...and it is FORKING DELICIOUS. Also: Gochujang-braised brisket, healthy delivery food for Portland's strippers and Samin Nosrat makes a tuna sandwich
|Sep 11||Public post|
My ladyfriend makes pillowy, marvelously chocolatey French macarons with homemade hazelnut-chocolate spread (homemade Nutella, basically), and they are mind-scramblingly good. They provide a more refined but still decadent eating experience — deep chocolate flavor, just sweet enough, with the hazelnut paste shot through with toasty, bitter notes and underneath it all a faint but unmistakable touch of cinnamon.
Friends: they’re motherforking delicious.
Mary’s Chocolate and Cinnamon Whisper Macarons
Ingredients for macaron shells:
210 g of powdered sugar
125 grams of almond meal
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder (preferably fair trade)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
30 g granulated sugar
120 g egg whites
Ingredients for Homemade Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread:
2 cups shelled and skinned hazelnuts
1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder (preferably fair trade)
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt plus additional to taste
3 tablespoons sunflower or other mild oil
stand mixer (optional, but recommended)
silpat or parchment paper
piping bags (with tips or without, your preference)
macaron templates (easily found on the internet and printed out)
For the shells:
(if you have the time, take your egg whites out and let them sit, covered, at room temperature for an hour or two before getting started. You’ll have better results in the end.)
1. Prepare your sheet pans. Line with either silpat or parchment. Place templates underneath so you have a guide when piping your shells.
2. Put powdered sugar, almond meal, cocoa powder and cinnamon into bowl of food processor and pulse to combine. Make sure all ingredients are well integrated.
3. Combine granulated sugar and egg whites in bowl of stand mixer and whisk until you get stiff peaks (begin slowly and then increase speed. Watch carefully, as egg whites can go from soft peaks to stiff peaks to overwhipped very quickly.)
4. From the original recipe: “Gently fold the almond mixture into egg whites. I like to hold the bowl kind of on its side and just scrape the sides and then fold the batter on top. So, like I said, this process is critical, and you have to really pay attention. You can fold this too much, letting out too much air, and it will be too runny. You want to keep folding the batter until it starts to smooth out just a bit, and to where it can slowly slip off the spatula….kind of like hot lava. If you don’t mix it enough, the shells will crack, but if you over mix it, then it becomes too runny for the cookies to set up.”
5. Put a pastry bag into another larger container (for ease of filling) and scoop your shell mixture in.
6. Hold the bag upright and squeeze the batter onto the silpat/parchment in a spiral until you fill a circle, then pull the bag up and away. They do not need to be perfect. Even misshapen ones will be delicious.
7. Once your trays are filled, bang them on the counter to flatten them out and eliminate some lingering bubbles in the mixture.
8. Let those piped rounds sit out on your counter top for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour (or even more, depending on your kitchen’s temperature and humidity.) You want them to form a slight skin to prevent them from spreading during the baking process (and force that baked off mixture up instead of out, creating that characteristic “foot”.) Touch them after 30 minutes and see if the tops have formed that skin before proceeding.
9. Bake at 300 degrees for about 13 minutes. Let cool before removing from baking surface.
10. Turn half of your finished shells over. They’re now ready for the chocolate spread and assembly.
Making the spread:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Boil hazelnuts in a quart of water mixed with baking soda for 4 minutes. Dump into a colander and run under cold water. A lot of the skins will rinse off; rub the remaining skins off with your fingers or between two tea towels.
3. Toast the skinned hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet for 10-12 minutes, shaking the pan after six minutes for even toasting.
4. Drop the hazelnuts into the bowl of a food processor and grind them for a total of five minutes. You’ll need to periodically stop to push the pulverized nuts off the side of the bowl with a spatula. Continue until the nuts are liquified.
5. Add all the remaining ingredients except for one tablespoon of oil. Continue to process until the mixture is smooth. Add remaining oil if necessary. Salt to taste.
6. Store extra mixture in airtight container.
Uhhhhh, get a butter knife and start making teeny, fantastically delicious sandwiches of shells and spread.
Thanks to Mary for the macarons and a thousand other things, at least.
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Things you should make:
You can make this gochujang-spiced brisket in the Instant Pot or your smoker. Either way, you’re gonna be happy and sleepy. The coleslaw looks fab, too.
The key to a good sweet-and-sour fried anything is balance. This recipe looks like it nails the batter (thin) and the sauce (bright and bracing.) Ditch your neighborhood’s perfectly serviceable Chinese delivery for one night and give this a try.
Pork chops and salted plums: “For me to fully enjoy fruit and meat together, I steer hard into the savoriness. This means that, no matter what fruit I’m using, I’m going to add lots of alliums, like chopped shallot or, as I did here, thinly sliced red onions. They’re tossed with a bit of vinegar and the aforementioned fruit (firm, preferably slightly underripe plums), which, after a trip to the skillet to deglaze all those porky bits, end up with a slightly softened but decidedly unmushy texture. The result is a sort of D.I.Y. sweet-and-sour sauce but with no added sugar, more sour than sweet.”
“The strippers of Oregon’s biggest city are eating better, thanks in part to Nikeisah Newton. Newton, 38, has recently started a business that literally caters directly to Portland’s exotic dancers and dominatrixes, who, when ending their shifts, allegedly have few late-night dining options aside from fast food and greasy diners. “It’s a physically and emotionally demanding job. The options for food shouldn’t just be Taco Bell,” Newton told SWNS.”
Things you should watch:
I love piri-piri chicken. And so will you, if you don’t already, after watching this.
I’m making wood-fired pizza on Sunday. And while I’m not making cheese for it, I’d like to, someday.
Make a tuna sando with the always delightful Samin Nosrat.