Coffee and Hazelnut Macaroons
These crunchy little hazelnut biscuits go very well with Irish Coffee Cappuccino Creams with Cream and Sweet Coffee Sauce. Alternatively, if you leave out the coffee, they're excellent for serving with ice creams or jellies. You can also make very tiny biscuits and serve them in cases as petits fours to go with coffee. They also freeze well, so it's useful to have a little stock of them to serve with ice cream.
Makes approximately 30
|2 level tablespoons powdered instant coffee|
|4 oz (110 g) hazelnuts, skinned|
|8 oz (225 g) caster sugar|
|2 heaped teaspoons ground rice|
|2 large egg whites|
|Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2, 300°F (150°C).|
|Need help with conversions?|
|You will also need 2 baking sheets and some edible rice paper.|
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Christmas.
First the nuts need to be ground to a coarse meal consistency: this can be done in a food processor using the 'pulse' action – but do be careful because one pulse too many and they become very oily.
Alternatively you can use a small-handled nut grinder.
Put the ground nuts in a mixing bowl together with the sugar and ground rice, and mix them well together. Then stir in the unbeaten egg whites and the coffee powder and continue to mix to a stiffish paste.
Now line two baking sheets with the rice paper and put teaspoonfuls of the biscuit mixture on them, leaving room in between them for expansion during the cooking.
Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until they are crisp on top.
Leave to cool completely before lifting the biscuits from the baking sheet, and store in an airtight tin until needed.
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If you are a coffee fan, this is the coffee dessert – the best ever! It is based on an old-fashioned recipe for honeycomb mould, which sometimes separates into layers but sadly often doesn't.
I think these twice-baked, very crisp biscuits are great for children to make and eat. After that, the adults in true Italian fashion sit down with a glass of chilled Vin Santo, and dip them into it before each bite.
If there was such a thing as a prize for the very best biscuit in the world, one bite of a Florentine would tell you this was the winner. Absolutely top drawer and perfect if you want to give a special homemade present at Christmas.
Light, almondy and chewy, most people love macaroons with their edible rice paper bases. You may like to know that, for a change, the recipe works very well with ground walnuts too (we call them Walleroons!).
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