering Macarons – just in case they don’t work well enough to give to a bride! However, these wonderful little desserts are the height of fashion and sophistication, so the hunt has been on for a while to find a recipe that works. Mad about Macarons has finally ended the quest.
This book not only provides a range of inspiring flavours to try and suggestions on service, but has a faultless basic recipe that is easy to follow and explains the ‘secret’ method of macronnage. Follow the timings and you won’t go wrong.
Since buying this book and starting to master the recipes I have offered some samples to the clients I have met with and now have a couple of definite macaron orders to add to their wedding cakes. Success.
By Sucré Coeur(4 November 2010)
Lovely, clear and works
I asked for this book for my birthday. Unfortunately, because my old fashioned scales are simply not accurate enough I had to wait until today (when I bought some electronic scales) to try out the recipe. Immediate success. I tried two batches in my electic oven and 2 in my gas oven on number 4. The ones in my gas oven were evenly coloured and slightly more raised than the ones in my electric oven. This is to be expected and I will experiment with my electric oven. All in all I am very pleased with the book and the recipes.
by P. Green “eternal student” (10 December 2010)
Fantastic Introduction to Macarons
I just purchased this book after a recommendation from a friend and have found it absolutely fantastic. It is well illustrated, easy to follow and delivers what it promises. I have made two batches, rose and lemon, and they were first class. I couldn’t believe how perfect they were. I am looking forward to trying out some more recipes. The creme brulee is a brilliant way of using up the egg yolks.
Obviously a lot of work and research has gone into the making of these recipes. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys baking and trying something a little different.
by Woohoo (9 November 2010)
Recipes that work, now that’s a relief
I’ve become slightly obsessed by making macarons in the past year. I tried so many recipes off foodie blogs and one from another book. “Leave the oven door ajar, ” some said (what a waste of energy! just turn it down!) “Use two baking trays, rap the baking sheet on the table, cover with greaseproof paper, turn the tray around during cooking, spin round three times and shout abracadabra and cross your fingers”.
Well here’s my addition to the advice out there “test your oven temperature (you might be surprised how wrong it is), read the recipe here carefully, and prepare to eat delicious macarons”.
I’m not saying it’s easy … you need some baking competence … but goodness me there’s none of the kerfuffle I’ve read elsewhere. I got a sneak preview of this recipe, before it was a book, early in the year, straight from the author, so you could say I’m biased … but I’m not. I was super excited to find the recipe worked a treat – no fuss. Now I’m chuffed I’ve got my copy of the actual book with all the variations and tips – and the nut-free recipe too (that’s a first surely?). My only concern is that now that anyone can know how to make perfect macarons my pals might not be so excited about eating mine and I’ll have to look for something else to cook.
What are those whoopie pie things anyway?
If you want to know how to make make macarons successfully at home, get this book, 3 baking trays, a piping bag and nozzle and a big roll of greaseproof paper. Cupcakes? Pah.
By PrawnCracker (4 October 2010)
Sweet Alchemies: Making first macarons from Mad About Macarons!
Paris Breakfasts blog, 7 February 2011
It’s All About Family and Food blog, Lemon Macarons for George, 8 February, 2011
The Art of Being Perfect blog (link no longer works), 31 December 2010 (excerpt)
Sticky Toffee Pudding is as quintessentially British as Macarons are French, both have a place in my heart and now so do these Macarons that gloriously combine the two.Sticky Toffee Pudding is as quintessentially British as Macarons are French, both have a place in my heart and now so do these Macarons that gloriously combine the two.
This is a new Macaron recipe, from a new book, Mad About Macarons, at first glance the book is fantastic. There are both traditional and unusual Macaron recipes, both savory and sweet and big and small. One of the best things about the book however is the Quick Reference Guide For Egg Whites, which coverts the basic Macaron recipe to fit any quantity of egg whites you may have, 150g, 100g, 50g, 60g and so on, this is so helpful and makes making small batches a breeze.
These Macarons taste unbelievable, the flavour is nothing short of perfect in my opinion and the Macaron shells have the perfect amount of chew. I would have preferred a slightly better pied (or foot) but all in all I was very happy with this recipe. I can’t wait to try the Tiramisu Macarons, the Tutti Frutti Macarons and the Chocolate Caramel Macarons…
The Chocolate Teapot blog post, 25 October 2010 (excerpt)
BBC Good Food Show Scotland 2010
For me, this year’s highlights were:
Waverley Books – Think Maw Broon’s cookbooks. Except that I purchased Jill Colonna’s book ‘Mad About Macarons!’ and she signed it for me. Such a lovely lady, very full of life and excited to be at the show. And we even got to sample the cutest petite macarons, pistachio and chocolate flavoured, I could have eaten the whole tray! Can’t wait to get baking from the book.
As my publisher, Waverley Books, prefer not to publish the macaron recipes online, you can get them all in my books – now including my 2nd book, Teatime in Paris: A Walk Through Easy Pâtisserie Recipes.
In the meantime, enjoy the following recipes with macarons in them, as well as the growing recipe database, including classic everyday French recipes.