Summer was busy, and included a trip to Paris for Cath’s birthday (which Cath has written about more fully than I will here). As a bonus birthday present I took her to a macaron-making class. Cath loves macarons (despite a mild intolerance to eggs); I’m not sure I’d ever eaten one.
As I’ve written before, I’m not a cook that tends to follow recipes nor weigh out precise quantities, and so macarons are very much not my style of cooking. A recipe that requires an amount of egg white expressed in grams, not eggs-worth, was very much outside of my comfort zone. But sometimes that’s a good thing, and when the end result looks and tastes this good, it’s worth getting out the scales every so often.
Taking an idea and running with it before I can walk
As well as Cath’s love of these chewy meringue biscuits, I had in the back of my mind when I booked the course the germ of an idea for a goat’s cheese and beetroot macaron. Beetroot powder could dye the macaron shells pink, and they could have a deeper pink filling of pureed beetroot mixed with goat’s cheese – savoury and salty but also sweet. Très cheffy, très pretentious, but potentially très good fun. But perhaps I need to practice more traditional macarons a few times first.
Biscuit is a word that comes from the French for “twice-cooked”. Similarly, ricotta comes from the Italian for “re-cooked” (the whey left over from making mozzerella is heated again, and the remaining milk solids coagulate into ricotta). Feels like the start of a themed menu – a raw course, a once-cooked course, a ricotta and biscuits course, and finally some triple-cooked chips.