Friday, 18 January 2013

Diet-friendly chocolate macaroons.

(Second batch on the left. First batch on the right).

 As I'm try to eat as clean as I possible, I often get little cravings, every now and again, for chocolate and pastries and just sweet little treats in general. So I was really happy when I came across this low-kcal chocolate macaroon recipe in my 'Eat Smart Stay Slim' magazine (volume 1, page 126) - the second recipe I've tried from this magazine now, and I'm sure I'll try many more from it. I have never had a macaroon before, but have heard lots of good, yummy things about them, so I was eager to try it. And I'm glad I did because they were delicious! My boyfriend and I made them together as a little treat to enjoy after our Sunday family dinner. Everybody loved them - even the burnt batch went down well (I personally thought the burnt ones tasted nicer anyway). We burnt the first batch because we forgot to leave the oven door open.. So instead of taking 15 to 18 minutes to cook, they took about 5 and then lost they're fluffiness and burnt. But we learnt from the first batch and the second batch came out much nicer. Although most of them ended up being hollow because we didn't give them enough time to cool down before peeling them off of the parchment paper - oops! But they were still delicious and I will be making them again in the future, for sure.

This recipe makes 12 macaroons according to the magazine, but we only managed to make 9. If you make 9, it's approx. 127kcal per macaroon. If you make 12, it's approx. 95kcal per macaroon. If you make a different amount completely, just divide 1142 by however many macaroons you make and that will be an approx. calorie content per macaroon.

- 100g icing sugar
- 50g ground almonds
- 15g good-quality cocoa powder
- 2 medium egg whites
- 40g caster sugar
- 100ml 3% creme fraiche
- 4 squares of 70% dark chocolate, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c/350°f/gas mark 4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and get an icing bag with a plain tip (about 2cm) ready.
2. In a food processor, whizz the icing sugar, ground almond and cocoa into a fine powder with no lumps. In a clean bowl beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they start to hold their shape. Continue whisking and slowly add the caster sugar until stiff and firm.
3. Fold half the dry ingredients into the egg white mixture. Once it's incorporated, add the rest and continue to fold. When it's smooth stop folding and spoon the batter into the icing bag (stand the bag in a tall glass).
4. Pipe the batter onto the parchment-lined baking sheet in circles about 3cm across and spaced 3cm apart. Tap the baking sheet a few times to flatten the macaroons, then bake for 15 to 18 minutes, with the over door slightly ajar. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
5. Meanwhile, gently heat the creme fraiche in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and drop in the pieces of chocolate, stirring until it has melted and the two are combined. Set aside to cool.
6. Once the macaroons and chocolate creme fraiche have cooled, sandwich two macaroons together with a small dollop of the mixture. Arrange on a plate.

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