I'm sitting here now, munching on my 1st ever homemade Macaroon, whilst writing my 1st ever blog entry.
Granted, my Macaroons didn't turn out the way the recipe (or I) intended them to, and certainly they arent nearly as pretty or refined in appearance as i'd envisaged, BUT (and this is a big but!) they have the most amazing texture and a simply heavenly taste, (which is fairly rare for me to state of my own baking, as i'm genuinely tediously self-critical!).
I think my artistic license paid off with these delicious Almond Macaroon Slices: as i made too much mixture for just 1 of my small swiss-roll sized baking trays which i'd already lined with edible rice paper, and due to my macaroon mixture being slightly looser than needed to form a neat macaroon shaped biscuit (due to my adding a little extra whipped egg white! tut tut!), i decided to fill the swiss-roll tin as i would for a swiss-roll or shortbread, (rather than use 2 tins and add more of the dry ingredients to make a stiffer batter, which was probably the most sensible way to go, but it was late, i was tired etc etc, so being sensible took a back seat on this occassion;). I wasn't too sure whether baking the macaroon mixture in one piece, to be cut into fingers later, would affect the beautiful combination of textures in a good almond macaroon, with the surface area being reduced and the mixture baked quite thickly, but i had a good feeling about this particular gamble!
They took a little longer to bake this way of course but after cutting, and anxiously waiting for my Macaroon fingers to cool, the heady scent of almond teasing my senses, i finally brought a slice to my lips and from that moment i was in total bliss! ~ Mmmm!, the light, crisp, slightly glossy exterior, gently cracking under my teeth, quickly crumbling and simmultaneously melting as i bite down deeper into the moist, springy, slightly chewy and oh-so-almondy centre, leaving a kiss of melted almond-scented sweetness on my lips. I paused my pleasuresome tasting session just long enough to pour a glass of cold semi-skimmed milk from the fridge and i resumed my tasting duties with relish, this time dipping a Macaroon Slice into the cool, creamy milk, quickly popping it into my mouth to enjoy the tastes and sensations of it melting away on my tongue.
Taste-wise i wouldnt change a thing, but there are a few little improvements i'd like to make next time i bake my Almond Macaroon Slices, mainly being the presentation, which was 'Rustic' if not just fairly poor this time round!: I rather messed up the appearance of the slices by using a knife which wasnt sharp enough, and i waited a little too long to cut them, as i've heard biscuits should always be cut whilst still warm from the oven for a clean cut, before they cool and crisp up, causing jagged slices (like mine!).
I'd also like to place some blanched almonds on top of the macaroon mixture before baking next time, for a more macaroon-y look.
This recipe is perfect for Mums to make with their kids as it has a short ingredients list, is very straightforward to make, with no need for piping or decorative skills and is quick to prepare for anyone needing some home-baked heaven in a hurry.
*RECIPE* for Almond Macaroon Slices:
3 Egg Whites,
200g Caster Sugar,
125g Ground Almonds,
1tsp Almond Extract,
1-2 heaped tsp Plain Flour (depending on size of eggs ~ to make a dropping batter consistency),
Blanched Almonds for decoration (optional).
* Firstly, heat oven to 160C and line a clean swiss-roll tin with edible rice paper. (If you only have a larger baking tray with fairly deep sides, you will need to increase the recipe by approximately double.)
* Weigh the caster sugar and ground almonds and place in a mixing bowl along with the almond extract and 1 heaped tsp of the plain flour. Mix together.
* Now seperate your eggs and place the 3 egg whites in a large clean bowl, being careful not to let any of the yolk mix with the whites as the fat will cause the whites not to whisk up sufficiently.
* With an electric hand whisk beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and the bowl can be turned upside down without the mixture falling out (careful! lol).
* Gently fold the stiff egg whites into the dry ingredients being careful not to beat the air out of the mixture as this is what gives the macaroons their beautiful light, chewy texture.
* If the mixture looks ridiculously runny, due to extra large eggs perhaps, sprinkle an extra heaped teaspoon of plain flour over the mixture and very gently fold in until the desired consistency is reached. The mixture will be runnier than regular Macaroon biscuits and wont hold it's own shape, but dont worry!
* Carefully pour the macaroon mixture into the swiss-roll tin lined with rice paper.
* Pop into the oven for approx 40 minutes, depending on your oven. (Check after 25-30mins).
* Optional: If you like your macaroons topped with blanched almonds i suggest waiting until the mixture has started to set in the oven before adding them, so that they do not sink and spoil the delicate unbaked mixture.
Et Voila! I hope you enjoy your Almond Macaroon Slices as much as we did. They're so much quicker and easier to make than individual macaroon biscuits and in our opinion these actually beat regular macaroons on the texture front... lots more of the gorgeous chewy interior per bite! Enjoy! xx
(Well there goes my 1st ever blog post. I'm just starting out so pleeease bear with me and i'll try to improve my content and writing style as we go along.
It's wonderful to be able to share my 1st baking steps with you! I'll be learning, analysing and sharing some good basic baking recipes with you, and as I (and maybe you too!) gain skills and confidence i'll start attempting some more complex recipes. Any requests please dont hesitate to let me know. )