I have a friend who gets stressed when her fridge is not overflowing with food. As a consequence of her parents’ somewhat erratic care when she was little, she gets nervous when there are not enough groceries to survive a period of winter hibernation or provide a dinner for ten friends should they show up unannounced and hungry. I do not know if such occasion ever arises, but a full fridge is essential for her peace of mind.
I, on the other hand, get stressed when my fridge is full. I worry that in an overflowing fridge the cheese will hide behind milk, or vice versa, and I’ll forget about them and they’ll slide past their “use by” date and then I’ll have to throw them away and feel guilty. Clearly, I need therapy.
For the same reason I also get stressed out by recipes requiring a large number of yolks only, or egg whites only. If a recipe is calling for, say, 5 egg yolks, it is usually enough to dissuade me from making it. Which is one of the reasons there are so few (read: two) recipes for ice cream on this site and none of them custard based (that and having no freezer).
But: the holiday baking season brings the necessity to make linzer cookies and chocolate pretzel cookies which leaves me with no less than two whole extra egg whites. Fortunately I have a cookie recipe that solve this precarious situation.
The egg whites in this recipe are beaten first which makes these macaroons lighter than some other coconut macaroons I’ve come across and which only mix in the egg whites without beating them first. But because the coconut makes it impossible to pipe the batter there’s no need to worry about producing neat macaroons of exactly the same size. They are going to be lumpy anyway, so call them “rustic” and leave other macarons to perfectionist French chefs.
And while plain coconut macaroons surely are a good thing, the hint of orange flavor from the zest is essential, as is the chocolate drizzled on top, to bring these to new culinary heights.
Coconut macaroons with orange and chocolate
2 egg whites
pinch of salt
150 g sugar
150 g unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
100 g dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 140 degrees Celsius (280 F).
Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
Beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Add half of the sugar and continue beating until the egg whites become shiny. Add the remaining sugar, the coconut and orange zest, stir carefully.
Use two teaspoons to form small heaps on the baking sheet, spreading them well apart.
Bake for about 25 minutes, then switch off the oven and leave the door ajar, letting the macaroons dry for another 30 minutes.
Take out and let the macaroons cool completely.
To decorate, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Set the macaroons quite close to each other so that you can decorate them in one go (instead of individually). I use a slightly pointed spoon for this which makes it easier to drizzle the chocolate in long lines over the macaroons.
Let the chocolate set, then store in an airtight container – they will keep for at least three weeks.