I decided to bake this recipe as I had two egg whites left over from my chocolate tart that I had made, so instead of wasting them or letting them sit forgotten in the fridge for a few days, I thought I’d find a recipe where I could use them up straight away.
These little macaroons brought back lovely memories for me. I can remember my mother making these when my Grandparents came round for Sunday tea. We used to take my Grandma to visit her sister for the afternoon and then they’d come back to our house for a lovely old-fashioned tea – mum would make these macaroons, together with little drop scones, salmon and cucumber sandwiches and a favourite of mine that I only told my husband about a few years ago and he now loves them too – egg and beetroot sandwiches. I can remember my mother chopping the hard-boiled eggs up together with some chopped up beetroot, mixing it together with pepper and mayonnaise and then leaving it until we were ready for tea. By this time the mayonnaise had taken on the lovely deep red colour from the beetroot and the sandwiches looked and tasted lovely. I’ll think I’ll have to make some in the next few days. It’s lovely how baking brings back memories of things we had otherwise forgotten. I must remind my mum about this too – I wonder if she and my dad have had egg and beetroot sandwiches recently!?
Anyway, back to the macaroons. The oven temperature was turned down to 130°C and two baking trays were lined with parchment.
Reading through the first part of the recipe I realised I didn’t have the 8 blanched almonds (halved) that were required for the top of the macaroons, but I thought that I’d carry on anyway, I’m sure they wouldn’t be missed! If you do have them, they the first thing for you to do is to dip the halved almonds into the egg white and put them to one side.
The first thing for me to do was to whisk the two egg whites together until they formed soft peaks – I did use the electric whisk for this! Next I gently folded in 100g ground almonds, 175g caster sugar, 25g ground rice (or semolina if you wish) and a few drops of almond extract.
The mixture was spooned onto the baking trays. I made 16 in total and the tops were gently smoothed with the back of the spoon to form a circle. The halved almond (if you have some) should at this stage be placed in the centre of each circle.
Into the oven they went for 25 minutes. I actually left mine in for 5 minutes longer as they hadn’t gone the pale golden brown colour that Mary stated and they probably could have been left in slightly longer, but I was worried that they might be too over-cooked in the middle, so I took them out. After a few minutes cooling on the trays, I lifted them off and put them on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
It was probably only a few minutes longer before I tried one. They were lovely little biscuits, definitely brought back more memories of happy Sunday afternoon teas from my childhood! I think they would have been prettier if they’d had the almond on top!