Macarons again, which means it’s macattack time. My post is a wee bit late but I hope dear Deeba and Jamie will forgive me :) This time, our theme was BALLPARK SNACKS. “Put aside all of those elegant flavors, the sophistication and beauty of those little French treats and think junk food!” proclaimed the dynamic duo.
I've never been to a real ballgame, but when I do go, I'll look the part with this souvenior Mr. Kitchen Hand brought back from his trip to NY :)
Well, if sophistication and beauty are not what we are after, then I certainly nailed it. This month, I made some macanotsures (when it’s not quite a macawrong but it’s not quite right either). I was trying to add some ground popcorn into the almond meal, but who would have guessed that trying to grind popcorn into a fine powder is actually very tricky to do? And it can kill your food processor . At least I think it’s dead, or maybe it’s just sulking and turned itself off for awhile, who knows.
The culprit that killed my machine
Anyway, after much sifting and measuring and checking, then eggwhite beating and finally mixing, I realised my batter was rather too stiff. Forget magma, I was getting wet cement. I’d either messed up my measuring and threw out the ratios (highly likely), or popcorn behaves differently compared to almond meal (also highly likely).
To try and salvage the too stiff batter, I started adding fresh eggwhite, a tablespoonful at a time. This seemed to help, and the final treats resembled macarons, but they had quite funny feet. And the texture is, well, the best way to describe it is “odd”. There’s still the thin, crisp outer part of the shell, but the insides are sort of spongy, as well as a little bit chewy. Rather unusual, but not unpleasant. And to top it all off, the shells are really lumpy and bumpy, thanks to the not-quite-ground popcorn bits.
Popcorn flavoured, hot-dog shaped shells filled with peanut butter cream cheese frosting and nutella. What a mouthful!
Flavourwise though, they rock. I think I nailed the part about putting aside elegant flavours too. When I offered one to MC Senior, she asked, “What flavour are these?”. My reply of popcorn, peanut butter and nutella evoked a response of, “They’re not very gourmet are they?”. But she loved them anyway.
While these macaron “hot-dogs” probably won’t make an appearance at a sporting arena anytime soon, I figure they’re winners anyway. It doesn’t matter whether you win or look like a macaron, it’s how you taste. Who’s game to take them on? :)
(For the shells, I used the basic French macaron recipe, removing some almond meal and substituting with ground (stovetop) popcorn.
For the filling, I tweaked a recipe I saw on the back of a Philadelphia cream cheese packet. I beat together about 75g cream cheese, 2 tablespoons peanut butter and two tablespoons icing sugar until smooth. To get the stripe effect, prop the piping bag up in a glass, carefully place the nutella against one side (I used a butter knife for this), then add the icing on the other side).