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January 29, 2010


When I went to Paris last spring, the most delectable indulgence discovered was a cookie called a Macaron (note the one “o”, not two: the macaroon is a completely different animal). In Paris you can actually buy les Macarons in stores dedicated to them, of which the most famous is Pierre Hermes.  These sublime concoctions are displayed in cases like beautiful jewels and are made in the most incredible colours and flavours.  Lines form out the door to purchase these extravagant treats, even though one cookie costs 2 euros, and a slender box of 7 costs 15 euros.

Pierre Hermes Shop, Paris

I thought that only the French would take such time and care to perfect these jewelled morsels, and so what a pleasant surprise it was to discover that in my grandmother’s 80 year old Slovak cookbook was a recipe for them, called Pusedle.  I’ve also learned that macarons were around in France in the late 1800’s.

Pusedle literally translates into little pile, as best I can tell. The cookies are made up of two little piles of baked meringue filled with a creamy ganache center.  When baked, the meringues are like little parachutes, smooth and round on the outside side, with crinkly edges and hollow shells on the inside.

In the Slovak recipe, the pusedle are not coloured. However, in Paris, the cookies were coloured with food colouring or chocolate, and then filled with a wide variety of flavored ganache fillings such as lemon, chocolate, olive oil and vanilla, fleur de sel and caramel, litchi and rose, pistachio, earl grey tea, etc.


I have two versions of the recipe for the Pusedle – so take your pick. The latter recipe is more like the French Macaron. The fillings are the same for each.


2 eggs whites

250 grams sugar

1 teaspoon vinegar


4 egg whites

400 g sugar

4 tbsp lemon juice

400 g ground almonds

1 package vanilla sugar

Lemon filling:

4 egg yolks
2 lemons – rind and juice
250 g. powdered sugar
2 spoons vanilla sugar
125 g.  Butter

Pusedle Steps:

  1. Whip the egg whites to a stiff snow.
  2. Gradually add the sugar, then lemon juice, ground nuts and vanilla sugar.
  3. Mix well, and then spoon a little onto a parchment paper-covered cookie sheet into little piles – the pusedle.
  4. Bake at 300 degrees F for 20-25 minutes
  5. Cool these little pusedle

Filling Steps:

  1. Mix the egg yolks with lemon rind, powdered sugar, vanilla suar and butter
  2. Mix until smooth and foamy
  3. Spread with a thick layer of the filling onto one pusedle
  4. carefully place two pusedle together

You can watch Martha Stewart make macarons here:

These cookies are best eaten within a day of making them; this should be a problem for you.  The weather can affect the pusedle – if it is too humid, they will crack and sink.  Set the eggwhites out (separated) at room temperature for at least 8 hours before whipping them.  This will help make smooth and glossy cookies.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. clatterbach permalink
    February 4, 2010 5:59 pm

    Somehow I think it might be the measure of a mature indigenous food culture that it has shops and restaurants like this dedicated to one thing. In Naples there are pizzerias dedicated to one type of pizza, in New York, steak houses with one dish on the menu, and of course, there used to be oyster bars in London and in many countries, that served their catches one way only. It interests me that I keep chancing upon so many different manifestations of this one phenomenon (sadly in print and on TV rather than in real life; would that I could spend my days wandering around such places!) and at one and the same time it saddens me that I can’t imagine such a thing in the England of today.

    Sorry, file under random musings! Cakes look great. They also look like they would send me into la la land – the slightest sugar and/or colouring sends my mind racing for a week. Very fiddly though, and very cool!

    • February 4, 2010 7:44 pm

      So glad to see you’re back! The Pusedle are fiddly, and honestly, I didn’t really enjoy making them, but eating them was another story. Far too rich, though.

      I have been overly busy this week, and need to catch up on Paul’s story – even I want to know what happens next :).

  2. clatterbach permalink
    February 4, 2010 9:22 pm

    Fiddly food’s not my forte I must say. I would eat it far too quickly. Tapas, say. Now that’s food I don’t quite get, even if it is very cool. Big dishes. Big cakes. 🙂 But yeah, they look lovely.

    Yeah, baking on the trains!!! (Maybe.) Great story. But yeah, you’ve got to give yourself over to other things sometimes too so it doesn’t all become another chore. That would be a shame. Let it come when it comes and enjoy it.

    Having said that, I’ve been busy too. Moving to Wales to work in a Youth Hostel, and have to buy a car etc., so I haven’t been getting any writing done (on short fiction, not my blog, which pretty much stalled months ago and was never intended to take up much of my time), and I’m getting serious withdrawal symptoms.

    Anyway, looking forward to hearing more about Paul.

    (Still not baked the Medovnik! Poor effort on my part.)

    But it’s 2 in the morning here, I don’t know what I’m doing up and I’m rambling..

  3. clatterbach permalink
    February 5, 2010 7:21 pm

    How many people do you not know?

    Something sounds wrong about that question.

    🙂 Thanks. You’re pretty cool yourself.

    Made up for my cake-baking slackness yesterday by finally baking some bread again. I’ve been manic busy myself. Can’t eat it but love doing it. Made a kind of sourdough rye/wheat loaf. Great.

  4. February 18, 2010 10:13 pm

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