Monthly Archives: May 2012

Macaroon Tart

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Memorial Day Weekend is probably the best weekend of the year. I know we talk about weather a considerable amount, but since this is the first official weekend of the summer, I think it’s appropriate to discuss how gorgeous and warm it is outside. All this warmth makes us want to eat something summery. Today after our town’s parade (a small-town parade isn’t complete without a tractor and a farm float) Georgia and I decided we desperately needed to blog something. I know, it’s been awhile since we’ve blogged together. That makes us sad, very sad. In just about two weeks we’ll be graduating from high school, so we have been quite busy lately. Both of us are currently recovering from a serious illness called Senioritis. It’s simply terrible.

Anyway, we grabbed Heidi Swanson’s Simply Natural Everyday cookbook, which is filled with inspiring pictures of food and wholesome recipes. We quickly chose her macaroon tart, which features a delightful coconutty crust (it’s good uncooked, for those of you who were wondering) and a filling made of egg whites, coconut, sugar and fresh fruit. The recipe calls for blackberries but you can easily substitute any other sort of fruit you like. We chose to use blackberries and mango for a tropical treat. It also calls for unsweetened flaked coconut, which is a bit hard to find. If you can’t locate it, feel free to substitute sweetened flaked coconut and just reduce the sugar by about 1/4 cup.

This is a simple but delicious dessert that everybody will appreciate. Even my grandpa, who isn’t a coconut guy, is enjoying it right now. Make this macaroon tart and it’ll vanish within moments, I promise. Happy summer, everyone!

Macaroon Tart
FromSuper Natural Everyday

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
1/2 cup fresh blackberries, halved
1/2 cup mango chunks
1/3 cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9-inch tart pan with parchment paper.
  2. To make the crust, combine flour, coconut, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter and mix until dough is crumbly. Firmly press into just the bottom of the prepared tart pan (you may have some extra crust mixture, feel free to eat it). Bake for 15 minutes, or until barely golden. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the coconut macaroon filling by combining the coconut, sugar and egg whites. Mix until combined.
  4. Evenly distribute the fruit across the base of the tart. Drop the macaroon filling over the fruit and press between the berries.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the peaks of the macaroon filling are golden. Let the tart cool then garnish with almonds and serve.

 

Toffee Layer Cake

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For mother’s day this year, my little sister and I decided the best way to celebrate would be, of course, with food. For a while now, we’ve had this amazing Norwegian cookbook that I’ve been eyeing. And what better way to tell mom “I love you” than by secretly baking her a layered, decadent, delicious toffee cake?

It was really, really delicious. It was somewhat labor-intensive, but if you have a special occasion and are searching for the perfect dessert to celebrate it with, this cake is both extremely attractive and intensely delicious. The toffee on top consists of little more than cream, butter and raw cane sugar, and the spongy layers spread with whipped cream and a smidgen of apricot jam are crumbly and saturated in flavor. It was a bit of a self-serving gift, I’ll admit, as I wanted to consume just as much as Mom did. But it was a clear success, and completed one of the happiest and most delicious mother’s day dinners I’ve had in a while.

(P.S. The fancier pictures with the black background are Caty’s; the other one is mine from the day of. She would also like it to be known she contributed to this recipe by eating some of the leftover cake. And then some more.)

So, without further ado:

Toffee Layer Cake

From the Nordic Bakery Cookbook by Miisa Mink

Layers
4 eggs
1 cup raw cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons apricot jam

Topping
1.5 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup raw cane sugar
4 teaspoons unsalted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch springform pan.

2. Put the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk with a handheld electric whisk until the mixture is foamlike. This will take up to 10 minutes. When it is ready, it will be very pale, have doubled in size, and the batter will drop off the beaters in a figure eight when you lift them out of the bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, sift the baking powder, flour, and cornstarch together, then fold into the egg mixture.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let rest in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool for a further 20 minutes.

5. To decorate, whip half the whipping cream until quite firm.

6. Cut the cake horizontally through the middle to make two equal layers. Lay one layer on a cake stand and sprinkle half the milk over itto moisten it. It is best to start from the edge and work toward the center. Spread the apricot jam on top, then spread half the whipped cream over that. Place the second layer of cake on top, then sprinkle the ramaining juice or milk over it.

7. To make a toffee frosting, put the sugar and remaining unwhipped cream in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, or until it thickens. Add the butter and stir until melted and smooth. Pour the toffee over the cake, using a spatula dipped in hot water to spread it evenly, if necessary. Spread the remaining whipped cream neatly over the side of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least an hour before serving, to allow the toffee to set.