Cordes, located near the stunning town of Albi, is one of the most beautiful hilltop villages in France and one of my favourite French destinations. This unique biscuit was created at the end of the 19th century.
- 250 g (9 oz) caster sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 140 g (5 oz) plain flour
- 180 g (6 oz) whole roasted almonds, halved
- ½ tsp pure vanilla essence
- a little icing sugar, for dusting
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 1 hour
In a bowl, combine the sugar with the egg whites and whisk until creamy white. Mix in the flour, almonds and vanilla essence until just combined. Form the dough into a ball, flatten it to about 2 cm and refrigerate for an hour.
Roll the dough out to 1 cm thickness (do this between two layers of baking paper) and cut into 8 cm-wide strips, then each strip into 2 cm pieces. Place the biscuits on a greased biscuit tray – no matter if the biscuits have different shapes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6).
Bake the biscuits in the oven for about 8 minutes or until done. When cold, dust them with icing sugar.
They’re nice served with fresh seasonal fruits, especially peaches, apricots and raspberries. I also like them with baked figs.
Photography by Benito Martin