Isaphan: From Ancient City to Floral Desserts!
Nothing beats an authentic French macaron. With a crisp exterior with a delectably-chewy interior, I sometimes wish I could buy one the size of a cake. And now, I can!
French pastry chef Pierre Hermé is known for inventing countless desserts and even created a line of pastries inspired by the Classical city of Isaphan! Isaphan was an ancient Persian city that was one of the largest trading cities at the time. Later, it even played an integral role on the Silk Road and was nicknamed "half the world" because of its forward-thinking influence on other cultures. While the city is known for many different commodities, one of the most famous is their Damask rose "Isaphan" that was a great inspiration for Pierre Hermé. Based off of this flower, he experimented with the flavors of rose and raspberry (which is now a well-known combo) and soon developed a line of "Isaphan" desserts, starting with a cake-sized macaron!
Since then, he has developed a robust line of desserts ranging from cakes and cookies to candies and ice cream. The New York Times recently shared one of his recipes for "Isaphan" Sablés and I can't wait to make them! Check out the recipe below to add some sweetness to your Sunday repertoire.
- 1/4 cup sanding sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon rose extract
- red food coloring
- 1/2 cup freeze-dried raspberries
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 stick + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temp)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon rose extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel
1. For sugar: Put sugar, extract, and a few drops of food coloring in a small zip-lock bag. Seal and shake until color is even.
2. For cookies: Put the raspberries between sheets of wax paper and crush with a rolling pin until powder-like. Whisk powder into flour.
3. With a mixer, beat butter on medium until soft and creamy but not airy (2 min). Add sugar, extract, and fleur de sel and beat for 3 more min. Scrape down bowl and add flour all at once, pulsing on and off to incorporate. Then, mix on low until dough forms small clumps and begins to clean sides of bowl. Scrape onto the counter and divide into 4 pieces.
4. Roll each dough piece into 8-in-long logs. Spread the sugar on a piece of wax paper and roll the logs in sugar until coated. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (up to 3 days).
5. To bake, preheat oven to 325 and slice logs into 1/2-in-thick rounds. Bake on parchment-lined baking sheets about 2 in apart. Bake for 19-21 minutes, rotating the top and bottom sheets and turning the sheets front to back after 10 min. Let cookies rest for 2 min before transferring to a cooling rack.
Photo courtesy of TravellingFoodies