When it comes to baking, a particular nemesis of mine is the macaroon. After various failed attempts I always vow never to go near them again! But it neve lasts... I have been trying to hunt down a 'fault-proof' recipe, which isn't too fussy (you know its a no go area when thermometers are concerned!) I decided to try out a recipe by Lorraine Pascal and voila! By far the easier recipe I have come across and tasted so good! Here is the result, hope you enjoy...
125g/4½oz icing sugar
125g/4½oz ground almounds
90g/3½oz free-range egg whites
2 tbsp water
110g/4oz caster sugar
food colouring (optional)
desiccated coconut, for sprinkling (optional)
150ml/5fl oz double or whipped cream, whipped
1.Preheat the oven to 170/C/325F/Gas 5 and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
2.Put the icing sugar, ground almonds and 40g/1½oz egg whites together in a large bowl and mix to a paste.
3.Put the water and caster sugar in a small pan and heat gently to melt the sugar, then turn up the heat and boil until the mixture starts to go syrupy and thickens
4.Whisk the remaining 50g/2oz egg whites in a bowl until medium-stiff peaks form, then pour in the sugar syrup, whisking until the mixture becomes stiff and shiny. For coloured macaroons, add a few drops of food colouring, at this stage I did not piut enough pink, hence how the colour did not show up when cooked!)
5.Tip this meringue mixture into the almond paste mixture and stir gently until the becomes stiff and shiny again.
6.Spoon into the piping bag. Pipe a little mixture under each corner of the baking paper to stop it sliding around. Pipe circles onto the lined tray, twisting the bag after each one. The mixture should be quite loose to give a smooth finish.
7.When they’re all piped, give the tray 2–3 slams on a flat surface to flatten them. At this stage, sprinkle with desiccated coconut if you want.
8. Leave to stand for 30 minutes to form a skin then bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes with the door slightly ajar until firm. Remove from the oven, lift the paper off the baking tray and leave the macaroons to cool on the paper.
9.When cool, sandwich the macaroons together with whipped cream. They can be kept for a couple of days, but they are so yummy you would want to eat them all!
Lots of love, Paloma xxx