So whilst I was at home last week I made macaroons for ice cream sandwiches. I got the idea (and the recipe) from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. I can’t remember how I heard about Jeni but I became fascinated by her ice creams because they’re made without eggs and use a slurry of cream cheese and corn flour to thicken the custards. I still haven’t gotten around to actually making the ice creams (because I was obsessively making David Lebovitz’s salted caramel ice cream), so I made these instead.
They’re surprisingly easy to knock up and are really good when paired with ice cream. (I had another drama with the ice cream cylinder again (!) so I served various ice creams I’d made during the week plus some vanilla ice cream friends bought with them after I’d messaged them desperately at the last minute. I am totally buying an electric ice cream maker as soon as funds allow.) Jeni serves them as ice cream sandwiches but I did a DIY dessert, setting out the two different types of macaroons, the ice creams and then peanuts, pistachios and raspberries so people could add what they wanted. It was fun, and really good.
I used the recipe Jeni sets out but didn’t blend the icing sugar and almonds together. Rather, I ground the almonds in a coffee grinder and then sifted the icing sugar and almonds into a bowl, as you do for regular macarons. I found them moreish and the perfect accompaniment to ice cream. The best combination was chocolate macaroon, salted caramel ice cream and roasted peanuts. Bliss I tell you.
Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton-Bauer
1 1/2 cups flaked almonds
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
3/4 cup egg whites (left over from all the ice cream making)
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
For chocolate ones: 3 tbsp cocoa powder
Line two trays with baking paper. You can mark circles on the paper with pencil but then flip the paper over otherwise the pencil marks will attach themselves to your macaroons (this happened to me). I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to make the circles but you can choose the size that suits your needs.
Grind the almonds and sift with the icing sugar into a bowl. (If you’re making chocolate macaroons, sift the cocoa powder too.)
Whip the egg whites with the salt and, once soft peaks start to form, add in the sugar, in tablespoons until you have a smooth, glossy meringue.
Fold the almond mixture into the egg whites – I did this in three goes.
You should end up with a mixture that is reasonably firm but which still spreads a little. Place the mixture into a piping bag with a nozzle and pipe rings onto baking paper lined trays.
Allow the macaroons to rest for half an hour. Bake them for about 15 minutes at 170C. The macaroons are done when they’ve coloured ever so slightly on top and can be lifted easily from the tray with the help of a palette knife.
Allow them to cool before storing them in the freezer to use as needed…