This is the most amazingly simple, straight forward and quick recipe to make......... Crisp, light, nutty...... I would describe it as more of a nut meringue than a macaroon in European terms. But then this recipe is from Sudan, so I am sure 'macaroon' is totally appropriate to its origins.
They have been made for May's Random Recipe Challenge, which I am coming to love as one of my favourites because it takes me away from what is in my head (which admittedly can be pretty random in itself) and back to the books and recipes that may never have been explored otherwise.
Except that this month, Dom from Belleau Kitchen has suggested it is time for a clear out......... Really? Not any old clear out, but one which invites us to dispose of old cook books that are long forgotten, never used or are simply taking up space on the shelf which could be better utilised.............. Now I am feeling really uncomfortable!
I'm not a hoarder, but I love my books (of any description) and cannot bear the thought of being parted from any of them, no matter how old, dusty or defunct. Sure there are a few which haven't been opened in years, but I know that all of them still contain hidden gems, ideas or inspiration and all of them could be dragged into the 21st Century with a bit of tweaking and TLC. So sorry Dom, my books are staying!
Either way, I must thank Dom........ Without the challenge, they probably would have continued to gather dust (and believe me some of them were really dusty). The encouragement to give them 'one last chance of survival' has made me shake them from their shelf-paralysis, blow off the webs and dirt and re-discover their silenced magic.
So which of these filthy relics had the good fortune to be pulled from the shelf first? The New Internationalist Food Book (1990 - Troth Wells)............ a selection of traditional recipes from across the world, predominantly Africa, Asia and Latin America, set alongside information on the countries, staple foods and social and political facts about the peoples and foods they eat. Actually, It's not that old in the run of books that I have, but I can't remember ever actually making anything from it. I can't even remember how I came by it and can only assume it was a gift.
The recipe that presented itself when I flicked through the pages and stopped was from Sudan : Ful-Sudani - otherwise named in English as Peanut Macaroons. I have eaten very few African desserts and looking through the book a little closer, it would appear that many of them are fruit or nut based. Ful-Sudani has very few ingredients, but peanuts (which are one of Sudan's main export crops) are the star of the show.
They are so amazingly simple to make and pretty cheap at about £1.20 for a batch of about eighteen. So I am also entering them into this month's Family Foodies Challenge being hosted by Vanesther at Bangers & Mash (co-hosted by Lou at Eat Your Veg), the theme being Cheap & Cheerful. I love to gain inspiration from the foods of other nations and these macaroons are definitely a discovery that I will be making again.
Ful-Sudani (Peanut Macaroons) - makes about 18 macaroons
125g unsalted raw shelled peanuts
1 egg white
pinch fine sea salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Prepare 2 baking trays by lining with baking paper.
- Place the peanuts in a heat-proof dish and place in the oven to roast for 10 to 15 minutes, checking (and turning with a shake) frequently to make sure they brown nicely and do not burn. Cool.
- Chop or coarsely grind the peanuts and set aside.
- Whisk the egg white with the salt until stiff.
- Fold in the sugar and vanilla and whisk again until silky.
- Add the peanuts and fold into the mixture.
- Use a teaspoon to drop small piles of the mixture onto the baking trays and smooth the tops.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the macaroons are crisp and golden.
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