I developed a literary taste for macaroons from an early age. As a young child, I would voraciously read Enid Blyton’s Mystery Series. These books were about The Five Find-Outers and Dog, and their many exciting adventures and run-ins with Inspector Goon. Most exciting for me, however, were their frequent trips to the local tea shop. Here they would eat macaroons, that their leader, Frederick “Fatty” Algernon Trotterville, did hope were good and chewy.
I think I ate my first real macaroon at age 9, bought very excitedly from a café in Carlton. Can I just say I was incredibly disappointed? I was expecting a mouthful of crunchy-chewy deliciousness, but my immature palate was totally unprepared for the assault of artificial almond essence. Feral. So since then, I have avoided macaroons and anything flavoured with almond-essence like the plague.
281. Macaroons (Basics etc.)
Naturally, I wasn’t too keen to make these, but it’s gotta be tried. And it happened to be raining like a biatch today, so I was happy to spend the afternoon indoors.
To make macaroons, you stir together almond meal, castor sugar, and egg whites to form a thick paste. My mixture turned out really stiff, and keeping in mind that they’re supposed to be piped with a piping bag, I added extra egg whites to loosen it. Then add a tablespoon of flour and a teaspoon of almond essence (I was very, very sparing with the essence), and pipe out into 5 centimetre rounds.
Now, even though they’re supposed to be piped, I must admit that I was not too keen on the idea of washing up a piping bag. So, I just spooned out the mixture into appropriately sized circles. They take about 20 minutes to cook.
I got 13 out of this mixture. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed them! I ate them with the parentals in front of the TV, watching some old Dirk Bogarde spy film. They’re quite sweet, but very tasty. I prefer them with just a hint of almond essence flavour, rather than the invasive artificial taste that you get with excessive amounts. (My rule-of-thumb is to halve the quantity of almond essence stipulated in a recipe). And there was a lovely contrast between the chewy interior and crunchy interior. I guess Fatty Trotterville was right after all!