The macaroon (not to be mistaken with the French macaron) goes back generations, originating in medieval Italy using almond meal, known as amaretti. It was then adopted by European Jews as a traditional food made during the Passover as it was unleavened, not using raising agents such as yeast, to rise. More recently coconut has been substituted for almonds.
My favourite is roasted walnut. This comes from my childhood, being served extra yummy deserts containing walnuts by my Hungarian grandmother (on my fathers side). So more walnut based recipes are coming - especially as they are high in omega 3 and 6 good fats!
This recipe has the added benefit of being incredibly versatile. It can be made keto, nut free or vegan
Makes two large, 6 medium or 12 small macaroons.
One egg white or 2 tablespoons (30ml) aquafaba for a vegan recipe. This is the liquid from a can of chickpeas or other legumes such as black beans.
Set the oven to 160 degrees C (140 degrees C fan forced)
- If making your own ground nuts, roast the whole nuts in the oven first for 5-10 minutes in the same temperature oven, let cool and then grind them in a coffee mill, food processor, or thermomix. If using a food processor or thermomix, you can mix all the ingredients at the same time when grinding. Grind until you get a size of chunk that you like - fine or chunky.
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with a spoon and your hands if not using a food processor or thermomix. For a lighter, fluffier macaroon and only if using a fine nut meal or coconut, whip the egg white or aquafaba first with a pinch of cream or tartar and gently fold the aerated egg white or aquafaba with the dry ingredients. If not using whipped egg white or aquafaba, the mix needs to be moist so that when pressed in the bowl with your hand, it sticks together. If using aquafaba and the mix feels too crumbly, add more aquafaba. Egg white doesn't have this issue.
- Once mixed, place in the fridge for 10 minutes to make the mix less sticky and easier to handle. If you are in a rush or using aquafaba (which isn't sticky) you can skip this step.
- Line a biscuit sheet tray with baking paper.
- Scoop using a spoon in the size you want, wet hands or use a small ice cream scoop with a release handle if you want the macaroons all the same size. If you are keeping the macaroons as a plain biscuit, I don't flatten them and leave them uneven and chunky so they are more rustic. For an ice cream sandwich style cookie, flatten with a spatula, a flat egg flip without gaps or some baking paper pressed down with your hand or just the wet palm of your hand. For pristine even edges, use a round cookie cutter or fried egg ring, press down the macaroon mix inside the cutter, cut through the mix, remove the cutter and re-use the excess left behind after cutting.
- Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes. The less brown, the more soft in the centre.
- Remove from the oven. Lift the macaroons off gently with a knife as they can be sticky in the middle. Place on a wire rack to cool and if the middle is sticky, flip the macaroon upside down to cool on the rack as the underside can stick to the cooling rack. Allow to cool. They get firmer when cool.
- Once cool, scoop Elato ice cream in between two macaroons or for a professional finish, flatten some ice cream on a board and use the same cookie cutter to cut out the ice cream to sit inside the ice cream sandwich.
Send me your photos and enjoy!
The ice cream sandwiches in the photos used desiccated coconut and black bean aquafaba in the recipe.