Saturday, February 11, 2012

Let's Lunch: Food Inspired by Music

The last few months when #LetsLunch came around, I really dropped the ball. This month, I actually took some time, thought up a recipe idea, and set time aside to test it and get it photographed ahead of LetsLunch publishing.

I was a little worried about the theme, Food Inspired by Music, at first. I even threw the question out on the Facebook page I manage for my new job at The Cooking Club, hoping our members would give me some inspiration. (They didn't.)

So, I give you: Put the Lime in the Coconut Macaroons. Ha, get it? (if not, refer to the video clip of the Muppets below!)

I was a little worried about how the flavors would turn out, but it's actually really nice.

So, start by zesting 4 limes. I know you see 6 limes in the basket above. I didn't end up using all of the zest, so it got thrown into the Corona/lime Superbowl Wings, along with the juice from the limes.

Then whip two egg whites with a pinch of salt, stir in one can of sweetened condensed milk and two teaspoons of vanilla. Add two bags (two!) of flaked or shredded coconut. Honestly, I should have used a bigger bowl. But really mix it around, make sure all of the coconut gets some of the egg whites/condensed milk goop on it.

Next, sprinkle in your lime zest and mix it around. Feel free to sing "Put the lime in the coconut" while you're doing it. If you're not afraid of raw egg whites, taste a little spoonful to make sure you have enough zest.

Bake the macaroons at 325 for about 22 minutes (rotate pans halfway). Definitely use parchment-lined cookie sheets for this. I found my small cookie scoop was the perfect size for making these. Cool completely.

In a double boiler, or a bowl set over some simmering water, melt about 1 1/2 cups of coarsely chopped  chocolate, or as much chocolate as you can find in your house. Mine was a mix of dark and extra dark chocolate bars from Trader Joe's and some semi-sweet chocolate chips. As the chocolate melts, add 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream and stir until completely mixed in. You might need to add one or two more tablespoons of cream to get the ganache to the right consistency.

I did most of the macaroons dipping one half into the chocolate. I also experimented with doing some just chocolate on the flat bottoms. I like that too, because then you get a little chocolate in every bite. But, I think it takes longer to dip them that way. Allow the chocolate to cool overnight.

RECIPE: Put the Lime in the Coconut Macaroons
adapted from Martha Stewart

2 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 bags flaked or shredded coconut
Zest from 4 good-sized limes
1 1/2 to 2 cups coarsely chopped chocolate (mix of dark and milk)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1. Line two cookie sheets with parchment and preheat the oven to 325** (Martha's recipe called for 20 minutes at 300. Mine looked sad and pale after 20 minutes, so I upped the temp to 325. Just be sure to rotate the pans so that the bottoms don't burn)

2. Whip the egg whites with salt in a large mixing bowl for about two minutes until foamy.

3. Mix in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Add the coconut and mix well, until completely combined.

4. Sprinkle in and stir the lime zest.

5. Drop tablespoon sized cookies onto the cookie sheets and bake 22 minutes, rotating the pans and switching top/bottom racks halfway.

6. Cool completely.

7. Melt chocolate in a double boiler (or similar), slowly stir in the cream. Add additional tablespoon or two if neccessary for dipping.

8. Dip each macaroon (either the bottom, or one side) in the chocolate mixture and set on parchment lined cookie sheets to cool.


Lets Lunch is a monthly, online lunch date of food bloggers around the world. Want to join us? search the Twitter hashtag #letslunch and let us know you want in! I'm @emmacarew on Twitter.

Here's a roundup of all the other LetsLunch posts this month:
Smoked Brown Sugar Creme Brulee at Maria's Good Things
One Meatball at GeoFooding
Organ Recital and Donut Holes by Patrick Lee
Besame Mucho Banana Bread at Hot Curries and Cold Beer
Tiger Cakes at Cowgirl Chef
Jewish Vegetarian Kishke at GrongarBlog
Chicken and Dumplings Roxie Waller Style at Show Food Chef
Coconut Cake at Kitchen Trials
Gluten-Free Thin Mints at Free Range Cookie
Honey Mac Wafers with Coconut at Monday Morning Cooking Club
Tommy's Chili burger at Burnt-Out Baker
Frijoles, Plantanos y Mojitos at Spicebox Travels
Pear Frangipane Tart at Beyond The Plate