Louis-Ernest Ladurée founded the bakery on the Rue Royale, Paris in 1862. Ladurée’s rise to fame came in 1930 when his grandson, Pierre Desfontaines, had the original idea of the double-decker, sticking two macaron shells together with a creamy ganache as filling. Queen Catherine de Medici had brought the macaron to France from Italy in the 16th century, and the recipe for the biscuit had hardly varied over the years, but the amounts of the ingredients used and the appearance of the end product were up to the individual bakers.

Desfontaines also opened a tearoom at the pastry shop. In those days ladies were not admitted to cafés, which were the exclusive domain of men. This was a big success with ladies, who enjoyed meeting in the freedom of the tearoom rather than their homes.

The International development of Ladurée started in 2005 with London. Ladurée stores are now also present in Monaco, Switzerland, Japan, Italy, Lebanon, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, Kuwait, Ireland, and the USA.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Peanut butter fudge

PREPARATION TIME: Less than 30 mins

COOKING TIME: Less than 10 mins

MAKES: 36 - 42


            125g/4½oz butter  

            500g/1lb 2oz dark brown sugar

            120ml/4fl oz milk

            250g/9oz crunchy peanut butter

            vanilla pod, seeds only

            300g/10½oz icing sugar

Preparation method

Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.

Stir in the brown sugar and milk, and bring to the boil for 2-3min without stirring.

Remove from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla seeds.

Place the icing sugar in a large bowl, and pour the hot butter and sugar mixture on top.

Using a wooden spoon, beat the mixture until smooth.

Pour into a 20cm/8in square baking tray, and set aside to cool slightly, then place in the fridge to chill completely

Cut the fudge into squares with a sharp knife, turn out of the tin and store in an airtight container.