A few weeks ago we stayed at the French city of Toulouse, a city on the banks of the river Garonne and well known for its impressive Place du Capitole and for the use of red bricks to construct houses and buildings. We walked through the old city centre, along the Canal du Midi, visited the beautiful Japanese garden and explored Carmes, a very nice neighbourhood with lots of small shops and restaurants. One day per week you’ll find a market with local products on the Place Du Salin. We saw very nice vegetables, dried sausages, cheese and Macaron a l’Ancienne, produced by Maison Boudiou from Saïx. The macarons came in various flavours, such as pistachio, orange, chocolate, natural and rose. All incredibly yummy.
The history of the macaron goes back a long time, perhaps to the 8th century. This kind of macaron, also known as Traditionnel, Amaretties or Macaron Italien, is made with almonds, sugar and egg white. Indeed, exactly the same ingredients as today’s popular macaron. The main difference is that in case of the Macaron à l’Ancienne the egg white is only slightly beaten, and not turned into meringue. The egg white is used to connect the sugar and the grounded almonds.
Its taste made us think of marzipan, obviously, and a Dutch biscuit called bitterkoekje. No filling required and surprisingly simple to make.
What You Need
- 150 Grams of Fine Granulated (or Caster) Sugar
- 150 Grams of Almonds
- 2 Egg Whites
- 4-6 teaspoons of Orange Blossom Water
What You Do
This is a recipe for some 20 macarons. We use relatively little sugar; feel free to add more.
Preheat your oven to 180°C, upper and lower heat (the fan function will make the macarons dry and crunchy on the outside). Finely ground the almonds or (much quicker) use pure almond flour. In a bowl, mix the sugar and the almond powder. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until lightly foaming. Gently add the egg whites into the bowl and then fold them in until you have a batter. Add the orange blossom water, taste and if necessary, add some more. Make balls the size of a walnut. Place them on parchment paper and leave in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes, depending on the shape and color. Let cool on a rack.
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Love Toulouse and macaroons
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