3 hours ago
Monday, April 18, 2011
I promised a Passover post for the first night of Passover, so here it is.
You are not permitted to eat leavened bread, or foods with flour on Passover, (it's sort of a gluten free holiday!), so desserts can be challenging.
Coconut macaroons are a Passover tradition, as well as bad, tasteless kosher for Passover cakes. I usually skip dessert tonight.
These little treats were excellent. They come from Dan Lepard's fabulous baking site. Lepard is the UK's answer to Martha Stewart. Not sure if Mr. Lepard will like that comparison, but what can I say.
His recipes are wonderful, however, that metric conversion thing stumps me every time.
And please don't tell me to go to google and put in the UK metric conversion to U.S. equivalent cups, it doesn't always work out. Flour, sugar, and nuts have totally different ratios (volume vs. weight) and did you know that they use "caster" sugar over in Great Britain to confuse me even more?
Caster sugar, I found out, is NOT confectioner's 10x powdered sugar as many people may think, but is the standard baking sugar of G.B., a finer granulated sugar. Stop stumping me.
I ground my sugar (as the helpful baking bloggers advised) in a coffee grinder, to get a nicer, finer grind. It worked out nicely.
And what the heck is "stem ginger"?
I come to find out that it's very popular over there and is candied ginger in little jars with syrup. I found it at the Asian market.
See, I told you Passover baking is a challenge.
Ok, now that we have the proper sugar, the proper ginger, and the right weather (shouldn't be raining when you bake macaroons, or they will flop), we can begin.
Dan Lepard's Stem Ginger & Almond Macaroons: (I have written my US conversions)
200g ground almonds (1 cup)
100g caster sugar (1/2 cup of fine ground granulated sugar)
2 medium egg whites
150g chopped stem or glacé ginger, minus the syrup (1 cup)
Flaked almonds for coating (about 1/2 cup)
Icing sugar (which is confectioner's sugar.....speak ENGLISH! ha!)
Mix the ground almonds, sugar, egg whites and ginger until evenly combined.
Roll into tablespoon size balls, then press on to a mound of flaked almonds so a layer sticks to the outside. The dough is very sticky, so do this w/ wet hands.
Place the macaroons on a tray lined with nonstick paper, then heat the oven to "170C (150C fan-assisted)/335F/gas mark 3" (Just preheat the oven to 325F!) and bake for 23-25 minutes, until golden brown, turning the tray halfway through the baking time to make sure the heat gets to the macaroons evenly.
Remove from the oven, and dust w/ confectioner's sugar while still warm.
Leave on rack to cool.
These are spicy and sweet with a soft center and crunchy exterior.
Makes 12 macaroons.
If you want to make traditional coconut macaroons, click here for the easy recipe. I made 2 different flavors this year.