I do love a good macaroon, so when I was hunting around for a K for this month’s Alpha Bakes, I was delighted to find these kransekake (otherwise known as marzipan macaroons) in Scandilicious Baking by Signe Johansen. Until I found this recipe, I had no idea that almond macaroons were a Scandinavian speciality. I’ve always thought of them as very British, that is until the sophisticated Parisian macaron came along and swept all before it. Luckily, rustic macaroons are much more my style, I say that as I’d never have the patience to create the elegant structures beloved by the French. If you’d like tips on how to make the perfect macaron, hop over to Jill’s blog, Mad About Macarons.
Anyway, I digress. These macaroons contain marzipan as well as almonds and can be finished off in any number of ways. I chose to use a chocolate drizzle; the only thing that can improve macaroons or marzipan in my book, is chocolate. The bitterness of dark chocolate helps to counteract the sweetness of the macaroon resulting in a nicely balanced biscuit.
This is how I made:
- Melted 50g unsalted butter in a pan and left to cool.
- Roughly chopped 200g marzipan.
- Whizzed 100g whole almonds in a food processor with the marzipan and 100g golden icing sugar until the almonds were more or less ground, but with some larger chunks still intact,
- Broke 3 duck egg whites into a bowl and whisked briefly with a pinch of salt and a scant teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Whisked in the melted butter.
- Stirred in the almond mixture. At this point I realised my mixture was too wet – I had used duck eggs rather than the medium hens eggs stated. So I added 50g ground almonds.
- Placed in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours.
- Placed large teaspoonfuls on two lined baking trays – I made 20 but as the recipe stated 40-50, I suspect the macaroons were meant to be a lot smaller than I made them.
- Baked at 200C for 7 minutes until just golden.
- Much to my annoyance, the biscuits had all merged into each other, although it was my own fault for not leaving the suggested space in between each one – something I never seem to learn. So I took out a cutter and used this to shape the macaroons into presentable rounds, then left on a rack to cool.
- I reckon from the amount of offcuts I had, I could have easily made another five or six biscuits.
- Melted 30g dark chocolate and drizzled it over the macaroons.
Apart from my spacing disaster and ending up with two very large biscuits which I then had to rescue, I was very pleased with these macaroons. The end result looked perfectly respectable. I shall definitely make them again and take more care next time with both size and spacing. They were chewy, flavoursome and the larger pieces of nut gave added texture.
Don’t forget it’s World Baking Day this coming Sunday 19th May, so have a look at the website and #BakeBrave
It is Coeliac Awareness Week starting today (13th-19th May) and these biscuits are perfect for anyone unable to eat wheat or gluten as long as the marzipan and chocolate are properly gluten free. Some products may contain traces of gluten if they come from factories where gluten is used, so it is always worth checking the packaging. For more information on gluten free baking, pay a visit to Katie’s blog Apple and Spice.