*When this post hits the blogosphere, and Fiesta Friday 21, I’ll be travelling. Since internet will be sporadic, I may not see your comments (or visit your blogs) for a while, but look forward to catching up when I’m back!*
Of eggs and introductions
How does one introduce a recipe? I’ve been wondering about this while scribbling up this post. And to double the trouble, how does one introduce two recipes that together use the whole egg? Chronologically? Alphabetically? Punningly?
I’ll go from the outside, starting at the eggwhite, finishing with the egg yolk.
I’ve posted about the macaroons before, under the moniker ‘multi-tasking macaroons’. But these macaroons weren’t exactly the same. These, made with coconut chips rather than desiccated/shredded coconuts, were so pretty. This time, the coconut flakes looked like brown-tipped wings. The texture was different somehow, chewy in the middle, crispy on the outside, not too sweet, each coconut flake standing to attention. These, dear reader, were what Alice Medrich intended in her recipe.
But I took a shortcut. I mixed the coconut and egg whites, without half-cooking them as Ms Medrich instructs. These were a tad stickier, and maybe took a tad longer to cook, but they worked well with a fraction of the effort.
And then, I dolloped rum-spiked dark chocolate ganache. And finished by sprinkling over flaky sea salt…
These macaroons were ready in about an hour, but they could have been eaten in much, much less time. Especially when I piled a few together and let the chocolate ganache pour over them. That was…well, fun, and decadent.
Thus, a macaroon revival on this bloggy blog.
All you really need is egg white, sugar, coconut flakes. Rum-spiked chocolate ganache and flaky sea salt optional (but you won’t regret it).
The egg yolk
The left over yolk were crying out to be made into something equally decadent. And lemon curd (or lemon butter) was the answer. An all-yolk lemon curd, exceptionally rich and yellow. Even yellow-orange if you manage to get the best free range eggs.
Best of all, this lemon curd/lemon butter recipe just wants to be lump-free. Apparently this is because egg white cooks at a lower temperature than egg yolk, so using only egg yolk means it is easier to get silken, lump-free curd. No straining required at the end (unless you are extra pedantic, see note in recipe).
The recipe came from Not Quite Nigella’s blog. With what seemed to be minimal effort, we had a biggish jar of lemon curd, which made its way into so many things. Yoghurt, home-made no-churn ice cream, and – most simply – dolloped over a moist fresh ginger cake.
Ginger cake and lemon curd was my favourite pairing. More on this cake later….
A revival of macaroons
(pretty much taken straight from this version of Alice Medrich’s recipe on Food52)
4 large egg whites
3 1/2 cups dried flaked coconut / coconut chips, or 3 cups shredded coconut (note I don’t use sweetened coconut, as I prefer a subtly sweet macaroon)
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or a teaspoon of coconut powder, or a grating of lime zest)
Slightly rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Combine all of the ingredients in a large heatproof mixing bowl. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 F / 175 C. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
3. Make heaps of the coconut mixture on the cookie sheets, I used about 1 tablespoon for each macaroon but you can also use up to 2 tablespoons. Bake for about 5 minutes, rotate the pans, and then bake for another 2-3 minutes until the tips of the coconut flakes are a light brown.
4. Lower the temperature to 325 F (about 160C) and bake for another 5 minutes (for small macaroons) or up to 15 minutes (for larger ones), until the cookies are a light gold with deeper brown edges. Watch them carefully as they can burn easily and can’t be saved.
5. Set the pans on racks to cool completely, peeling the parchment away from each macaroon.
6. Optional: while the coconut eggwhite mixture is resting, melt together equal amounts of butter and dark chocolate (set a heat proof bowl over a pan of boiling water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Add as little or as much rum as you like, to taste. When the ganache and macaroons are cool, drizzle the ganache over the macaroons. Sprinkle over sea salt. Gobble.
Note: The macaroons are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside on the day they are baked. The edges will soften but will still be good for 4 to 5 days.
Lemon curd, lump free and full of sunny egg yolks
(barely adapted from Not Quite Nigella)
5 egg yolks
1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar (use 1/2 cup sugar if you prefer a really tart lemon curd, 3/4 cup if you prefer a sweeter curd)
125g/4ozs butter, cut into cubes
1. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Set on low to medium heat. Add the butter and heat slowly until the butter melts.
2. Zest two of the lemons and add the zest to the egg yolk mixture. Juice the lemons to make 1 cup of lemon juice (I used all of the lemon juice, which was a bit more than a cup, but I like a runny, super-lemony curd).
3. When the butter has melted, add the lemon juice. Stir using the whisk or a spoon. Cook for about 15 minutes for the mixture to thicken up. Stir every now and then, you don’t need to stir constantly (hoorah!). The curd thickens a bit more on cooling.
4. If you are super-fussy like me, strain the mixture to get rid of the zest. This will give you a truly silken, decadent curd. Store in sterilised jars if not using within 1-2 days.
Tagged: Alice Medrich, all yolk lemon curd, baking, chocolate, coconut, coconut flakes, egg white, egg yolk, Fiesta Friday, food photography, fresh ginger cake, ganache, gluten free, Lemon, lemon butter, lemon curd, macaroons, Not Quite Nigella, rum, rum-spiked ganache