Results tagged meringue from David Lebovitz

Goat Cheese Soufflés

goat cheese souffle

I was teaching recently in Texas at Central Market, and I’d have to say after spending a week there, it’s the best supermarket in the world. I was using the marvelous citrus fruits they foraged from around the United States, including fresh yuzu, limequats, jumbo pomelos, bergamots, Seville oranges, citrons (which I’ve been trying to find in Paris—anyone know where I can find one?), and Meyer lemons.

(One of those lemons made it home with me, by accident. If it wasn’t so enormous, I would have tucked a citron in my carry-on…on purpose.)

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Chocolate Mousse Cake

chocolate mousse cake

There are two things hard about living in France. The first is ….well, let’s not get into that today. The second is getting recipes from French women. It’s not because they closely guard their secrets, but it’s because they frequently use recipes as guidelines rather than making them by rote.

So if you ask a question, the response is often—”Because that’s always the way I did it.” Which was what I was told when I read the instructions on the hand-written recipe I snagged, that said to dip the bottom of the bowl of melted chocolate in a larger basin of cool water to bring down the temperature, where lazy old me would just let it sit on the counter until it was cool. Who wants to empty all those dishes out of the sink?

chocolate mousse cake recette

They often refuse to specify exact quantities. “Just add enough flour until the dough looks correct” is a fairly common response when I press for things like ‘details’, and I keep imagining how much easier writing a cookbook (and a blog) would be if I could give instructions like that.
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I Love Macarons!

parisian macarons

For some reason, the world went a little nuts for Parisian macarons in the past year and everyone, from New York to New Delhi, seemed to be fascinated by these little sandwich cookies.

Notice that I said “Parisian” macarons, since you won’t find these too far outside of Paris. Folks in the rest of France make more traditional macarons, made from a simple meringue with sugar and nuts folded in, then baked until crispy. Parisian Macarons, as most of us know them, are said to have been invented at Ladurée, and they claim to sell 12,000 of them daily.

When I Love Macarons! came out this year, the first run sold out immediately and the publisher scrambled to print more copies. Solid proof of the popularity of macarons, for sure. The book is a translation from a Japanese edition, written by pastry chef Hisako Ogita. It’s a slender volume, but has plenty of full-color photos and takes us step-by-step through the process of making macarons.

Especially helpful is a great page with descriptions of troubleshooting tips, including pictures of common failures and how to avoid them. Bakers who’ve had a few ups and down making macarons would find this information of particular interest.

i love macarons piped macarons

I am not exactly sure why so many people want to make macarons. I usually tell them—“Come to Paris!” and buy them here. They’re not really something people would consider making at home: like baguettes and croissants, you’ll find them at many neighborhood bakeries and pastry shops, and even in the frozen food department of the grocery store. It’s like making your own hot dog buns if you live in America. It’s just something most people don’t do.

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Lime Meringue Tart Recipe

lime meringue tart

I once asked a restaurateur, who owns restaurants in European and in America, what he thought was the main difference between the food in American and the food in Europe.

“Everything’s very sweet,” he replied, right away.

I thought about it for a moment, and considering everyone’s got their panties in a knot about all the sweeteners that are dumped into everything from tomato sauce, bottled salad dressings, to supermarket bread, he’s got a point. A lot of stuff that doesn’t need to be sweetened, is. But one thing that we Americans do like is tart citrus desserts. The tangier, the more mouth-puckering, the better.

golden limes

Backing up his claim, though, we do tend to pile ours up to the moon with whipped cream or sweet meringue. So he does have a point.

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Pierre Herme’s Ketchup Macarons (Ketchup Cookies)

macarons filled with ketchup and cornichons

When you make desserts in a restaurant, the most important thing you can do is to smell anything made of plastic before you put anything in it. I remember someone made a big batch of crème anglaise one morning…and that evening, when I went to serve it, I opened the lid and the overpowering smell of garlic blasted forth, rendering the whole batch useless.

A few years Iater I worked as a pastry chef at a southeast Asian restaurant, which was great: I never had to sniff anything since I was using the same ingredients—ginger, chiles, galengal, and spices—as the regular cooks.

red food coloring

I’ve raved and raved about Pierre Hermé’s macarons, and once ranted about one.

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Recipes To Use Up Leftover Egg Whites

Often bakers and ice cream-lovers will find themselves with a few too many egg whites leftover. So what to do with all of them?

eggshells

It seems I always have a container in the refrigerator and more often than not, I make a big batch of Chocolate-Coconut Macaroons. One batch gets baked (and eaten) right away and I freeze the other half in a freezer bag, which is great to have on hand for emergencies.

Liquid egg whites can be frozen just as they are. I usually do it in a specific quantity, and label it as such, since there’s nothing more infuriating than needing 1 cup of egg whites and trying to chip that away from a frozen-solid block in the freezer. Some folks devote an ice cube tray to egg whites, slipping one in each indentation so they know exactly how many they have. Just so you know, one large egg white is about 2 tablespoons and weighs 25 grams.

Here’s some recipes of mine and from others that are great ways to use up leftover egg whites:

  • Chocolate Macarons
  • Angel Food Cake
  • Homemade Marshmallows
  • Financiers (Eggbeater)
  • Egg White Cake (Nami-Nami)
  • Chocolate-Coconut Macaroons
  • Pecan Meringue Cookies (Simply Recipes)
  • Chocolate Angel Food Cake (Serious Eats)

    meringues
  • Souffléd Egg White Balls with Red Bean Paste (Rasa Malaysia)

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  • Don’t Try This At Home

    Day #2:

    meringue.jpg

    Just in case you live in a top-floor Parisian apartment with feeble water pressure, if you’re testing recipes involving baked meringues, I don’t recommend disposing of them here.

    I hope by tomorrow they’ll finally be gone.

    UPDATE: March 8 (the next day)—they’re still not gone!