A Parisian window without geraniums is like a macaron with no filling.
Even starting out as students in our first Parisian apartment, geraniums brightened up our rickety shutters. It was one of the first things a girl-fresh-from-Scotland just had to do to feel a little French. The other Frenchie things: the discrete bum-wiggle walk, the designer handbag, the slender figure – “le look”, quoi – would need rather more time (20 years on, I’m still awaiting this transformation), but at least this was something easy in the meantime. Le quick fix.
Along by the Parisian quays, it’s also de rigueur. Geraniums are beautifully decked out on peniches, or houseboat barges moored along by the Seine.
Outside Paris, geraniums are coordinated with more colourful shutters for le country look.
So pretty, jolie, French. But have you heard of the rose geranium or pelargonium? When you rub their velvety leaves, a strong lemony-rose scent perfumes the fingers and can pack a powerful punch. Can you imagine the next scene? No, not Rocky – more a French garden scene, peut-être.
Rose geranium leaves can be used to perfume your baking. For your macarons, follow the rose recipe on page 45 of Mad About Macarons. Omit the rose water, using 100ml (3 1/2 fl oz) cream and infuse a few pelargonium leaves in it. Turn off the heat, cover and leave to infuse for an hour. Turn the delicately scented cream back on the heat and follow the recipe. Adding just a few drops of rose geranium aroma just gives it that extra je ne sais quoi for a most delicious macaron sensation. It tastes of rose, but it’s not.
Sue, of Tales from the Giantswood, also has an interesting tip with rose geranium leaves: put the leaves in a sealed jar of sugar and when you bake a cake, place the leaves at the bottom and when it’s baked, peel them off and your cake has the lovely scent of rose geranium. Why not place the rose geranium leaves in caster sugar and use the sugar later in your macaron making?
So sit back and relax with a pot of Darjeeling tea and a few rose geranium macarons. You deserve it. It’s decadent but don’t forget that macarons are gluten free and if they’re homemade, you’re saving for that designer handbag, n’est-ce pas? Now, where was I on that bottom wiggle? No question about it: I shall always be behind on that one.
Time has come, my friends, for me to take a small blogging break. Well, most of Paris is shutting down for the holidays so I may as well join them. 😉 I can’t thank you enough for all of your wonderful support via your comments on Le Blog and for sharing in the fun of macarons in macaronivoreland. I shall see you again on 29 August for more mad macarons, French recipes, and foodie adventures in Paris and around my local haunts. I have so much in store for you so stay tuned.
Great Party Times Giveaway
Don’t forget the Mad About Macarons! competition over at Pippa Middleton’s site, ‘The Party Times‘. You have until 13th August (2011) to post your entry – you could be one of the 10 lucky winners to receive a copy of the book. The competition is open to everyone – no matter where you live – so head on over and join in the fun! Good luck.
Egg Yolk Recipe Series
It’s a real pleasure to have my friend, Carolyn – otherwise known as FoodDreamer – as my guest this week. She has shared her wonderful recipe for Rum and Toasted Coconut Ice Cream. It’s not just a dream to taste – it’s also sugar free, low carb and gluten free. How cool is that?