Google Photos reminded me this week that it was four years ago since we made our first visit to Rosendals trädgård – Rosendal’s garden – in Djurgården, formerly a royal hunting domain, nowadays Stockholm’s largest and lushest park, its greenest lung right in the middle of the city. Although we lived in Stockholm for 2,5 years and visited Djurgården many times, it was only during the stretch of our final months there that we managed to pay this cosy flower garden / vegetable garden / orchard, with a small playground and renowned garden café a visit, for previously we never made it beyond the confines of Skansen, the open-air museum quasi next door to Rosendals trädgård. Our children were extremely eager visitors of Skansen (if you ever plan going there, it’s great to know that its traditional bakery sells some accidentally vegan sweet buns) and the place still holds a magical place in their memories. You might imagine that it was quite a task getting them to Rosendals trädgård along Djurdgårdsvägen without them noticing that we were actually passing by Skansen. But we actually managed that on that warm day in early June 2014.
Then half a year ago, when me and my husband were paying Stockholm a visit by ourselves, we biked from Slussen to Djurgården, and entering the domain of Rosendals trädgård, vivid memories of that day instantly resurfaced, and it felt as if our once nearly 3- and 5-year-olds could emerge right there, clamping first the trunks and then the branches of fruit trees, performing a balancing act on a wooden structure, giggling on the swings, and indulging in a cup of Lily & Hannah’s ice cream.
We did not have this raw ice cream this time, which in 2014 was still newly launched, and had at the time of our last visit in 2017 already made it to mainland Europe and our local Loving Hut‘s freezer. No, this time we decided to have a look at what that day’s buffet had to offer, and we unanimously settled on gigantic nöttoppar, hazelnut macaroons, that is. Ever since taking my first bite of that perfectly balanced piece of wonder (crunchy on the outside, tender and moist on the inside), packed with flavour and overwhelming my taste buds with pure hazelnut pleasure, I was determined to set out on a quest for recreation once we got home.
As things often go, that plan got snowed under. Autumn came, winter came, spring arrived, and no nöttoppar had emerged from my frequently used oven yet. But when I found some priceworthy packages of ground hazelnuts at a Lidl in Normandy during our Easter vacation, I picked some of these up, and knew what their destiny would be. Never mind that in Germany, Haselnussmakaronen are a typical Christmas treat, to me they can be baked and eaten all year round, be it May, August or September.
As I had previously experimented quite satisfactorily with aquafaba in coconut macaroons, I decided to sub the egg whites which you will find in regular hazelnut macaroon recipes by aquafaba here as well. As my previous subbing had yielded coconut macaroons that were perhaps somewhat moister than the result I had aimed for, I added some chia seeds here as well, hoping to achieve a more viscous liquid. A succesful thought, that was. Lo’ and behold the result and the recipe below.
- 50 g vegan margarine
- 200 g ground hazelnuts
- 1 dl (1/3 cup + 1 TB) powdered sugar
- 4 TB aquafaba
- 1 heaped tsp chia seeds
- Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees Celcius
- Mix the aquafaba with chia seeds and set the mixture aside until the seeds have reached a jelly-like consistency
- Melt the margarine
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl and form about 12 equal and slightly pointed mounds. Insert a full hazelnut in the middle, if you wish.
- Bake for about 18-20 minutes
- Let cool completely
- Optional: decorate with chocolate