Tonight, we are showcasing the best of Normandy with an authentic French dessert made from Apples, Calvados, butter, cream and eggs. It is an absolutely delicious dessert that reminds me how the French enjoy a little of everything with an easy notion of restraint. This is a fabulous dessert, easy to make, delicious to eat, but devastatingly rich. Go easy, enjoy a little and love it a lot!
So, yesterday I shared with you a little history about the introduction of this little Italian macaron to France. This morning, I woke up from dreaming about my macaron dough resting in the fridge, thinking of Amiens for an entirely different reason all together.
Amiens holds a special place in my family’s history, as it does no doubt for many others. Watching Michael Matthews race with the ANZAC armband and a painful set of broken ribs I was reminded why this part of the French countryside was so special, and what these modern day road warriors share in common with the men who have bled into the same countryside before them.
I visited Amiens in 2007 with my family. We were looking a war memorial dedicated to the 7th Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment – of which my grandfather was part. In May of 1940 he was one of only 70 soldiers of an almost 600 man strong battalion who survived a major assault from Major General Rommel’s 7th Panzer Division at St Roche. His battalion fighting with courage and tenacity to defend the town of Amiens.
My grandfather survived, to be captured along with 69 others of his Battalion and spent the remainder of his war in a POW camp in Poland, before undertaking The Long March back to Germany for repatriation at the end of the war.
The town of Amiens is warmly welcoming to families of those men who put their lives on the line defending them throughout the duration of both the First and Second World Wars. The people of Amiens and its surrounds are custodians of so many of our loved ones, from all over the Commonwealth that our countries seem irrevocably linked.
It seems a small thing for me to be able to make these delectable Amiens Macarons in their honour.
Lest We Forget
Well, like most of the Australian riders after the Stage 3 crashes I required an evening off last night to recuperate … But we are back tonight with the dish for Stage 3 – the Tarte de Cambrai.
This is one of those puddings that should not need a recipe. This is one of those dishes that your nan or your mum just used to knock up, seemingly out of thin air, and deliver still warm from the oven to the dinner table. Warm, substantial and soothingly unctuous, the Tarte de Cambrai is one dessert that will slot effortlessly into your repertoire.
Jump across to the recipe page and give it a go!
Okay, so cinnamon scrolls are pretty popular with my family, so what better treat to bake this afternoon than the Dutch version – Zeeuwse Bolus.
These sweet treats are reputedly of Jewish origin and a local to the Dutch province of Zeeland in The Netherlands. They are sweet, tasty and definitely ugly in appearance – but I wont hold that against them!
Contrary to the cinnamon scrolls that I am familiar with, these treats are coated inside and out in a heady mix of cinnamon and dark brown sugar. I read in my research that the name for these treats stems from the Latin word for ball, which has since been adapted in the common vernacular to refer to ‘poo’ simply because of the way these sweet treats look. Having now baked them, I cannot beg to differ… that is exactly what they look like, but don’t let that deter you. They taste absolutely delicious!