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Gluten Free, No Fat and 100% French: vive le macaron!

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!

If you give me anything on this stupid day, I leave you. If you don't, same thing!

If you give me anything on this stupid day, I leave you. If you don’t, same thing!

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.

macaron 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

Vrais macarons

IMG_9352

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.

French macarons, authentic gluten free macarons, les vrais macarons, pays basque

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…

IMG_6175

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!

IMG_9349
(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!)

peynet

  • 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.

IMG_9346

 Bon appétit les amis!

 

 

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8 Comments On This Topic
  1. French Girl in Seattle posted
    February 10, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    What a cool story, Cécile. Loved every bit of it (and no, I am not saying that “just” because I am from the Southwest ;-)) I might give that recipe a try. Even I couldn’t get this one wrong. Sharing with the French Girl in Seattle friends. We still have a lot to learn about French pastries, clearly. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

    • Cecile Delarue posted
      February 10, 2015 at 8:16 pm

      Merci Véronique!! I’m not from the Southwest but it’s definitely one of my favorite area of France (above all for food!)

  2. Elyse Cartier posted
    February 11, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    May I suggest that you check out today’s Food section in the New York Times if American advertising on chocolate is not to your liking? (Why must the French always whine so? MDR.) Perhaps you will find something there that pleases you since it involves finer chocolate. Valentine’s Day is mostly celebrated by younger people who may not be able to afford the best or most expensive of anything. I just found your blog and facebook page a couple weeks ago. I would like to like it, really I would, because my mother is French, I grew up in France and I spend half of every year in our home there. But I find your “My poor non-French people” and “french and parfait” routine annoying and slightly condescending to anyone not French. I really hope that you are just trying to be silly?

    • Cecile Delarue posted
      February 11, 2015 at 8:20 pm

      Bonjour Elyse! Of course I am trying to be silly. I’m sorry that it wasn’t obvious at the first reading. I tried to explain it in the “about me” page… trying to joke at the whole “the french know better thing”, while at the same time sharing my French heritage. I hate the whole “French whining” as much as you do, that’s partly why I decided to write that blog this way.
      I love the fact that fine dining and eating (and good chocolates!) are easier and easier to get here in the US, but it’s still somehting that’s more related to big cities like NY, LA, SF or Chicago, as far as I’ve seen. And it’s not because you”re young and have no money that you should experience bad food! This recipe for example does not cost a lot and is a great way to offer a great gift without spending (too much) money…
      PS: love your last name by the way. Same as my mother’s family.. Sorry to say so but we might be related!!!

  3. Elyse Cartier posted
    February 11, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Hooray…..I will keep reading!! To tell you the truth, after I posted my comment, I looked at one of your videos and realized that you were indeed being silly. Being half French and half American, I only want for everyone to appreciate the best of both. I do get a little defensive at times, for all of us….

    Anyway, you are gorgeous…and funny! The very best combination. Bisous…

    • Cecile Delarue posted
      February 12, 2015 at 11:50 pm

      Merci Elyse! Keep beeing French american and perfect!!!

  4. Mimi Nugent posted
    February 12, 2015 at 2:04 am

    Merci, Cecile pour la recette – from a half -French girl! My mom was from the Southwest and the macarons will be wonderful!

    • Cecile Delarue posted
      February 12, 2015 at 11:50 pm

      Merci Mimi! I hope you like the macarons!


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