from one generation to the next
Surplus egg whites can be a curse, but they can be a blessing too. Most of the time I have little plastic tubs of egg whites in my freezer. Mainly the whites are leftover from making mayonnaise and custard. Frozen in batches of twos and threes, they patiently await transformation into a sweet treats.
Until we shifted to Brisbane, bite sized meringues were my go to egg white use-up recipe. I’ve posted recipes for walnut with coffee, walnut with chestnut, cocoa swirl meringues and macadamia meringues so delicious you’d never share them with your kids. Large egg white dependant cakes would make an appearance if friends were coming around, an Italian Torta di Mandorle or chocolate date meringue cake. For a special occasion I’d pull out all the stops and make a many layered meringue celebration cake with citrus curd and berries. I’ve even been known to make meringues just to make a “mess” style confection for dessert but Brisbane’s high humidity put an instant stop to all that.
In this climate, meringue only lasts five minutes before it’s reduced to a sticky inedible mass so I’ve shifted my egg white focus onto macaroons, not ethereal crisp French macarons sandwiched with decadent buttercream, but dense nutty Italian style macaroons in the style of Amaretti.
A few weeks ago I bought hazelnuts to make Ossi du Mordere. I’m always generous when scooping bulk nuts so I had more than I needed. Pistachio and toasted flaked almonds remnants were also begging to be used.
This is super quick to make, but take care when adding the egg white, you need only just enough to bind the ground nuts into a mass
The macaroon style treats are firm but chewy, nutty and spicy. The flavour was delicious, but next time I’m adding a chunk of chocolate to the middle in the style of my Amarena Cherry Stuffed Amaretti, then I’ll really appreciate excess egg whites in a humid climate.
Nut ‘n’ Spice Macaroons
360 g mixed nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios
180g castor sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons fine orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 egg whites
Preheat the oven to 170C and line oven trays with baking paper.
Measure the nuts and sugar and salt into the jug of a food processor.
Process the nuts into fine meal.
Add the spices and whiz to combine.
Add the zest and a little egg white. Pulse the processor, gradually adding the egg white and stop as soon as the mixture forms a ball.
Roll the mixture into balls about 3cm in diameter.
Place them on the paper lined oven trays. They will not spread.
Bake until lightly golden, about 20 minutes.
Remove to a wire to cool, then dredge with icing sugar.
Store in an airtight container.