Cafes and bakeries across France feature the nation’s iconic macaroons on their menus. Now, the little treats will also be available year-round to residents of Winston-Salem and Greensboro, North Carolina.
The bite-sized baked goods – prized for their slightly crunchy shell, savory fillings and cheerful color palette – have become a permanent part of the offerings at both Cheesecakes by Alex locations, thanks to customer requests.
“When a customer asks us if we would be willing to do something, we take it seriously,” said Alex Amoroso, owner of Cheesecakes by Alex. “That’s the essence of what we’ve done over the years. Many of our products have been customer-focused. »
The delicious business was spearheaded by Alex’s son and Johnson & Wales University-trained chef Tim Amoroso, but it hasn’t been easy. Meringue cookies have a notorious reputation for requiring precise preparation.
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“Macarons can be really finicky,” Alex said. “I hesitated to propose them because we have been very busy and we have to choose them well and develop consistency. Humidity can even play an important role in their success. It’s really hard, but Tim always likes a challenge.
Classic macaroons are made with egg whites, almond flour and, of course, sugar (which makes them naturally gluten-free). Delicate desserts are known for their smooth sides and famously jagged edge or “foot.”
“For me, I was drawn to the challenge. It was something I had never done before,” said Tim Amoroso. “Plus, the difficulty level means you can’t find them just anywhere.”
Although it is a French pastry, there is also an Italian method and a Swedish method of making macaroons. Tim borrowed all three techniques to come up with an original recipe for Cheesecakes by Alex shops.
“I did a lot of trial and error and made a lot of mistakes, but we really developed our own process,” Tim said. “We created a fluffy exterior with a sweet and delicious center. We are consistent and customers love them.
The delicate sandwich cookies currently come in four flavors: pistachio, salted caramel, raspberry and fruity pebbles.
And the Amorosos have another creative flavor in the works.
“We have an employee at Winston who is obsessed with all things purple — purple socks, purple clothes, everything purple,” Tim said. “He inspired us to make a purple macaroon.”
Purple yam, or ube, will create the intense color while giving it a light vanilla, slightly nutty and sweet taste, and a sprinkle of red curry will be added to give it a gentle heat.
Customers can expect even more options in the coming months. Tim has already toyed with recipes for Lemon Basil and Cookies and Cream Macaroons, among others.
“It remains to be seen how many varieties we will offer each week, but we will rotate them,” said Tim. “That’s the good thing about macaroons. You can always find fun new flavors.
The macaroons are available in store seven days a week and can also be shipped nationwide. To visit the store or for more information, go to cheesecakesbyalex.com.