I’m always on the look-out for recipes which use up left-over egg whites. I typically freeze these in batches of four until I have need of them for financieres, meringues, pavlovas, brutti ma buono or, in this case, macaroons. Now these are not the fancy flavoured macarons – notice the different spelling – piped onto baking trays and filled with delicious buttercream and jam. No, these are a much more rustic affair and are spooned, or scooped, rather than piped into muffin trays.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 (350°F/325°F fan). Beat together the egg whites, ground almonds and sugar until thick and smooth. The batter will be quite runny. Don’t worry, this is what makes them gloriously and satisfyingly chewy.
2. Rest the batter in the fridge for at least half an hour.
3. Scoop (I use a range of different sized ice cream scoops) or plop a tablespoon of the batter into each non-stick muffin hole. Sprinkle the top of each macaroon with chopped or flaked almonds.
4. The small ones bake in around 20 minutes, or until lightly golden, and set on top. The larger ones need 30 minutes.
5. Cool completely – if you can wait that long – before serving with tea or coffee.
1. The almonds can be replaced with ground hazelnuts, or ground pistachios. In which case, instead of topping with flaked almonds, top with chopped hazelnuts or pistachios.
2. For a lemon flavour, add a drop of lemon essence and the zest of a lemon. Top with glace lemon peel.
3. I like that the centre of these resembles and tastes like marzipan but you could, insert a dark chocolate chip into a hazelnut macaroon or a fresh raspberry into a pistachio one. or maybe even a cherry. The possibilities are endless.
4. I’ll often serve these warm with some fruit compote for a dessert.