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Croquants are a wonderful and simple dessert you can do in about four minutes, with a couple of egg whites and some almonds.
The French like egg whites. Madeleines, macarons, meringues, Mont Blanc gâteau - and iles flottants, just to prove that not all the egg white desserts start with ‘m’. What do they do with the yolks? Mais bien sûr, the custard, or crème anglaise that the isles float on. Or the crème patissiere to fill the macarons. Or lots of mayonnaise.
French art of patisserie is wonderfully intricate if you consider éclairs au chocolat, croquembouche or Paris-Brest, but they also make things amazing in their simplicity: a few slabs of puff pastry layered with strawberries and cream – millefeuille. I know, you should make puff pastry from scratch but then you never do, since the good quality shop-bought is, exactly, good quality. More simplicity: croquants, quick, easy and foolproof.
To be honest, I’m not entirely sure if these cookies should be crunchy or gooey. ‘Croquant’ suggests the former, meaning precisely that, but I found the ones a bit less baked nicer. But either way, they soften considerably after a day in a tin.
croquantsServings: 2 dozenTime: about 40 minutes
- 2 large egg whites
- 2-3 drops rose water
- 50g (scant ½ cup) plain flour
- 200g (scant cup) caster sugar
- 25g (4 tbsp.) ground almonds
- 50g (1/3 cup) whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped
- 50g (1/3 cup) flaked almonds
Beat the egg whites very lightly, just to break them down. Add the rose water. Mix the egg whites in a bowl with all the other ingredients to a runny paste.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Line a couple of baking trays with parchment.
With a tea spoon drop portions of the croquant mix onto the parchment, well-spaced apart. Bake for 12 -15 minutes depending how you’d like them: more chewy or crunchy. Cool completely on the parchment (otherwise you won’t get them off it) and peel off with a palette knife.