Macarons: The Sexiest Cookie Known to Man

Macaron (Photo Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA)
Macaron (Photo Credit: Ben Witten CC BY-NC-SA)

I grew up in the Midwest. There are some wonderful things about growing up in the Midwest: friendly neighbors, sense of community, Big 10 football. Quality food experiences, however, does not make the list. As I started to explore the world and its food, I made some amazing discoveries. Near the top of that list was the macaron.

A little “o” can make a big difference. As a kid I was drawn to these spongy lumps that glued my tongue to the roof of my mouth and left coconut in my teeth for days called macaroons. Then, I discovered a true macaron, with a delicate, crisp outer layer that gives way to a soft, slightly chewy inside sandwiched around smooth, sweet, creamy buttercream. It was an epiphany. I am not saying that macarons are better than macaroons1. I am simply saying that they are not the same.

Macaroon: chunks of hastily prepared stickiness to adorn a middle school pot-luck table.
Macaron: colorful bites of Parisian decadence that can make women swoon, bring men to their knees, and cause unicorns to weep.

Continue reading “Macarons: The Sexiest Cookie Known to Man”

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How to flip food like a chef

Chef Ben taught me this years ago, but h/t goes to Laughing Squid

Nate Silver, the Accuratest?

‘Pale Blue Dot’ animated

via Maria Popova at Brain Pickings

Fractal inspired Tree of Life

Rock Out like a Flapper to 1920s Jazz

Independent replication

 

I know what you are thinking. Ben makes the recipes he writes about sound easy. It seems like understanding the science behind what I’m cooking will help. But I can’t really make that. Can I? Continue reading “Independent replication”

Mushroom Soup & Homemade Stock: The Root of All Flavor

This week’s recipe is a bit of a two-for-one. The “main” recipe is a fall favorite of mine, mushroom soup (PDF – 770kb). This recipe only has five ingredients (not including salt and oil, which are staples, not ingredients), the most important of which is not, in fact, the mushrooms. It’s the stock (PDF – 115kb). Just replace the mushroom with any number of vegetables and we can still make a delicious soup – as long as we start with good stock. So, if we want to understand the science behind great mushroom soup, we need to understand the science behind good stock. Continue reading “Mushroom Soup & Homemade Stock: The Root of All Flavor”

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from Nerdist

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