Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mini pistachio macaroons

Makes 28 mini macaroons

A perfectly formed macaroon, cracking on the outside giving in the centre is a joy to behold. This can be taken as far as you wish - precision baking in one if it's purest forms. Otherwise, there's still nothing wrong if they're mis-shaped and irregular as long as the flavour hits home.

150g shelled, unsalted pistachios, plus1 tblsp for the topping
1 large egg white
115g caster sugar
A tiny pinch of salt
½ tsp distilled rosewater
Icing sugar

Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Finely grind the 150g of pistachios in short bursts in a food mixer until they form a fine meal. Set aside.

Place the egg white in a bowl. Whisk until it forms stiff peaks, then gradually add the caster sugar, whisking until it forms a thick, glossy meringue. Add the ground pistachios, salt and rosewater and stir until the mixture forms a stiff paste.

Tip some icing sugar into a small bowl. Liberally dust the palms of your hands with the icing sugar and pull off a grape-sized lump of pistachio paste. Roll it into a ball, slightly flatten and place on the paper-lined tray. Repeat until the mixture is finished.

Take the remaining pistachios and split them with a knife. Press a shard into each macaroon.Leave to dry out for a minimum of 8 hours. I’ve left them for up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 140c/Gas Mark 1. Cook the macaroons for 10 minutes or until they are lightly coloured and slightly cracked. Remove and serve once cold