It’s the first day of Zero Waste Week, and I’ve been thinking about content and trying to think of a fresh take on this year’s theme of Food Waste. I wasn’t sure what I could add to the ideas and recipes that I’ve posted before, when I had a bit of a head slap moment realising that just yesterday I made something pretty delicious that helped prevent food waste: chocolate macaroons!
I made custard to go with the first crumble of the season (windfall pears and blackberries since you ask) which used two egg yolks, and dutifully stashed the resulting egg whites in the fridge with no specific plan for them, but aware that it would be sacrilege to not use them.
They sat there for a day or two and I forgot about them before being hit with a lightning bolt of inspiration that was chocolate macaroons.
I used to be scared of macaroons. I thought they were super tricky and only possible for people who were on Bake Off. It turns out they aren’t. They are pretty easy. And they make you feel super smug and worthy of your very own Star Baker apron. Do have a go.
- 75g ground almonds
- 100g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder (I use Green & Blacks Organic, it’s also Fairtrade, hurray!)
- 2 large free range egg whites
- 50g caster sugar
- Line two baking sheets with baking paper (or for maximum zero waste points use reusable silicon liners)
- Put the ground almonds, icing sugar and cocoa into a food processor and blend for about 15-30 seconds.
- Sift the mix into a bowl-using a metal spoon to scrape it around the sieve makes this tedious job a little bit easier.
- Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until they are holding soft peas, and then gradually add the caster sugar whilst still whisking to make a firm, glossy meringue.
- Use a silicone spatula to fold the almond mix in to the meringue, one third at a time. Once it’s all incorporated, continue to fold and mix until the batter is shiny. You know it’s ready when a thick ribbon of batter falls slowly from the spatula and leaves a trail for about 30 seconds before sinking into the mix.
- Scoop the mix into a piping bag (I bought a roll of the blue ‘disposable’ ones years ago before my Zero Waste epiphany and wash them and re-use them until they fall apart. Once these are all gone I will invest in some proper re-usable ones.) fitted with a 1cm wide nozzle.
- Pipe 32 small rounds onto the baking sheets – try and make them all a similar size! If you are really anal you can draw around a circle template or 2p piece to make sure they are all identical, but I would rather poke pins in my eyes than do this, so I don’t bother.
- Tap the baking sheets firmly on the worktop to pop any air bubbles and leave at room temperature for 20-60mins. You want them to form a ‘skin’ on the surface so that when you lightly touch them with your finger it doesn’t leave an impression. The amount of time this takes is very weather/temperature dependant – it takes much longer in a cold kitchen.
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes (check them after 10) – they are ready when they have a crisp shell and when the frilly foot at the base of them isn’t wobbling.
- Remove from the oven and leave for 10 minutes to cool before peeling them off the liners and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Once they are cool, you can fill them. I went with Nutella as we had some in the cupboard and it was the easiest thing. Other options would be chocolate buttercream or a chocolate ganache).
I was really pleased with these, they looked super professional (and taste pretty fab too) so was excited to take some pictures to show off to you all. However when I got to the tub, there was only one lonely macaroon left…!
For more information on Zero Waste Week and to sign up, click here.
And for more food waste recipes and ideas, there’s a round up post of some of the food waste recipes from the blog here.
Do you have any favourite food waste recipes? Do share below!