Cupcakes V Macarons - what next?
First there were cupcakes, a confection that embodied the frivolity of the Sex and the City 1990s, which hit its peak in the new millennium when 110m sold in one year in the UK.
...then came the Macaron, confectionary's Carine Roitfeld to the cupcake's Carrie Bradshaw.
Not to be confused with a British macaroon, these pastel meringue dreams were every instagrammer/blogger/tweeter’s dream. Gluten-free and stunning to look at, these delicate almond based patisseries were flying off the shelves. Admittedly macarons were a challenge for the home baker but the pay off was self-congratulation and adoration to anyone that perfected the recipe.
Now, here we are a few years later and there is another shift in the air. It seems that you can photograph a French Macaron too much as their popularity is starting to plummet. Which once again leads us to the same question we faced before: What’s next?
The answer is - we're divided. Some are hailing the éclair as the next big thing, with the French classic' s starring role on the Great British Bake Off (who can forget Nadiya's bubblegum flavoured topping?) and the recent release of Christophe Adam’s book Éclairs! it seems as though higher end patisserie could be a strong contender. Or could it?
Over on the other side of the kitchen the doughnut is being touted as the next big thing. With all the oozing, chocolate smeared and sugar coated mess of the doughnut contending with the sophisticated decoration and genteel of an éclair, it is anyone’s game.
Both bakes lend themselves to infinite flavour combinations, toppings and fillings, both can be as tricky to perfect, and – most importantly – both are incredibly photogenic. Ultimately, it comes down to a battle of the continents: Europe or America? America brought us the cupcake; a sturdy, sickly, beautiful canvas for food art, whereas France brought us the Macaron; delicate, sophisticated, food as art. But which one will bring us the next big trend?
Personally? I’ll take them all.
What do you think is the NBT in home baking?
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