I bought the Laduree recipe books after our first trip to Paris nearly 3 years ago. A good friend was living there at the time and told us about this macaron house that was gaining popularity along the Champs Elysees.
We went there for breakfast one day (it was our delayed-honeymoon afterall) and I was smitten!! The pastel pinks and greens with gold accents were just so elegant and romantic. My eggs were so buttery and light, and even came presented so perfectly neat!
We thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast and bought a selection of macarons to take home with us. And that is when the infatuation with Laduree began. And the thing is, I feel like we were moments ahead of the curve! Because it was only a matter of months later that Laduree utterly exploded across the Channel and is now a household name. Was it our influence, one can never confirm or deny, but, it was fun to watch the expansion having discovered them before the rest of the world!!
Anyway, I digress. I bought the two recipe books soon after our trip, and love pouring through the recipes as they are all so beautiful. Unfortunately they aren't exactly gluten friendly so I haven't been baking from them for a few months, but these shortbread are so delicious I think I might try and substitute flours soon. But if you aren't gluten intolerant, try these incredibly soft and rich shortbread, and if you aren't currently sitting along the Champs Elysees, these might just take you there anyway.
I am not sure whether the shape makes them Viennese, or whether its the addition of salt and an egg white.... or maybe it is just how delicate and romantic they are, perhaps you should be enjoying them whilst the violins play in the background.....
We just enjoyed them. Full stop.
1 pinch coarse sea salt
75g icing sugar
A few drops of vanilla extract
1 egg white
1 3/4 cups (225g) of plain flour
1. Cut the butter into small pieces and put with salt in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Using a wooden spoon, soften until creamy. Remove from heat and whisk until smooth and pale.
2. Add icing sugar, vanilla and the egg white gradually and mix well after each addition. Whisk for approx 2 minutes after adding the egg white.
3. Sift the flour and add to the mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth and well combined.
5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and pipe ribbons of batter in the shape of the letter Z.
6. Place tray in oven for about 15 minutes, on 150C (300F).
7. Allow to cool completely and dust with icing sugar to serve.
If nothing else, don't they just look so pretty!!