18 August 2013

Nigella Challenge: Spanish Macaroons

Again, these are not those dainty French pastries, but something rather more robust. They'll be a crowd-pleaser just the same though. Suited to adult tastes, they're named Spanish Macaroons for their warm-spiced orange flavour. They have a sweet chewy centre under their almost-crisp outside, rather like their French cousin. They not look much, but you should never judge a book by its cover!

They're easy to make, but just a little messy (this batter is epically sticky).

  • 425g almond meal
  • 250g  icing sugar
  • zest of 2 oranges (make sure they're nice & firm)
  • 1/2 tsp almond essence
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 3 egg whites
Preheat oven to 180C and line two baking trays (ones you'd use for biscuits).

Combine almond meal, icing sugar, zest, essence and spice in a mixing bowl. Beat together the whole egg & egg whites in a jug (just to combine, no real aeration is needed). Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients and pour in the egg. Use your hands to mix - they're only going to get messy anyway!

Break off walnut-sized pieces of mixture (about a tablespoonful for those unaccustomed with whole walnuts) and roll into little balls. Place on your baking trays (about 3-5cm apart, they don't really grow). 

I found (and Nigella suggested) that if you rinse your hands frequently under cold water to remove excess mixture you'll have a far easier time of it. A pain I know, but these little delights are well worth the effort.

Cook in the oven for 20 minutes until lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack before gobbling up.