My poor non-French people,
Valentine’s day is around the corner and I am sad again.
Not that I have no Valentine to dream about (merci ça va, j’ai tout ce qui me faut, I have all I need thank you!), but by the amount of marketing campaigns or other bad chocolate candies it produces all around me in America.
L’amour n’est pas à vendre, messieurs!
Love canot be sold, and even less so with bad quality candies!
I’ve never liked la Saint Valentin, (why celebrate love only once a year?), which is for me the worst day ever to go to the restaurant (Mon Dieu, a room full of couples who feel forced to rejoice over a menu that’s always dull…).
And then, I thought of Macarons.
I’m sure you’ve already heard about and most likely tried these French and perfect cookies. As French and perfect Vartham Muratyam put it well in his Paris Vs NewYork blog, they are the equivalent of the American cupcake.
But I’m not a very big fan of the colourful “fancy” Ladurée macaron anymore.I guess it’s a little bit like my love life.
When I was jeune et jolie, back in the days, I wanted to try every taste and exotic flavour I could experience…
Now I’m more looking for something authentic…
That’s how I ended up making these
4 egg whites
a pinch of salt
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
½ pound almond flour
Macarons are perfect for Valentine for two reasons.
First, because their basic ingredient is almond flour. Almonds are actually the authentic symbols of Saint Valentine. The story goes that when Saint Valentine, a catholic priest who helped forbidden lovers to get married, was murdered, an almond tree grew up and bloomed on his grave.
Second, because macarons were actually invented to celebrate love. They were created in 1660 as a wedding present to the infante of Spain, Marie-Thérèse, who crossed the Pyreneans to get married to king Louis XIV. The family of the inventor of this recipe, Monsieur Adam, still make them and sell them in Saint-Jean de Luz.
Since then, these delicious and yet incredibly simple almond cookies have been all the rage in the South West of France and in many other places, where they all claim to make the “vrai macaron“: macaron de Boulay, Macaron de Nancy… or Macaron de Saint Emillion. Those are so sticky that they are sold on a piece of paper. You unstick them as you eat them…
Now the other great thing about these delicious cookies is that they are 100% gluten free!
So this year, for Valentine day, don’t stuff your loved one with bad chocolates, be French and parfait and bake these ridiculously good and simple macarons!
(Ok I hate this day but I love Champagne, so if by any chance someone here reads this post and is married to me, I might consider drinking some bubble like these amoureux de Peynet. And did you know that Champagne goes perfectly with macarons? Si si!)
- Preheat your oven at 350°F
- Whisk the egg whites and the salt until starting to get thick. Then add the sugar, the orange-blossom water, and the almond flour. Stop when the batter is homogenous. You can put it back in the fridge for an hour for it to be easier to use afterwards
- Put a parchment paper sheet on a pastry rack. Using a tablespoon, take some of the batter, the size of a walnut. Roll it with your hands, and press it on the parchment paper.
- Space the cookies well and put in the oven for 15 minutes: take them out as soon as they start to get golden.
- Let them cool down and store in an airtight metallic box for at least one day before eating.
Bon appétit les amis!