May 31, 2011

Orange-Scented Creme Brulee

The problem with blogging about things made for dinner parties is that there is limited time for taking lovely photos. I realized halfway through dessert that I had zero pictures of my finished creme brulee. So let me tell you about it: it was delightful, delicately flavored with both orange and vanilla. The custard was dense and perfectly smooth. The sugar layer didn't quite crackle and harden under my broiler (my rack was definitely too far down), but it melted enough for a satisfying crack through the top layer. And the whole thing was actually quite simple. Best of all, you can make it the night before and just stick it in the fridge until you're ready to pop it under the broiler for the crispy top sugar layer.

May 29, 2011

Chocolate Drenched Coconut Macaroons

....this is embarassing. I've been completely MIA for over a month, but I can explain! First came the hectic last couple weeks of the semester, followed by a hellish finals week. That awful week also kicked off three weeks of low-carb sadness, because I had to lose 3 pounds for a jiu jitsu tournament (actually, there were few enough women that they didn't bother weighing us in. I. Was. Not. Happy.). Turns out, not being allowed to eat fruit, pasta, bread, rice, or any kind of sweetener that's not made of chemicals dampens my love of cooking. I texted my sister about four hours into the diet to tell her that I was starving, probably to death.

But I'll make it up to you, I swear. I'll make it up to you with drippy dark chocolate, smothering coconut macaroons that manage to be both gooey and crispy in the same bite. I'm pretty sure I've given myself diabetes in one fell swoop this weekend. And the abs that appeared around day 19 of low carb misery? Gone. Totally worth it, by the way. You'll see.

Teeny chocolate chip and coconut sandwiches
are delightful, but not very resilient.

That's a month's worth of delicious right there, but there's more. The macaroons call for five egg whites. And the boy doesn't like coconut, but he didn't want to run the risk of there not being enough to go around just in case  he likes coconut when it's in a macaroon. So, he decided that we (I) should make a double batch. And while I can talk myself into throwing away two or three egg yolks, ten is just too many to waste. I was clearly morally obligated to make creme brulee as well. I'll get that recipe up for you later this week (trust me, you want it), because the macaroons deserve their own time to shine.

Everything should be bathed in chocolate.

I used to not like coconut, but I'm pretty sure I was just confused for the first decade and a half of my life. Maybe I wasn't ready for true happiness yet, but I've come a long way. And of course, a good drenching in dark chocolate makes anything better. These guys come out sticky-sweet, in some delicious limbo between cookie and candy. Your hands will get messy, and if you bake like I do, you're in for a (again, totally worth it) tummy ache before the oven even enters into the equation. But messes aside, this is a pretty simple recipe that keeps beautifully and is more impressive than difficult. And it turns out, by the way, that the boy does like coconut when it's tucked inside a macaroon, so there you have it.