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Jewish almond macaroons

April 14, 2010

I had some leftover egg white to use up, and not really being in the mood for meringues I decided that macaroons were the way forward. One of my flatmates dislikes coconut and I tend to rely mainly on him to eat anything I make, so the coconut macaroons I was thinking of were out of the question.

I found a beautifully easy recipe for almond macaroons on the bbc food website. I made a first batch as the recipe, these came out slightly overcooked, as I forgot about them, and ended up going really hard, but tasted amazing, and as they were going down very quickly I decided to try a rosewater and cardamom variation. These were cooked perfectly, such that they were still slightly chewy when cool, but the flavour wasn’t as good as the almond ones. They were nice, but the rosewater, cardamom, almond and sugar combination was very sweet and perfumy with nothing to cut through it, that being said, if you’re in the mood for something very sweet then these were perfect!

Recipe:

175g ground almonds

125g caster sugar

pinch of salt

1 tsp almond essence

1 egg white, whipped until foamy

Oven temp = 160˚C

Add almond essence to the whipped egg white.

Mix in almonds, sugar and salt with a wooden spoon, the mixture will start to come together, but you will probably need to use your hands to bring together to form a firm paste.

Taking small portions of the paste, roll it between your hands to form balls, place these on a lined baking sheet, and press down each ball a little. The macaroons will retain their shape in the oven, so shape them as you would like them to come out.

Bake at 160˚C for 15-20 mins, it’s important not to overcook them, as they will go hard. So watch them and take them out before they start to brown.

For the rosewater and cardamom variation:

Replace the almond essence with the

  • crushed seeds from 3-4 cardamom pods

and

  • 1-2 tsp of rosewater depending on taste.

I also added a tiny touch of red food colouring to give a pink colour. Make sure you add this to the egg white so that it is evenly distributed throughout the macaroons. I added the food colouring and rosewater later and ended up with little pink streaks in the macroons and some very heavily rosewater flavoured ones and some much less so!

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