September 25, 2011
Macaroons Not Macarons!
You say Po-tay-to, I say Po-tar-to...
or in this case,
One is a biscuit made of egg whites and almond meal, shaped into discs that have a hard shell and sandwiched together with a soft flavoured centre. This is a Macaron:
And one is typically made of sweetened coconut mixed with egg white, with a moist chewy middle.
This is the one I grew up calling a Macaroon, and I have to say that pastry chef extraordinaire Adriano Zumbo, agrees with me. Perhaps it's an Aussie thing?
Both are delicious, but while the Macaron is notoriously hard to master, the Macaroon is virtually idiot-proof. Perhaps this is the reason why we Aussies love it so much? :)
There is no sifting, no weighing, nothing harder than separating a couple of eggs- and if you accidentally do get a speck of yolk in, they won't even care! Just lots of easy, yummy promises that the Macaroon is happy to deliver.
Macaroons are often unflavoured, allowing the sweet coconut to be the star, but I have a bit of a soft spot for Cherry Ripe chocolate bars and this is a great less fattening way of getting a fix without blowing it.
Feel free to mix up the flavourings around a bit, I've used just dried apricots before with no chocolate and they were lovely as well.
Cherry Ripe Macaroons
2 1/2 cups of Desiccated Coconut
2 Egg whites
1/2 cup of Castor Sugar
I chose glace cherries, and some dark chocolate for dipping the bottoms ( 70* is generally lactose free)
Whisk the egg whites up just a little to break them up
Toss in everything else
Use your hand to mix, mix, mix.
You might think it will never be enough liquid to bind the whole lot, but it really is- just be patient! Mix it around and soon you'll be able to squish a handful of the mix together and it will keep it's shape and squish marks.
Roll or mound the mix firmly into about 12 little biscuits.
I tend to shape my lovelies very firmly, as I need conformity for cafe sales, and it's easier to use a mould than to mess about weighing each one. If you like you could add an extra egg white and just sort of scoop a pile on the baking sheet a bit more organically, I won't judge you for this, but it's hard to break an OCD style habit!
Bake at 180* for 10-12 minutes.
They will get a light browning on the edges, but still be slightly soft.
Let them cool for about 5 minutes on the tray before moving them onto a cooling rack
Melt the chocolate, and dip the bottom of each macaroon into it, wiping off the excess. Turn them upside down to set, then dig in and enjoy!
Little mounds of more-ish-ness, still moist and tender in the middle but nice and firm on the outside with just a hint of oven tan. Yummm...
I'm always surprised how easy and yummy these little biscuits turn out.
Really, just 3 basic ingredients, minimum kitchen skills and you can pump out enough for a bake sale or school fete in about half an hour.
Just promise me one thing... don't tell anyone how simple these beauties are, OK? Somethings need to be kept between friends.
So, my Dearest Readers,
would you say Macaroon or Macaron?