Last week we made coconut macaroons and pound cake. A lot of times in baking, recipes call for egg yolks or egg whites. These macaroons are the perfect solution if you have lots of whites left over. They are pretty, fairly cheap to make, and many people like them.
Our basic mixture before we had to heat it.
We discussed chocolate extensively. Apparently what makes chocolate melt in your mouth is the cocoa butter in real chocolate (read: not Hershey’s kisses). To be couverture it has to contain at least 32% cocoa butter. This will literally slide down your throat in silky wonderful waves while dispensing pure happiness to your taste buds. Ok back to the topic at hand. It is possible to just melt chocolate for dipping in, but it will have a wet appearance and by the next day it will look dull and old. If chocolate is tempered it will harden almost instantly and retain the nice crunch and nice look. There are several methods, but we used a micrograter and melted some cocoa butter into the chocolate. Basically it will reconnect the bonds heating has torn apart.
Our test piece of chocolate. It hardened although it is hard to tell in this picture.
Playing around with some drizzle.
A long time ago, pound cake was made with literally a pound of flour, pound of sugar, pound of butter, etc. so that is how it obtained its name. I am very glad that the recipes have been updated. Pound cakes are a little tricky though when trying to please the public. Some people think it should lean towards a more dense texture with a lot of substance while others would like them more cake-like. I found these more cake-like, but you won’t hear me complaining. =)
The top will probably split, but a little tip is to dip a bench scraper, or any flat edge in a little melted butter and lightly press in the top. It adds that extra flair.
Update: Pound Cake Recipe
- 7 oz. Cake Flour
- 1/2 + 1/4 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/4 Cup Butter
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 + 1/4 teaspoons Salt
- 5 and 1/3 oz eggs – room temp
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Lemon Zest
- 1/4 teaspoon Orange Zest
- 2 and 1/3 oz. Buttermilk- room temp
This yields one 1 lb. 12 oz. loaf.
- Sift the flour and baking soda together and set aside.
- Cream the butter until it’s soft and lump free. Add the sugar and salt and mix until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time and scraping the bowl down after each addition.
- Add the vanilla and the zests.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients (4 additions) and buttermilk (3 additions)
- Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then drop to 350 and continue baking until the center bounces back slightly when touched, about 45-55 minutes.
Tips: Make sure the ingredients are at room temperature or else the batter will curdle (seize and look lumpy and sick) Also, if the cake darkens too quickly, put a piece of foil on the top and it will still bake the center without burning your cake.
- Egg Whites 12 oz (slightly more won’t hurt)
- Granulated Sugar 2 lb.
- Desiccated Coconut (Baking coconut) 1 lb 2 oz
- Dark Rum (optional) 1 oz
- Vanilla extract 2 tsp
- Lime zest, grated 2 Tbsp
- In a double boiler over low heat stir together the egg whites, sugar, and coconut. Heat stirring constantly until it reaches 130 degrees. (It will look too dry, but will moisten when heated)
- Remove from the heat and stir in the rum, vanilla, and lime zest.
- Let stand for 45 minutes.
- Drop the batter in 1 and 3/4 oz portions onto a buttered paper-lined sheet pans.
- Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, ~18-20 minutes.
Yield 40 cookies
Chocolate-Temper chocolate and once the cookies have cooled, dip or drizzle over each macaroon as above.
Pineapple- Cut 8 slices (12 oz) of pineapple, canned or fresh, into 5 pieces each. Indent each cookie and add a piece to each cookie before baking.
Raspberry – Omit lime zest and pineapple. Indent each cookie and fill with raspberry jam before baking.