. Easy kids
Posed, but an appropriate vignette of my macaroon making experience:
I decided to go the extra mile (ok, inch). Rather than just make macaroons from the egg whites, sugar, and coconut called for, I was going to dress half the batch with chocolate. Working with melted chocolate intimidates me less than a lot of foods because I've been dipping strawberries since I was 15; I know about being careful not to burn the stuff.
Over comes TA Nattie, drawn by the offer of chocolate, and excited to make ganache. I had the chips melting in a double boiler; Nattie got in there and made it a ganache with cream and butter. OK, I left her to do that; I started mixing the coconut into my carefully portioned soup of egg white and sugar. I was most of the way through the batch when the chocolate was ready (Nattie sampled it like three times) and I realized I had never measured the coconut.
Time to call in more help. TA Jeff came in and assured me I could add yet more coconut. Done. Now it was all I could do to keep mixing the stuff, it was so thick, so I was sure it was dense enough (macaroon "batter" needs to be very dense so it holds shape). As per the recipe, I scooped out a half my batch onto the line
d tray, to be baked plain.
Time for ganache! With the help of Huiming and Nattie's implicit encouragement I started scooping the rest of my batter onto puddles of chocolate on the line
d baking sheet, to coat the bottom. Nice, nice, it was going well until teammate Francesca came over and explained, very kindly, that the chocolate would run and burn and this would not work. Hm, I thought, but if that's true, surely Nattie would have mentioned it. That's when Instructor Norkus came over. "Yeah, chocolate dip after baking." So there it was.
Francesca had the excellent idea now to remix all the chocolate dipped batter and re scoop it all out, thus making chocolate macaroons. Thus the above photo was taken, the mixture in the bowl, Nattie helpfully motivating me with a rolling pin. Brilliant. Done. Into the oven. Everything lost its shape . . . I was trying to make the Rockies but instead made macaroon Appalachia . . . but it was all going well taste-wise. Thank God I'd measured the egg and sugar. All the while, though, I was target for the slings and arrows of Mr. Norkus's good natured jabs. He was so bad to me he felt impelled to confess, "I love you, man," at one point, which only showed that he was worried I couldn't take the heat. Little did he know, I was not even down, let alone out.
With Francesca helping me watch the dessert bake to ensure things like appropriate browning and turning of the trays, I was unstoppable (ok, Francesca was unstoppable) and well on my way to earning the moniker "Daddy Mackaroon." Out they came, cooled, now it's time for service. Bam, out go the plains, golden and nicely arranged on a plate. Biff, out go the chocolate macaroons on another platter. Pow, it's dippin time, and though the old ganache was wasted in the chocolate macaroons I've made a spanking new batch, improved with little hardened bits of the old stuff (because I didn't want to dirty a new bowl, duh), and that baby is looking fine in a coat or drizzle on my remaining 1/3 of the batch.
And here come the crowds and, this time I am not joking, wave after wave of babealicious babes are coming over, hungering for a chewy little drop of Jewish heaven, praising my work, sending it swimming in the bowl of extra ganache I have so thoughtfully served beside my platters. There is not a peep from Mr. Norkus, and I am snapping photos and takin' names . . .
. . . as the rest of my team finishes and plates the quiche and fruit tart I had virtually nothing to do with, heh heh. Nice job guys.