This holiday season, wow your guests with almond meal and egg whites.
Yes, these are the main ingredients for the beautiful, french masterpieces called "Macarons". These delicious macaroons are a real eye-catcher and make a perfect bring-along gift.
Today, we are not going to make them sweet - but serving them as an appetizer, with a french "Macarons Chèvre + Figue" recipe (original recipe in French by puregourmandise.com)
3 Egg Whites
175 g Powdered Sugar
75 g Hazelnut Meal/Flour
50 g Almond Meal/Flour
30 g Sugar
Black + Red or Purple Powdered Food Coloring
A few Thyme branches
2 Goat Cheese Logs
80 g Fig Jam
a kitchen scale
pastry bag fitted with a fluted or plain tip
1. Mix the almond meal, hazelnut meal and powdered sugar together with a bit of thyme very finely during 5 minutes. Add a little bit of salt + pepper. Sieve the mixture.
2. Whisk the egg whites. The moment they start to foam, add the sugar progressively and slowly while continuing whisking. Now add the food color. On the colored egg whites add the flour/sugar mixture in three times, covering and very slowly whisking them together, always from the exterior to the interior, until you have a smooth, homogeneous, shiny mixture.
Tip: The best is to use egg whites that you've separated the night before, at room temperature. If they don't get thick/hard enough, simply add a pinch of salt or a tiny bit of lemon juice.
It's very important that the food coloring is powdered to have the most beautiful color.
3. Now you simply need to prepare the macaroons with a pastry bag, with a plain tip, and put small little rounds on the parchment paper. Let sit at least 30 minutes (you can leave it even over night to have the best results!), then put in the pre-heated oven at 300°F (150°C) for about 13 minutes.
Tip: If the macarons are baked through, the shell will detach by itself. If that's not the case, continue baking for a little bit.
4. To finish the salty macaroons, simply fill the first macaroon shell with some goat cheese, add some fig jam on it and some thyme and cover with a second macaroon shell.
Prefer something sweet? Try those Chocolate Peppermint Macaroons.
Still scared? Go here for a step-by-step guide to French Macaroons with beautiful images from Sally's Baking Addiction.