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Delicious biscuits, made by piping an almond-flavoured egg whites on to rice paper – although this can be eliminated, if preferred, by using silicon/bakewell paper instead.
For about 12 macaroons:
120gr/4 oz Ground Almonds
180gr/6 oz Caster Sugar
2 medium Egg Whites, lightly-beaten
1 level tablespoon (4ml) Cornflour
1 dessertspoon Water (10ml)
½ teaspoon Vanilla Essence (not flavouring)
12 Blanched Almonds
Equipment needed: 2 flat baking trays. Sheets of non-stick baking paper, if not using rice paper. A whisk. A piping bag or plastic bag with a 1cm/½ in corner removed.
1. Line 2 baking trays with rice paper, if using, or with non-edible non-stick baking paper, if you decide not to have traditional rice paper bases to your macaroons.
2. Heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6
3. Mix together the ground almonds, caster sugar and egg whites to form a smooth mixture.
4. Add the cornflour, water and vanilla essence and mix well in.
5. Fill a piping bag with the mixture and pipe it onto the rice or baking paper in blobs about the size of heaped teaspoons, allowing good space between each biscuit.
6. Put a blanched almond on the centre of each.
7. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the macaroons are golden brown and firm to the touch. They should also look slightly ‘cracked’.
8. Remove them from the oven and when they are cool enough to handle cut round each, just leaving the rice paper fixed to the biscuit. If using baking parchment, they should come off easily.
They can be stored in an air-tight tin for a week or so, but tend to harden, and are at their very best served fresh.