Recipe Number Forty Six: Page 222.
I have made macaroons once before, some years ago. I promised myself I would never make them again, but today I found myself staring down at a macaroon recipe. I am certain I would not have broken my vow if it were not for this challenge! I can't remember the exact details as it was ages ago, but I do know that they tasted rather vile and welded themselves onto the baking trays. It wasn't a Mary Berry recipe, so I hoped I would have more luck on this occasion! The last time I ate a macaroon was on that fateful day, so I wasn't even sure how they should taste. But, on a brighter note, this recipe helped use up some of the egg whites which were left over from the crème brulées!
I had managed to find some blanched almonds after a bit of a search. Not many smaller shops stock them. The almonds in question had to be halved; this was easier said than done. Half of each almond had to be sacrificed as it crumbled when I broke them in half. Eventually I possessed 16 halves and I could dip them in the egg whites and put to one side for later. The egg whites had to be whisked until they formed soft peaks. This didn't take long with my electric whisk and I was soon moving onto the next stage. There is no flour in this recipe. Ground almonds are used instead, along with rice flour. I was ecstatic to see that there is no fat in this recipe. However, my elation was short lived when I saw how much sugar was needed. I carefully folded the dry ingredients into the egg whites along with a few drops of almond extract. The combined mixture did not look very appetising! I placed teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto baking trays which were topped with baking paper. Mary's recipe didn't use the traditional rice paper as I thought it would; the recipe had been altered to make it easier to remove the macaroons from the trays, hence the rice paper is not needed. I placed an almond half on to the top of each macaroon. They were now ready for the oven; this was heated to a very low temperature, but the cooking time was around 25 minutes.
The macaroons on the top shelf of the oven were cooked after the suggested time. I moved the macaroons up from the second shelf and it wasn't long until they were also cooked through. I left them to cool on the trays for a few minutes and then tried to remove one from the baking paper. The top of the macaroon came away from the bottom, which was glued to the paper! I left them to cool for another five minutes or so and tried again. I used a pallet knife to try to un-weld them from the paper. This was mostly successful, but I soon realised it was unnecessary as I could easily peel the paper from the macaroons!
Once the macaroons were cold I reluctantly tried one. It didn't taste anywhere near as bad as I had imagined it would; it was crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle. The taste was obviously very almondy! I would feel nervous about offering one of these macaroons to someone with false teeth, I fear a pair of dentures could easily be tugged out as they are so sticky and chewy. I was happier with the result than I thought I would be; they turned out well. I am, however, still not really converted. I would like to try a French macaroon one day; they are very popular at the moment and look a bit more exciting!
|Not much to look at!!|