Millet, sorghum, fonio, peanut, millet and okra are some of the ingredients that make African cuisine so unique. Ful sudani, peanut macarons from Sudan, is a recipe that features one of these staple ingredients.
Macarons come in all colors and all flavors. Pastry chefs have gone overboard to stand out and create new versions of macarons, both savory than sweet.
The origin of macaron
But the macaron (also called Parisian macaron) has a story and the story of this little round pastry is not limited to these two small shells that enclose a ganache or jam.
The true and original macaron is a round and little grainy pastry, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. It can be both plain and flavored depending on the recipe.
It always includes three essential ingredients:
– Icing sugar
– Egg whites
Depending on the country, the recipe or the origins, you can find macarons where almonds were replaced by ground coconut, peanuts or hazelnuts.
According to certain sources, the macaron recipe appeared for the first time in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, in the 15th century under the name louzieh, a confectionery from Umayyad which was offered by pastry chefs to an Ottoman caliph.
In the Middle Ages, macaron made its first entry into the European scene in Venice, Italy. This was the time when the maritime traffic was booming. Foreign delicacies were brought back by explorers. Among them, a small soft and crunchy pastry that Italians call maccherone (thin crust) which became “macaron” in French.
It was during the Renaissance that these treats were introduced in France by Catherine de Medici, on the occasion of her marriage with the Duke of Orleans, the future King of France. Macaron fast became a specialty from several regions in France, that compete for its paternity until today.
There are two versions of macarons. The classic macaron and the Parisian macaron.
Pierre Desfontaine, who is none other than the grandson of Ernest Louis Ladurée, is the inventor of the famous Parisian macaron, the one of the famous French luxury bakery and sweets maker house Ladurée.
In the early twentieth century, a new presentation of the macaron was invented in Paris. Pierre Desfontaine combines two shells between which he inserts a ganache.
The Parisian macaron, small, large or heart-shaped, comes in the most extravagant flavors: rose petals, Yunnan tea, ginger, apricot or viola just to name a few.
It is often believed that the peanut is a nut, but in reality, it is a legume just like beans. Peanuts are an excellent source of vegetable protein, although they are less complete than animal proteins.
In addition, peanut is very rich in antioxidants, which makes it a food that can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Another surprise: peanut fat is essentially a good fat, mainly mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
Many researchers have found that people who show increased risks for cardiovascular disease due to high blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglycerides have greater health benefits from eating peanuts.
Peanuts go very well with sugar, in the preparation of desserts and pastries or simply coated with caramel, just like for garrapinadas, which are an integral part of traditional Argentinian cuisine.
Sudanese ful sudani is no other than a peanut-based macaron.
Ful sudani are traditional peanut-based macarons that are originally from Sudan.
- 2 cups unsalted peanuts
- 3 egg whites
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180˚C).
- Roast peanuts.
- Remove their skin by rubbing vigorously between your hands.
- Grind them until reaching a grainy texture (not fine powder).
- Split the vanilla bean in half, remove the seeds and mix with peanuts.
- Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff.
- Lower the power of the food processor and add the icing sugar very slowly in small quantities.
- Finally incorporate the peanuts.
- On a baking sheet with parchment paper, place small and well spaced spoonfuls of the dough.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- The macarons should be lightly colored.