If you were to ask any Mangalorean to name one of their favourite childhood sweets, I am sure the majority of them would reply "Macaroon" pronounced more as "Mukroons"...:D
The sugary goodness coupled with the crunchy cashew nuts would simply melt in ones mouth. From what I recall, we always got these macaroons from a sweet meat shop called Taj Mahal which was located right at the city centre. So a trip to the city meant a definite pack of goodies.
I remember them being quite expensive by the kilo and had simply assumed that they must have been laborious to prepare. Not to forget also the price of cashew nuts.
Moving to Germany saw me being introduced to the coconut macaroons. A christmas preparation in many households. Sadly, I never developed a liking to it. While the germans like their macaroons to be golden brown and heavy with coconut, I wanted to retain the colour, look and texture of the original ones I remember eating from childhood. Today, I was inspired to experiment on making a small batch of them. So, here goes....
- 1 egg white at room temperature
- 175 gm finely powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- 75 gm unsalted cashew nuts
- Chop the cashew nuts coarsely.
- Preheat oven to 90C.
- Separate the egg white from the yellow. There should be no traces of any yolk at all.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the egg white till stiff. When you lift the whisk, the peaks should not drop or fall down.
- Add the powdered sugar a little at a time to the egg white and keep beating. Continue till all the sugar has been used.
- Beat in the cardamom powder.
- Gently fold in the chopped cashew nuts into the sugar egg mix.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Drop in spoonfuls( I used a tablespoon) of the macaroon mix. Use the same level of mix for each macaroon. I din't bother about the shape. I let them be irregular as it is. Use up all the mix(makes 12).
- Place the tray on the lower rack and bake them for 40 to 50 minutes until crisp *See note
- Remove the macaroons from the tray and let them cool.
- Store in air tight container.
- When trying out a new recipe in your oven, I suggest you to know your oven well. Baking procedures and temperatures differ from oven to oven. I have a manual for mine which clearly states what rack should I place my tray in(lower, middle or higher), what temperatures should I use and how long should the baking process be for different recipes(cookies, cakes, pizzas, meringues). Based on this information and using my judgement, I proceed with the recipe.
- If you like your macaroons to be slightly/golden brown you can raise the temp up a bit to 120C.