Makes 24 double macaroons
The art of baking macaroons was brought to the Cape by the French Huguenots. It is still part of French cuisine, but although it was one of the favourite small biscuits baked at the Cape from the seventeenth century up to the twentieth century, very few South Africans recognise it as part of traditional food. Recipes for these biscuits appear in various old Cape cookbooks, some with variations containing coconut.
Ingredients for Macaroons
2 cups (500 ml) ground almonds
1 ¼ cups (300ml) castor sugar
4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 tsp (5 ml) rose-water
Method for Macaroons:
Dry the almonds overnight in a 70 °C (160 °F) oven.
The following day, increase the oven temperature to 150 °C (300 °F).
Put the almonds and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has melted. Do not stir, as the sugar will crystallise.
Take the almond-sugar mixture off the stove and let it cool slightly.
Whisk the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form. Fold this into the almond and sugar mixture, and then fold in the rose-water.
Layer a baking tray with greaseproof paper and butter the paper.
Spoon the biscuit mixture into a piping bag and pipe small rounds (about the size of a teaspoon) onto the buttered paper, about 3cm apart.
Bake for 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and lift from the baking tray while still hot. Place on a wire rack to cool.
Ingredients for Ganache:
7 Tbsp (105ml) fresh cream
¼ cup (60 ml) white chocolate
Method for Ganache:
Bring the cream just to boiling point. Chop the chocolate finely and place in a heatproof bowl.
Pour the boiling cream over and stir until the chocolate has melted. Leave to cool slightly.
Sandwich the macaroons together with 1 tsp (5 ml) ganache.