Fresh and gooey macaroons! What Enid Blyton fan doesn’t hanker after macaroons? Whether you’re a Find-Outer or a Famous Fiver, macaroons centre deeply within these books, and are mentioned time and time again and they leave us youngsters wondering; “What are macaroons?”
My first encounter with macaroons was with the little posh French ones, you know the circle ones, with the two halves and the creamy centre. It wasn’t until about a year ago I learnt that there were two types of macaroons, the French one and what I like to think of as the Blyton one.
The Blyton ones are much less perfectly circular, more rustic I suppose is the word you’d use, and at the same time that doesn’t matter because they are perfectly delicious! I was treated to such beauties a couple of years ago by a member of the Enid Blyton Society who brought them along to the picnic members used to have after the Enid Blyton Day (sadly no longer running), and they were scrumptious.
Can I say now that this recipe is not one for people with a nut allergy, specifically almonds as most of the mixture is made up of ground almonds. However, for those of you who think ‘Urgh, I don’t like almonds’ like me, fear not, you can’t taste them when the macaroons are actually cooked.
Anyway this recipe is extremely easy and I don’t know why I was dreading making macaroons apart from the fact that I thought they were going to be time consuming and tricky because what I had in my head were the French ones. However, due to the smashing success of these macaroons I suggest you invest an hour to make them and then share them out and eat them because from the little I tasted they are every bit as divine as Blyton would have us believe.
So here’s the recipe, taken once again from that bible of Blyton and book cooking Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer by Jane Brocket.
- 2 egg whites
- 200g of icing sugar
- 200g ground almonds
- a few drops of almond essence (optional)
Now I didn’t use the almond essence mostly because this was a last minute decision to make the macaroons and Lidl didn’t have any almond essence as I scanned the shelves for the ground almonds I knew to be hidden away there. However if you want you can add it, or vanilla flavouring would be good as well.
- Preheat oven to 160 C or Gas Mark 3
- Line a baking tray with Teflon or rice paper because the macaroons will stick to baking paper. However I used tin foil and a squirt of cooking spray and that worked just as well.
- Put the egg whites into a large bowl and whisk until soft peaks form (until it can hold its shape basically)
- Sift in the icing sugar over the egg whites
- Add the ground almonds (and essence if using)
- Mix gently into a firm paste with a large spoon
- Spoon or pipe onto your lined baking tray, leaving space for them to spread a little.
- Bake for 20 minutes until they just begin to turn colour. Mind not to over cook them though as they need to be chewy in the middle.
- Transfer onto wire rack to cool a little.
- Then scoff while warm from the oven and gooey (but cold is just as good!)
So there you are, how to make the most perfect Blyton inspired macaroons. Now as Christmas is approaching I suggest all you keen foodies out there ask for a copy of Jane Brocket’s Cherry Cake and Ginger Cake from Santa, as its really worth its weight in gold as baking Blyton’s food goes.
I recommend sitting with a plate of these macaroons, a mug of ginger ale, or warmed mulled cider for those who feel most adventurous and your favourite Blyton to keep out the cold!