Rose-scented macaroons would make the perfect gift, or dinner party dessert. Serve them up and your guests will be more than impressed.
- 3 large free-range egg whites
- 65g (2½oz) granulated sugar
- 150g (5oz) icing sugar
- 85g (3½oz) ground almonds
- couple drops rose water
- few drops pink food colouring
- you will need
- 2 baking trays lined with baking parchment, and a piping bag
Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until stiff. Add the granulated sugar in a couple of batches, whisking in-between each addition. Whisk until stiff and glossy.
Add the icing sugar to the almonds, and sift half on top of the egg whites. Fold in with a spatula using figure of 8 motions, then sift in the rest of the icing sugar, almonds, rose water and food colouring, and fold in using the same method, until the mixture is glossy and drops easily from the spatula when lifted.
Transfer to a piping bag, and use a little of the mixture to stick the corners of the baking parchment to the trays. Pipe small circles evenly on the baking trays, about 3cm (1¼in) in diameter, leaving 2cm (¾in) either side of each for them to spread out. Don’t use all the mixture, just pipe around 50 circles, and leave the rest for filling. Rap the bottom of the trays sharply on the kitchen surface, then place somewhere cool and dry. Heat the oven to 190 C, 170 C fan, 375 F, gas 5.
After the macaroons have been resting for about 40 minutes, they should have hardened slightly and won’t stick to your fingertip when touched lightly. Place them in the middle of the oven, on top of a second baking tray to protect the bottoms from the heat of the oven. Make sure that this baking tray is cool, and hasn’t been sitting in the oven. You’ll need to do this in batches.
Cook the macaroons for 10 to 12 minutes. They should be risen and smooth on top. If 1 or 2 begin to split, crack your oven door open a fraction to cool down slightly. When the macaroons are done, remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray. Don’t move until completely cool, then peel them off the baking parchment gently and match similar sizes in pairs together.
Pipe circles of uncooked mix onto half of the macaroon rounds, then sandwich them together. Serve immediately or keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container, although they’re better on the day they’re made.