Monday, February 8, 2010

Say it with French biscuits.

People show love in different ways. With words, glances, gestures, screaming outside someone’s front door at 2 am holding your shoes and your dignity in your handbag. Wouldn’t know a thing about the last one personally. But for me there is only one way, and that’s macaroons. I don’t know what it is but somewhere in the middle of those filled sandwiches of french delight I find all the eloquence I’ve lusted after all my life. For me the language of love isn’t prefixes and past tenses, no it’s egg whites and almond meal. If you’ve ever been handed one of these bad boys from me feel confident you’re probably invited to my birthday party this year, and I’d act wing man for you any day. I really encourage you to give them ago, they’re a lot easier to take on that you’d think and oh so, so rewarding. I suppose like most ways to say “ I fucking love you.”

[for macaroons]
3 egg whites
1 T caster sugar
Pink food coloring (or what ever you like)
Almond essence
1 1/4 C icing sugar
1 C almond meal
2 T icing sugar, extra

[for ganache]
150g chopped white cooking chocolate
1/4 cream
Food coloring

1. Pop your oven to a slow 150˚
2. Beat egg whites till stiff, add caster sugar and coloring. Beat until sugar disolves and your whites are glossy
3. Fold in sifted icing sugar, almond essence and almond meal
4. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe 4 cm round onto a baking paper lined (you’re really going to want to use the paper) about 2 cm apart. Let rest for a few minutes before putting into the oven for 20 minutes or until dry to touch
5. Allow to cool and dust with icing sugar
6. Meanwhile, combine ganache ingredients in a heatproof bowl over a bowl of simmering water until chocolate melts.
7. Refrigerate till a spreadable consistency.
8. When completely cool, sandwich macaroons with ganache
Your brave ingredients

Another rad thing about macaroons (AS IF THERE WEREN'T ENOUGH THINGS ALREADY!) is that the almond meal means that they're good for all your gluten intolerant brothers and sisters.

FAST FACT: Save your yolks and make custard. Do date I don't think I've ever made a batch of macaroons that weren't accompanied by a side order of Portuguese tarts.

TIP: Piping bags make possible the sort of perfection that you should never attempt to recreate alone

Try these bad boys with different flavor ideas, remember it’s super easy to infuse egg white with different things, just leave it all in a bowl over night (I’ve made some very successful honey and lavender ones in the past). But chocolate is the easiest choice, so here is a little help in changing the proportions.
Omit the food color all together, and use 1 C and 2 ! of icing sugar rather than the 1 1/4 C. This is important because you’ll need to add 1 T of cocoa when you fold in your final ingredients and you don’t want it to be too dry.
And for the ganache just leave out your essence and swop white chocolate for dark. Make a bunch of colors for the full united nations experience!

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