Je suis vraiment enchantée to welcome French author Marie Laval to my blog today. Marie is from Lyon, but has lived in the north of England for many years, and she’s actually a friend in real life as well as in cyber-space. So we have a great European mix today – a French author, an English author (me), an Italian recipe and a Scottish novel :)
Bienvenue, Marie. It’s lovely to see you!
Italian almond macaroons
by Marie Laval
I absolutely love marzipan and anything with almonds, so I bake these Italian almond macaroons every Christmas. This is a very fast, very easy recipe I got from my mother.
For about 10 small macaroons, you need:
125 gr (US: 1 1/2 cups) of ground almonds
125 gr (US: just over 1/2 a cup) of caster sugar (superfine sugar)
1 egg white
Mix the ingredients in a bowl with your fingers until you have a smooth paste. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge overnight. The following day, turn the oven on at 180 ̊C / . Make small balls from the paste, and put on a baking tray. Then decorate each macaroon with half a glacé cherry and put the tray into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
These macaroons are delicious – crispy on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside. I usually double the quantities and make two lots. I hope you’ll like them…
Marie’s latest release is The Dream Catcher, the first novel in the Dancing for the Devil trilogy.
Can her love heal his haunted heart?
Cape Wrath, Scotland, November 1847. Bruce McGunn is a man as brutal and unforgiving as his land. Discharged from the army, he is haunted by the spectres of his fallen comrades and convinced he is going mad. And he is running out of time to save his estate from the machinations of Cameron McRae, heir to the McGunn’s ancestral enemies. When the clipper carrying McRae’s new bride is caught in a violent storm and docks at Wrath harbour, Bruce decides to revert to the old ways and hold the clipper and the woman to ransom. However, far from the spoilt heiress he expected, Rose is genuine, funny and vulnerable – a ray of sunshine in the long, harsh winter that has become his life.
Rose is determined to escape Wrath and its proud master – the man she calls McGlum.
Will she be reunited with Cameron McRae, the dazzlingly handsome aristocrat she married after a whirlwind romance in Algiers, or will she risk her heart and her honour to help Bruce discover the truth about his past and solve the brutal murders committed on his land?
The Dancing for the Devil trilogy also includes Blue Bonnets and Sword Dance (to be released in 2016) and is published by Accent Press
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Thanks so much for coming today, Marie. I love your recipe, and in fact I’ve just baked some almond macaroons this week myself, to give as gifts. I agree, they are so simple to make, and delicious. I have The Dream Catcher on my Kindle at the moment – and I absolutely love the dramatic opening! I can’t wait to read the rest!
If you’ve enjoyed Marie’s recipe, or have any comments at all, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!