Saturday, March 19

Chocolate, walnut, & hazelnut macaroons


I'm on a mission. That mission is to find the best biscuit made with egg whites and no yolks. The problem is, I don't even know where to start. Sure, I can make macarons, macaroons, or tuiles but I'm after something more homely. Something more biscuit-y; something squishy and awesome.

There biscuits aren't quite there but they're pretty good. I mean, with chocolate, almonds, and hazelnuts you can't exactly go wrong. They're somewhat squishy but not biscuit-y enough for me. But that's okay because my hunt has only just started, and it wouldn't be much fun if my quest was over after the first attempt, would it?

So if any of you lovely people out there have recipes for biscuits that use egg whites but no egg yolks send them my way! I'm super keen to give whatever wonderful recipes you have a shot.


Chocolate, walnut, & hazelnut macaroons

(adapted from Biscuits and Macaroons by the Australian Women's Weekly)
makes about 20 biscuits

100g almond meal
100g hazelnut meal
2 egg whites
110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon gluten free flour
4 teaspoons cocoa powder
90g (3 oz) dark chocolate, finely chopped
60g (2 oz) white chocolate

Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Grease two oven trays and line them with baking paper.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, gradually add the sugar, beating until dissolved after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract, sifted flour, ground almonds & hazelnuts, and chopped chocolate in two batches.

Transfer the resulting batter into a piping bag and pipe evenly sized rounds about2.5cm (1 inch) in diameter on to the prepared trays. Bake for about 25 minutes, then cool on trays.

Once cool, melt the white chocolate, and spread over the bases of the macaroons. Place chocolate side down, on a tray lined with a fresh piece of baking paper and stand at room temperature to set. Once set, peel from the baking paper and store in an air tight container for up to a week.

Thursday, March 3

Green apple sorbet


I first made green apple sorbet was about a year and a half ago and it wasn't anything to write home about. I'd just received a stand mixer and an ice cream bowl attachment and I was super excited about using it. I picked a recipe and started making it. Not knowing anything about making ice cream and sorbet I didn't realise just how smooth a puree needs to be to make creamy ice cream. I neither pureed the apples enough nor strained them. The result was a gritty sorbet with a weird, weird texture. Sure, it tasted good but how it felt in your mouth was all wrong.

One and a half years later, with fond memories of the taste of my ill-fated sorbet, I've given it another shot. This time I've come out successful, the texture of this sorbet is much nicer and the taste is wonderful.

There are a few things I liked about the original recipe that, unfortunately, didn't carry over into the second attempt. The first recipe used frozen apples rather than cooked and pureed, this meant that the sorbet was a vibrant green without the use of food colouring. I also liked how with the original recipe, you just chucked the apples in the freezer, pureed them once they were frozen, and then whacked them in the ice cream maker - none of this cooking and cooling business. But then, despite these things I liked the actual sorbet was the wrong texture so there's no use lamenting. It also went brown if you let it thaw out - eww.


Essentially this recipe is much better than my first attempt and I'm just being picky.

If you make this, don't freak out if your apple mixture is super bright green prior to it being frozen in the ice cream machine - it's perfectly normal. I didn't realise this when I was making mine and freaked out about the green monstrosity I was about to create. The mixture lightens up a lot as it freezes, resulting in a pleasing light green. I just used plain old liquid food colouring for mine but those of you with fancier food dyes then I could use those too.

I've only ever seen recipes for green apple sorbet but now I'm starting to to wonder how gala, fuji, pink lady, or even heirloom varieties of apples would go in sorbet. I think I could have a whole blog dedicated to apple sorbet if I felt so inclined - yum.

Green apple sorbet

(adpated from Decadence by Philip Johnson)
makes about 1.5 litres (6 cups)

750g (1.6lbs) granny smith apples, unpeeled, cored, and quartered
juice of 1/2 a lemon
250ml (1 cup) water
375g (1.5 heaped cups) caster sugar
3 teaspoons calvados, optional
1/8 teaspoon liquid green food colouring, optional

Place the apples, lemon juice, water, and sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook the apples until they are extremely soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Once the apples have cooled transfer them to a blender and blend until the mixture becomes a smooth puree. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Stir through the calvados and green food colouring, if using. Refrigerate the apple mixture until cold.

Remove the mixture from the fridge and churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacture's instructions.

Once adequately frozen, transfer the sorbet to a container, cover tightly, and place in the freezer for a minimum of 4 hours.