• Yes, we have a recipe for candied bacon brownies. (Smith Street Books)Source: Smith Street Books
From chicken soup to baklava, a swathe of unexpected ways to make the most of this creamy nut.
13 Aug 2021 - 4:01 PM  UPDATED 13 Aug 2021 - 4:03 PM

--- The Cook Up with Adam Liaw airs weeknights on SBS Food at 7.00pm and 10.00pm, with episodes made available after broadcast on SBS On Demand. Look out for the macadamia episode on Monday August 16  --- 


The macadamia's creamy texture and taste make it the perfect partner in baking - "I use it so often in so many of my baking, from biscuits to cakes, to cheesecake bases, all of those sorts of things," says baking teacher and author Anneka Manning when she joins Adam Liaw in a macadamia-themed episode of The Cook Up. And she's right. But have you thought of using it in savoury dishes?

Australia's native nut is incredibly versatile - it's a classic in a white choc and macadamia biscuit, but it's also right at home in a laksa paste.

Inspired by Adam Liaw and his macadamia episode, here are some of our favourite ways to put an unexpected spin - sweet or savoury - on this Aussie nut. 

Pot chicken with macadamia pesto

A macadamia, herb and kale (or spinach) pesto is the finishing touch to this nourishing bowl. You can use macadamia oil in the pesto too if you have some. "This recipe epitomises the nourishing autumn dish; a contemporary translation of an old favourite. Hopefully it makes you smile from the inside like it does for us," says Georgia Wall of her hearty take on chicken soup. 

Double-choc stout, macadamia and candied bacon brownies

"When you’re making brownies, there’s no need to mess around. Pack as much crunchy goodness as you can in there to contrast with the gooey fudgy cakey bit," says Jack Campbell of this gloriously indulgent recipe, where the "crunchy goodness" includes macadamias, dark choc chunks and bits of crisp candied bacon.  

Yes, we have a recipe for candied bacon brownies.

Native dukkah with Johnny cakes

In The Cook Up macadamia episode, Adam Liaw's other guest is Rae Johnstone, who shares a recipe for Johnny cakes - one of the easiest breads you can make, using just self-raising flour, salt and water - with a full-of-flavour dukkah that mixes ground macadamias with wattleseed, pepper berry,  lemon myrtle and sesame seeds. 

Wattleseed and macadamia ladoos

Ladoos are the most popular Indian sweets there are. These versions include some native Australian flavours.

Macadamia and lemon myrtle shortbread

Surprisingly simple and super quick to make this shortbread dough is the perfect one to make ahead of time as it will store in your fridge or freezer until you are ready to slice and bake it.

Fish laksa

In Jack Stein's recipe, macadamia's are on of the ingredients in a laksa paste he makes for a laksa inspired by a trip to Cape Leveque, a remote wilderness camp on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula.

Jack Stein's fish laksa, inspired by a Kimberley fishing trip

Fried haloumi with sticky fruit and nuts

This recipe from Justine Schofield is a great combination of salty-sweet flavours, from the golden fried haloumi to sweet ripe pawpaw and the pops of flavour from the finger lime.

Macadamia hummus

Given the creamy flesh of a mac, it's not surprising that it works well in one of our fave dips. Try substituting some of the chickpeas in your favourite hummus recipe with roasted macadamias, or try this one, made with roasted macs, chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic and basil, which we spotted on the website of Australian Macadamias, the umbrella body representing the nation's macadamia growers. 

Vegan, gluten-free salted caramel tart

Instead of a biscuit crumb base, macadamias and dates are used to make a nutty bottom layer for this rich dessert. 

Gluten-free salted caramel tart

Chocolate-orange panforte

Put an Australian spin on an Italian classic: Anneka Manning's version of this traditional recipe makes a great gift. It also keeps for a long time. 

Mushrooms and pearl barley with macadamia bread sauce

Another twist on a classic, this recipe uses macs to add some nuttiness to a bread sauce. It's a great topping for a warm bowl of barley, mushrooms, lemon zest and herbs. 

Macadamia baklava

Two native flavours come together in Mark Olive's take on a classic Levantine sweet. Here, baklava is made with macadamias and a lemon aspen syrup.

Macadamia Baklava by Mark Olive (Supplied)

Find many more ideas in SBS Food's macadamia recipe collection

Everything you need to know about Australia's native nut
There's more to a maca than a hard brown shell.

more marvellous macs
Apricot macadamia granola

Making a big batch of nutritious granola is one of the best ways to ensure you have a healthy breakfast treat on hand every day. This banging formulation will lend you a load of energy for tackling your to-do list! 

Chocolate river mint fudge brownie

Mark Olive adds a mellow minty hum to his chocolate and macadamia brownies with the addition of river mint. Find it dried online or at select Indigenous nurseries. 

Bean cassoulet with nut crumb

The combination of beans and nuts here makes this a superb meal – and it’s even better if the ingredients are locally sourced.

Caramel roasted chocolate macadamias

These irresistible macadamia nuts are roasted, drenched in sugar syrup and caramelised, then double-dipped in melted chocolate. 

Chocolatey sweet potato & macadamia cream cake

You will need to start this cake a few hours before you need it, as the macadamias are best soaked for a couple of hours to soften them slightly before blending for the vanilla cream.

Charred carrot salad with sorrel, macadamia and herb vinaigrette

Chargrilling carrots this way releases their natural sweetness. Once tossed with the nuts and dates in the zingy mustard dressing, it is sure to become your go-to side.

Buckwheat crepes with mango, macadamia and kithul

This dish is inspired by the mango pancakes found in a yum cha trolley that I usually find too sweet and a little fake. This version uses buckwheat for savoury notes, with sourness from India, a little sweetness from Sri Lanka and the buttery nuttiness of macadamia.

Macadamia cookie and tropical ice-cream sandwiches

An easy and delicious ice-cream sandwich, that can be served as a dessert or a snack and offers a myriad of flavour combinations.