You can tell I was desperate to make a joke with the name of this week's Alpha Baker task. Actually it turned out to be more 'Oh dattelkonfekt!'...and that's not meant to be a joyous greeting.
Being a reasonably competent meringue maker, I was feeling fairly confident about making these 'date confections', as the Germans so catchily named them (as a traditional German Christmas biscuit). And they were certainly a no fuss baking project. Unfortunately they deflated and went very soft not long after I took them out of the oven. I think maybe I should have baked them more like meringues (i.e. low heat for a longer time) to cope with the effects of the humidity. As it is I think I'll break them up and mix them with ice cream, perhaps with a bit of chocolate sauce.
I probably would have tried these a second time but they're not a cheap biscuit to make with a large amount of almonds and dates in the mix. They're essentially a meringue base so the only other ingredients are eggs, vanilla and sugar.
The almonds and dates are whizzed up in the food processor.
The eggs are beaten to soft peaks and then the sugar added gradually as for meringues. This is the other place I may have gone wrong. I turned my back for a minute and the eggs had gone way past soft peaks, right up to cumulonimbus. They looked all right when I added the sugar so I'm not sure it made a difference to the end product. I love glossy egg whites and sugar...mmmmmm.
The date and almond mixture is added to the meringue.
There was no way I was going to wrestle with a piping bag to get these on the baking tray. I'm not too bad at piping (not too good either) but I do tend to cover myself in the mixture. Particularly when it's a meringue mixture which, if you don't catch it early, can harden to cement-like consistency on skin. It's embarrassing to turn up at work with meringue lumps on your elbow and your ear. I usually just spoon meringues onto the tray 'countrystyle' and this is what I did with these.
They don't look too bad in the photo below. I cooked them for about 30 minutes but they still went soft. Oh well.