Sunday 6 May 2012

Dairy Free Macaroons

You don't normally associate the words "low in sugar" and "free from eggs and dairy" with sugary macaroons.  However, these light, crispy biscuits contain no egg white or fat and the quantity of sugar is less than half what you would normally expect to find in a macaroon. They are also incredibly quick and easy to make and look so dainty!

If you can, look out for natural almond extract rather than almond essence which may contain artificial flavours.

The first time I made them, the biscuits stuck like glue to the greased baking tray when baked and I ended up with a pile of crumbs. Maybe it's because there is no fat in the recipe.  To make life easier,  I now line the tray with a teflon non-stick baking liner and they slip off every time!

Ingredients                                        Makes 12 biscuits

50g ground almonds
50g semolina
50g golden castor sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp natural almond extract
5 tbsp cold water
12 flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/Gas Mark 3.

Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking liner.

In a bowl, mix the ground almonds with the semolina, golden castor sugar and baking powder.

Measure the water into a small jug or cup and add the almond extract.  Pour into the dry ingredients and stir well.

Place teaspoonfuls of the mixture on to the prepared baking tray, spacing them well apart.   Flatten each spoonful into a circular shape, using a fork.

Place a flaked almond in the centre of each one.

Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown.

Transfer to a cooling rack, then store in an airtight container.

The macaroons are lovely served with poached pears or plums for a simple dessert.