These fennel macarons taste amazing. The liquorice tones of the fennel, the cool cream cheese, the fresh, aromatic mint, the caramel tones of the dates, the crisp shell and chewy middle of the macarons - divine!
Sift the ground almonds and icing sugar into a large bowl.
Grind the fennel seeds using a mortar and pestle, discard any husks, and add to the almonds and sugar.
In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then gradually add the sugar in the three stages, whisking continually until the sugar has been absorbed and the mixture is stiff and glossy.
Using a large metal spoon, gently fold the almond mixture into the egg whites until well combined. The mixture should be slightly looser but dry.
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and start by dabbing a tiny amount underneath the paper, in all four corners, to prevent it from sliding.
Pipe out 30 small discs 1 inch / 3cm wide onto the baking tray.
Once they have all been piped, lift and drop the tray twice on the work surface to get any air out.
Leave to stand for 30 minutes at room temperature until a thin skin forms on each of the shells.
Preheat the oven to 160C (140C fan, 320F). Bake for 10-12 minutes with the oven door slightly ajar until set and pale golden.
Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, gently beat the cream cheese, dates, and date syrup together until creamy.
Stir in the fresh mint.
Pipe or spoon the ganache between two equally sized macaron shells and press together very lightly to sandwich the filling.
Refrigerate to set or eat immediately.
Refrigerate any leftover macarons and eat within 24 hours.