12 August 2013

Nigella Challenge: Pistachio Macaroons

Like the coconut macaroons, these are not tricky and stressful like those beastly little French delights. They are really only of that style. If you see the picture in the book, you can see that there is no need for elegant perfection here. They will still take a little time and effort, but its nothing compared to a Zumbo recipe I once attempted!

They are however elegant in their own way. I think its the colour; such a pretty shade of green. And God, do they taste amazing!

[macaroon]
  • 75g pistachios
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 15g caster sugar
[buttercream]
  • 55g pistachios
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 125g butter, softened
Preheat oven to 180C. 

Grind pistachios in a food processor along with the icing sugar (to stop it becoming oily), until it is a very fine dust. This takes a little while, but just be patient. 

Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks, add caster sugar, and whisk again to combine (be careful not to over beat them, but don't be too cautious at the same time - it just needs to be at the tipping point). Fold in the pistachio dust, gently combining. Pipe (or you can just spoon; I did) small circles of mixture out using a plain 1cm nozzle. Make sure you have an even number (you should get about 40 circles)! Let them sit for 10-20 minutes (depending on you weather - if its humid it will take a little longer) to form a skin.

Cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes until they're set (ie, they have that nice crust). Don't worry about cracks or anything like that. I can tell you that Nigella's have them! Leave them to cool on the baking trays while you make the buttercream.

Grind the nuts and icing sugar as you did before. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the nut dust with the mixer still going.

Use this to sandwich the macaroons together.