Thursday, April 3, 2008
Feet and height = a better macaroon
So late yesterday afternoon I was feeling tired and hungry and casting about for an activity which didn't involve Masterpiece Theater reruns (go the complete Jane Austen!), I decided the time was right to try my hand at another round of French macaroons, this time guided by David Lebovitz' chocolate macaroon recipe.
He was very Cook's Illustrated-meets-Jeffrey Steingarten about it and prefaced the recipe with the saga of failures and frustrations that preceded the ultimate triumph of baked goods over raw ingredients. Which was not only entertaining but helpful, since it helped put me in that state of mind one really needs to be in (tentative but quietly determined) before folding beaten egg whites into batter.
And though I let the first batch cook too long and lost that core of moisture that reemerges after the filled macaroon gets to sit and think about things for a few hours, they looked rather nice and tasted good too. They got that necessary foot at the bottom, and even though I didn't have the right tip for my pastry bag (the only one wide enough to do the job had frilly points), the top came out relatively smooth and shiny. The photo shows an unassembled half.
So I'm feeling back on track again, and have totally rethought what I'm going to make for Kathryn's bridal shower. Macaroons, goraybe (a Lebanese shortbread cookie), possibly a checkerboard shortbread, truffles that may or may not be flavored with kumquat (I have to try it out first), little carrot cakes that I also need to try out (and will document here), and pound cake squares topped with strawberries and cream.
But not petites fours. My experimentation with that yielded a one-dimensional, rather ugly, sickeningly sweet little square of regret.