Another in the Series Meet the People – Ordinary and Extraordinary New Zealanders Doing Interesting Things – Amanda McBeath
freely confesses to being obsessed with macaroons and after numerous disasters she’s finally gotten the hang of making these tricky little bites of edible heaven – to the point where she’s started her own business, J’aime les macarons (I love macaroons).
Christchurch-based Amanda, 33 has a Food Science and a Food Marketing degree from Otago University and after travelling overseas for several years – which included a stint “living in Paris and eating macaroons” – she returned to New Zealand and spent several years as head chef for White Tie Catering in Christchurch.
All images March 2009. Ajr
“I spent an obscene amount of time and money on ground almonds trying to learn how to make them to perfection,” she says. “The perfect macaroon depends on so many things,” says Amanda – “the humidity, oven temperature, sugar temperature, the accuracy of ingredient weights, how much you stir the mixture – and because I’m obsessive about them, I won’t sell any that aren’t perfect.” She’s currently making around 300 a week and selling them singly, or in half-dozen boxed sets at Canterbury Farmers’ Market at Riccarton House, at the Sunday French Market in SOL Square and at Blax Deli in Christchurch. She also enjoys the challenge of creating themed macaroons for birthdays, weddings, corporate functions, dinner parties, baby showers and other special occasions. That’s the beauty of them she says – apart from their inherent deliciousness of course – they have limitless creative potential and every week she experiments with a new flavour.