Saturday, 13 February 2010
There is something very tempting and delicious about almond macaroons . . .
Perhaps it's that tiny bit of resistance on the outside as you sink your teeth into one . . . that crispy sweet exterior that is so very, very moreish . . .
Or maybe it's their exquisitely soft melt-in your-mouth interior . . . flavoured with ground almonds . . . sweet and almost chewy . . . scrummy, scrummy, scrummy . . .
Could it be the nutty crunch of that lovely toasted almond which sits on the top ? ? ?
Who knows . . . whatever it is . . . it has me coming back for . . . one . . . more . . . bite.
Again . . . and again . . . these little babies are addictive.
makes one dozen
Who doesn't love a sweet macaroon, crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside and full of delicious almond flavours!
4 ounces ground almonds
1 1/2 to 2 egg whites
5 ounces caster sugar
12 blanched almond halves
icing sugar to dust (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F. Line a baking tray with silicone paper or parchment. Set aside.
Beat the egg whites with a fork until foamy. Put the ground almonds into a food processor and process until very fine. This should take about 15 seconds. Add 1/4 of the egg whites. Process for 10 seconds. Add half of the sugar. Process for 10 seconds. Add another 1/4 of the egg whites and the remaining sugar. Process for another 10 seconds. Add a further 1/4 of the egg whites. Process again. The mixture should be quite soft, but you should be able to shape it into 12 balls the size of a walnut. If you think the mixture is too stiff, add the remaining egg white.
Place the balls 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheet. Brush all over with cold water and then drop 1/2 an almond on each. Bake for 15 to 16 minutes, until lightly browned. Take care not to overbake. They should be crisp on the outside, but still moist and chewy on the insides. Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool.
Dust with icing sugar if desired. Store in an airtight container.