Marmalade Macaroons or Rochers à la Noix de Coco

Marmalade Macaroons or Rochers à la Noix de Coco

Marmalade Macaroons or Rochers à la Noix de Coco

Add macaroons to your dessert menu to master a classic French treat with Italian origins that’s surprisingly quick and easy. Macaroons (mac-uh-ruinz) based on coconut, look and sound nothing like the butter-cream filled almond cookies macarons (mac-kaw-rhone except only pronounce half the “n” for that special form of French nasal linguistic torture). To avoid confusion, the French versions are called Rochers à la Noix de Coco (coconut rocks) or simply Rochers Coco to be short and slang.

Marmalade macaroons are not traditional. Typically, macaroons have three-ingredients (sugar, coconut and egg whites) that can be formed into playful shapes, often into a cone or pyramid shape in France. They’re most delicious when the tops and sides or edges have extra crispy browned, nearly burned bits. This marmalade macaroon was inspired by delicious marmalade I experienced while living in France and pleases any crowd with chewy-crunchy textures.

Fast & Easy Marmalade Macaroons

Makes 20

Marmalade Macaroon TheTasteWorkshop.com

 

 

 

Ingredients

5 ½ cups (14 ounce bag) sweetened coconut flakes
½ cup sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt (optional, but helps balance the sweetness)
4 egg whites
4 tablespoons marmalade, minced (If marmalade is very syrupy and thin, use 3 tablespoons)

Steps

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Stir together coconut, sugar and salt in a bowl.
3. Add egg whites and marmalade and mix with a large serving fork or spoon.
4. Scoop two tablespoons onto parchment paper in a mound and continue to make more mounds spaced about 2 inches apart. Fill a small bowl or cup with water, dip your fingers into water and with fingers of both hands, form each mound into a pyramid, wetting fingers as needed.
5. Place on middle rack in over, cook for 16-20 minutes or until firm on the sides and the edges and tops have begun to turn dark brown, nearly a burnt look.
6. After removing from oven, carefully slide onto two baking racks set side by side to fit the baking sheet size.
7. Let cool to eat if you can wait and store in the refrigerator in a covered dish.

Here’s an unscripted Facebook Live Video where I chat about bitter oranges, coconut flake differences & forming the pyramid shapes.

Happy Macaroon Day! The best 15 minute, 3-4 ingredient dessert ever if you like coconut. I'm showing a marmalade version with French influences (the shape) and in France–often called Rochers à la Noix de Coco (coconut rocks) or Roches Coco to be slang and short.

Posted by Michele Redmond on Thursday, May 31, 2018

 

 

 

About Me

The pleasure of food, good health and well-being through simple habits for eating well and flexitarian low-key cooking.
Michele Redmond

Michele Redmond

French-trained Chef, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Food Enjoyment Activist

It's about Making Food First

Get Taste Workshop periodic updates on easy ways to choose and cook foods that satisfy your appetite, nurture your body and make eating well a pleasure.

From Bubbly, Burpy Beast to Sourdough Bread

From Bubbly, Burpy Beast to Sourdough Bread

From Bubbly, Burpy Beast to Sourdough Bread

In our household, National Sourdough Bread Day is a reminder to be generous.

 

My mom’s habit of giving a loaf of sourdough bread to new neighbors or someone needing comfort became our family tradition.

Bread makes a practical edible gift, but offering someone a scoop of sourdough starter promises them a future of fresh-baked treats. Starting with yeast captured in a desert garden, our 10-year-old starter, has made over 1,000 loaves of bread for meals, parties and gifts.

Keeping sourdough starter alive and healthy takes minimal effort and gives our family a nutrient-rich, flavorful ingredient for making sandwich bread, baguettes, buns, pizzas and more.

 

Sourdough bread loaf slice

 

Start with StarterSourdough bread starter

 

Even a minimalist kitchen has starter ingredients—water and a grain-based flour. The base ingredient in many doughs, it’s a goopy mass created from mixing nearly equal amounts in weight of flour (which naturally includes yeast) and water. Leaving this sludge uncovered will also expose it to wild yeast present in the air.

The type of yeast for bread products affects flavor, texture, shelf life, nutrient content and even digestibility. Commercially packaged dry or instant yeast rely on the Saccharomyces Cerevisiae yeast strain. Unlike starters that involve natural or wild yeast, it’s a monoculture yeast bred to speed up carbon dioxide (CO2) production for fast or mass-produced dough.

 

Flour + Water = Starter Base

Yeast starter sourdough bread explode

Rogue Sourdough Starter = Overactive fermentation

Fermenting and Feeding Little Beasties

To create a mature, bubbly starter, some starter is removed before it’s fed flour and water. Starches breakdown and yeast creates alcohol and CO2 while bacteria, like lactobacillus, develop flavorful acids and lower the pH. It’s preferred fermentation temperature is around 70°F but it can go rogue and explode (see picture) if too warm.

Within a week of this microorganism throw-down, a bubbly burping mass emerges ready to become bread.

Starter base + Fermentation & Feeding

= Active Starter

To make bread, flour is added to active starter along with other basic bread ingredients, salt (affects texture and flavor) and water, then it’s left to proof. The starter is then refed and stored, often in the refrigerator, to control the fermentation until the next use.
Some bakers confess to traveling with their starter or hiring a sourdough sitter to feed it, but once starter is active and healthy, it can last ten plus days in the fridge while you’re on a no-yeast pet vacation.

Scoop of Starter + Flour + Salt + Water = Dough ready to rise (Proofing)

Sourdough bread starterSourdough Bread Benefits

Home-made starter doesn’t guarantee tangy bread products, these develop from fermentation and result from lactic and acetic acid from specific yeast such Candida milleri and bacteria strains including Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis.

The production of fermentation acids and other compounds result in longer shelf life without additives or preservatives–see example below.

 

Stone soup sourdough bread ingredients

 

Unlike quick-rise or industrially-produced loaves which force breads to rise fast, longer rises create complex flavors and better structure (crust texture and chew density) which enhances flavor perception.

Longer rise times also give yeast and bacteria more opportunities to digest gluten and are linked lower and slowed glycemic response for long-fermented sourdough breads. A gift of sourdough bread isn’t just food, but an intention to share the nourishing and pleasurable experience of eating it.

About Me

The pleasure of food, good health and well-being through simple habits for eating well and flexitarian low-key cooking.
Michele Redmond

Michele Redmond

French-trained Chef, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Food Enjoyment Activist

It's about Making Food First

Get Taste Workshop periodic updates on easy ways to choose and cook foods that satisfy your appetite, nurture your body and make eating well a pleasure.

Citrus and Almond Olive Oil Cake with Tangerine Glaze

Citrus and Almond Olive Oil Cake with Tangerine Glaze

Citrus and Almond Olive Oil Cake with Tangerine Glaze

This isn’t a typical olive oil cake. Often they are dense and extra unctuous, which can be desirable, or lighter and cake-like. This version is in between thanks to a flavorful addition of moist almond meal and corn meal. These additions also create a nutrient-rich cake as well.

Despite a moist interior, the top of the cake develops a nice crust which holds up well to an addition of almonds and a grand marnier tangerine glaze. If tangerines are not in season, substitute with the related mandarin or clementines or “cousin” orange.

While I recommend following measurements when baking, I made this cake for a taste workshop and class at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris without the benefit of measuring tools or scales, so either it’s very forgiving or I made lots of lucky estimates that day.

Recipe for Cake

Olive oil cake cupDry Ingredients 1 ¾ cup ground almond meal/flour ¾  cup fine ground corn meal 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 2  teaspoons baking powder ½  teaspoon fine sea salt 1  cup sugar

The Topping: ¼ cup slivered almonds

Moist Ingredients ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil 3 large eggs 3-4 Tangerines (2 tangelos or oranges): 2 teaspoons zest for cake 1/3 cup tangerine juice for cake

Glaze Ingredients: 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar 1 teaspoon tangerine/citrus zest, finely grated 2 tangerines (3-4 Tablespoons) 2 teaspoons Grand Marnier Small pinch of salt

Steps: Pre-heat oven to 350˚F

  1. Lightly coat the base and sides of a 9-inch nonstick cake pan or a quick-release version.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add flours and whisk well to remove lumps. Add the salt and baking powder and mix well. Add the sugar and mix in.
  3. To an equally large or larger mixing bowl, add the moist ingredients. With a hand mixer, blend the eggs and oil for 2 minutes on medium speed (will form bubbles on the surface).
  4. Add the zest and juice and blend only a few seconds—a moist custard-like texture quickly forms.
  5. Add the dry mixture into the wet mixture and blend until incorporated. It has a cornmeal batter texture.
  6. Pour the batter into the oiled cake pan and bake on the center rack for 48-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Place on a rack to cool and run a knife round the edges to loosen.
  7. Sprinkle the almond slices on top of the cake.
  8. For the glaze, pour the powdered sugar into a bowl, add juice, zest, Grand Marnier and salt and mix.
  9. Pour some of the glaze on top of the almonds while the cake still a bit warm and retain some glaze to serve aside cut pieces of the cake.
  • A moderately flavored olive oil works best to infuse the cake with a hint of savory flavor; however, you can use a mild tasting extra virgin olive oil for a mild or even undetectable flavor.

 

About Me

The pleasure of food, good health and well-being through simple habits for eating well and flexitarian low-key cooking.
Michele Redmond

Michele Redmond

French-trained Chef, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Food Enjoyment Activist

It's about Making Food First

Get Taste Workshop periodic updates on easy ways to choose and cook foods that satisfy your appetite, nurture your body and make eating well a pleasure.

Easy French Brown-Butter Tart

Easy French Brown-Butter Tart

Easy French Brown-Butter Tart

Easy French Brown-Butter Tart

For bakers and home cooks who bake often, making tarts is easy enough. However, not everyone, including me, appreciates the specific measuring and techniques required for good tart dough. Now, after discovering this easy brown-butter tart, I’m dreaming of future tarts.

The dough is similar to a pâte sablée (“sandy” dough). It’s tender and crumbly like shortbread, holds its shape well and has a delicate brown-butter flavor. So, while it won’t replace all varieties of tart options, it can substitute for many sweet and savory versions.

I discovered this recipe while reading a post by David Lebovitz who wrote that upon hearing about this:

”I almost started choking. “Surely, you jest!” I wanted to cry out in disbelief”…”It was all just crazy-talk.”

The source, Paule Caillet of Promenades Gourmandes, is a culinary instructor I know through her Paris market tour cooking classes. The recipe works well, but after multiple tests, I made a couple minor ingredient revisions and heated the butter mixture on a cooktop rather than in the oven.

Brown-Butter tart

Brown-Butter Tart Recipe

Serves 8

Adapted from a recipe by Paule Caillat of Promenades Gourmandes

Ingredients:
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 ounces or 85g) cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon flavorless cooking oil such as grapeseed or organic canola
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (5 ounces or about 142g)
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt (about 3 pinches)
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour (5.5 ounces or 156g)
Steps:
  1. Butter a 9” (23cm) tart pan (removable bottom is best) and turn oven to 400˚F (204˚C).
  2. Add butter, oil, sugar and salt to a 6-8” pot or rounded sauce pan and turn heat to medium heat.
  3. Foam and bubbles will begin to form as the water evaporates from the butter. When butter is melted (about 3 minutes) briefly stir to mix ingredients and let cook for 4-6 minutes more or until you see a tan color form in the center or around the edges. At this point remove from the heat as this tan color can quickly overcook to a dark brown (a Beurre noir) sauce.
  4. Remove the pot from the burner, add the flour and stir with a soup spoon (works best) or spoonula until the dough begins to pull away from the sides and stick together. Place the dough into the center of the tart pan and spread it across the base with the back of the spoon.
  5. When the dough is still warm but cool enough to touch, press it with your fingers spreading it evenly across the base (it will be thin) and up the sides.
  6. With a fork, prick around the dough base about twenty times, then bake on the center rack for 8-10 minutes or until the tart dough is golden brown. Once the tart is cool, fill to your delight.
  • If you use a dark pot it will be hard to see when the butter is the proper color.
  • Whole wheat substitutions will not yield the same flavor or texture.
  • European butters or Kerry Gold Irish butter for example, have lower water content than most commercial American butters. This may increase the evaporation time a bit during browning and may cause the mixture to “spit” or “pop” hot liquid a bit. Swirl the pan once or twice if this happens to reduce “spitting”.
  • The tart base can be prepared a day in advance
  • Use as a savory tart base as well but leaving out the sugar. Sugar does affect dough structure, so it will not be the exact same tart base, but it will work.

The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts, All of a summer day: The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts And took them quite away!

1865  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

About Me

The pleasure of food, good health and well-being through simple habits for eating well and flexitarian low-key cooking.
Michele Redmond

Michele Redmond

French-trained Chef, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Food Enjoyment Activist

It's about Making Food First

Get Taste Workshop periodic updates on easy ways to choose and cook foods that satisfy your appetite, nurture your body and make eating well a pleasure.

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