Nigella’s Chocolate Macaroons – Forever Nigella 11
With two left over egg whites from making ice-cream and a Forever Nigella entry to submit over at Maison Cupcake, chocolate macaroons were my indulgence of choice. Sarah of Maison Cupcake has changed the rules, maybe as a new year’s treat and we can now make whatever Nigella recipe we like – hooray! After my last attempt at macaroons, which were delicious but exceedingly faffy, I thought I wouldn’t bother with the piping fiasco this time and just spoon the mixture straight onto the baking trays. Admittedly my first attempt gave a slightly more uniform result, but the difference was marginal and saved me a whole heap of time and mess. Inspired by the herb flavourings for truffles in my newest book Crazy Water Pickled Lemons, I added a couple of things that were not mentioned in the Nigella recipe, namely star anise and rosemary.
This is how I made them:
- Whisked two egg whites until nearly stiff.
- Added 12g cardamom sugar (caster) and whisked until completely stiff.
- Sifted in 12g cocoa, 65g ground almonds, 125g icing sugar and a pinch of star anise.
- Folded the sifted ingredients into the egg whites as gently as I could.
- Spooned teaspoonfuls (22) onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Left for 20 minutes – to form a skin apparently which presumably is meant to eradicate cracking!
- Baked at 180C for 12 minutes.
- Removed from the tray with a spatula and as most of them had merged together whilst baking, cut them apart.
- Left to cool on a wire rack.
- Melted 75g milk chocolate (G&B 37% cook’s chocolate) in a pan over hot water with 5 tbsp double cream, 20g unsalted butter and a sprig of rosemary.
- Stirred until all was melted and smooth.
- Removed from heat and fished out the rosemary.
- Beat this with a spoon until it was thick enough to spread. As my kitchen was colder than the fridge, this didn’t take very long.
- Used generous teaspoonfuls to sandwich the macaroons together ending up with 11 fairly substantial biscuits.
Leaving the macaroons out to form a skin didn’t work, just like the last time. My macaroons came out exceedingly cracked. That’s OK, I like the cracked homemade look. However, they were just as delicious as I remember them. Crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle. The presence of the star anise and rosemary were subtle, but noticeable and added a certain hint of sophistication and exoticism to the proceedings.
CT went off on one of his streams of consciousness and identified the taste of China and correctly described the taste as being like China meets the Med. It’s a marvel, he said with what you can do with an egg – the perfect food. At least that’s what I think he said – his mouth was full at the time.
Next time I make macaroons, I will stick to the spoon method as it is infinitely preferable to messing around with a piping bag and for incompetents like me, there is no discernible difference in result.