27 July 2009

Deutsche gibt mir einen Kopfschmerzen!

coconutmacaroon01Deutsche gibt mir einen Kopfschmerzen = German gives me a headache. I think. I could have translated that wrong. Specifically, it’s word order that drives me nuts. It’s so rigid with so many little rules! Once I get these rules down, i should be good… but there’s just so many of them! I suppose it balances out. French = less rules, lots of variations/exceptions. German = more rules, less variations/exceptions. That is a very very very very general statement which is probably not true, but it’s definitely how i feel right now.

But you know what doesn’t give me a headache?

Coconut macaroons! Yep, a macaroon and not a macaron. (PS, a macaron and macaroon are actually related… they both started out meringue based, then really started going in separate direction in terms of ingredients and forms. You can read more at the trusty Wikipedia.)

A few months ago, I was driving around and saw something that always stops me in my tracks… an ethnic grocery store. I become giddier than a kid on Christmas day because it’s always full of things I don’t know about, but those things always look super good to me. I rarely buy since I wouldn’t know what to do with the stuff sold, but i always, always browse. And at this little Indian grocery store, I saw something for the very first time: unsweetened coconut powder. what? do you  mean there is more than those sweet coconut flakes we find in the baking aisle and in almond joy chocolate bars? so i bought a bag without any idea what to do with it, except that it was too cool.


Then I found this recipe from David Lebovitz’s website. And what did it call for? That’s right, unsweetened coconut! Perfect perfect perfect.


Mr. Lebovitz always has superbly written recipes on his website: clear, concise, and easy to follow. But I still like to write them down in my own words so I remember them better. Below is mine, but I would recommend following his recipe since it was the original, and I didn’t really have anything important to add.


4 egg whites

1 1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbs honey

2 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. No mixing bowl! Just mix your egg whites, sugar, salt, honey, coconut, and flour together in a skillet. That’s right. No hand mixer or spatula needed, just something to stir it all together in your skillet. Which I adored because it meant less cleanup for me!

2. Over low to medium heat, stir your mixture constantly. Make sure to scrape the bottom so you don’t end up with charcoal bits…

3. Keep stirring until you notice that the bottom of the mixture starts to lightly burn – you might notice it darkening in color. Take it off the heat, mix in your vanilla, then transfer it to a bowl and let it cool.

4. Once it’s cool enough, roll out the mixture into little balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Space them evenly, but they don’t really spread so you don’t have to give them too much room.

5. Then bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 20 minutes. Though to be honest, I left them in there too long and they burned on the bottom. But that just increased the chewy to crusty ratio, which is always better in my book.

6. Optional: you can dip them in chocolate, but I skipped that.

7. Eat away!



x said...

loooove coconut in baking. coconut flakes, coconut milk, coconut syrup. yes please.

cathy said...

@x: i'm with ya. coconut = looove!

reineke said...

xxx gibt mir/bereitet mir Kopfschmerzen.

Die deutsche Sprache bereitet mir Kopfschmerzen.

Rules or no rules, German is harder than French. Russian and other inflected languages are even harder (for an English speaker).

The Awful German language
by Mark Twain