Almond ‘English’ Macaroons (Makes about 20)
These biscuits always remind me of my late mother-in-law, Deitha, she was a wonderful traditional cook and at Christmas time would always cook me a batch of these delicious biscuits! They aren’t quite as fancy as their ‘French cousin’ the Macaron, which come in chic colours, but they are just as moreish and in my opinion, slightly more satisfying with their crisp exterior and wonderfully chewy middle. Even better, unlike the French macaron, they are incredibly easy to make, you just need to bake them on confectioners edible rice paper as it adds to the chewy texture – it is readily available online if you can’t find it in your local supermarket.
200g ground almonds
250g caster sugar
1 rounded tablespoon ground rice
1 tablespoon orange flower water
Few drops of real almond extract
3 large egg whites
Sheets of edible confectioners rice paper (approx. 4 x A4 size)
About 20 whole blanched almonds
You will need 2 large baking sheets
- Mix the dry ingredients together, apart from the whole almonds, in a large bowl. Then add the orange flower water, almond extract and egg whites. Beat vigorously to form a soft paste.
- Line the baking sheets with the rice paper (shiny side up). Take a large walnut-sized piece of the paste, form into a round patty and place on the rice paper. Repeat with the rest of the paste, leaving plenty of room between each patty. Put a whole almond on the top of each one.
- Put the baking sheets in a preheated oven, 170’c fan, for about 20-25 minutes until they are a light golden colour.
- Leave to cool on the rice paper, then gently tear the macaroons from the rice paper sheets, leaving a disc of paper in place on the bottom of each one.