Friday, April 14, 2006

Jer: French Macaroons

I’ve never really fancied myself as much of a girl’s girl. I didn’t play with dolls. In fact, I think I might have hated them. I’ve never really liked the color pink. In college, I hung out with Julie, and a group of five or so guys. In New York, I lived with Elaine and, at one point, five or so guys. I love my girlfriends very much. But I love them for the human beings they are, and I connect with them in the same way I connect with my closest male friends. Admittedly, I’m just not that big on doing “girly” things.

So I was at a bit of a loss when I found myself feeling like a true girly girl while making these French macaroons.

Maybe it was the mere act of piping (I mean really, can you picture a guy piping delicate macaroons onto parchment paper). Or the three bowls I had splayed out, each hosting vanilla buttercream in shades of lime green, tangerine orange, and yes, even a bright rosy pink (colors more likely to be seen in a Lily store than anywhere else). Or maybe it was because I had a frilly a-line skirt on with a bright white apron tied June Cleaver style around my waist. Whatever it was, I felt like a girl’s girl when preparing these Easter treats, so girly that I packaged the cookies in plastic bags and tied them neatly with a bright pink bow. Perhaps most surprisingly, I enjoyed my girly self very much, so thank you dear Elaine for the impetus. Also, with all the food coloring spread on the table, I really felt like it was days before Easter, and it’s been a while since I actually “felt” a holiday.

I used a very simple, four ingredient macaroon recipe (almond meal, powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, egg whites) and an even more simple, four ingredient buttercream recipe (butter, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla). The process was easy and fun and brought out a side of me that I don’t get to see that often.

We had friends over for dinner a few nights ago and we placed a macaroon package at everyone’s place setting as a guest gift. They were a hit!

Part Deux: Ashley's Coconut Macaroons with Lemon Curd


Ashley, you are right, these coconut macaroons with lemon curd have a wonderful flavor. What a combination. Plus I love how the curd uses four egg yolks and the macaroons used four egg whites (no waste!) I enjoyed making this second batch as it allowed me to appreciate the difference between the chocolate macaroons with almond meal (which created a more cookie like macaroon given the meal's flour-like consistency) compared with the coconut macaroons with the toasted and ground coconuts (which created a more meringue like macaroon). I liked the meringue-like texture better for this cookie and the lemon curd was really a nice kicker for the macaroon.

The smell in our kitchen while toasting and grinding the coconut was absolutely out of this world. I think I am going to do another batch of the toasted coconut, grind it to a powder, and use it like panko for some lightly battered fish. I think that flavor will be unique and delicious. I've made coconut crusted shrimp and fish before using coconut flakes, but I think the toasting and grinding brings out an additional layer of flavor that is really special. I'm thinking a good meaty white fish lightly dipped in an egg wash and the rolled around in the toasted, ground coconut then friend until golden brown. And then maybe top with a mango relish/chutney and served with a fragrant jasmine rice. Will let you know how it turns out!

6 Comments:

Blogger Cath said...

These are adorable. And I love how simple they sound!

14 April, 2006 17:10  
Blogger Kate said...

these look great Jer, what a piece of styling too.

15 April, 2006 01:21  
Blogger Elaine said...

Definitely a professional blogger's foto-o-food! Extremely impressed with everyone's macaroon photos. Love the vibrant buttercream colors. Can't wait to see whats to come.

15 April, 2006 09:03  
Blogger Jer said...

All the talk earlier in the week about photography was inspiring!

I was going to make Ashley's lemon and coconut macaroons to bring to a party tomorrow (Sunday). Are they better if made the day of or do they do better after a night in the fridge? The macaroons I made were much better after a few days in the fridge... Thanks!

15 April, 2006 11:49  
Blogger Ashley said...

I didn't notice a substantial difference. As long as the lemon curd has a chance to set up a little they should be fine.

15 April, 2006 22:13  
Blogger Cath said...

Your coconut fish/chutney/jasmine rice combo sounds terrific! Let us know how that goes...

17 April, 2006 15:36  

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