Friday, March 28, 2014

Painkiller Macarons

I've been on a macaron kick ever since I saw the basic recipe on Martha Stewart magazine. I've mainly been riffing off their basic recipe in terms of different flavors and colors. For various reasons I wanted to make Painkiller flavored macarons for a party this Friday. Painkillers are an amazing tropical drink made with orange juice, pineapple juice, coconut, rum and nutmeg.
Dry Mix
145g blanched almonds.
230g confectionery sugar
1g nutmeg
Grind these all together  in your cuisinart until very fine powder and then grind a bit more just in case. You want all the almonds fully powdered.

Egg Mix
4 egg whites
100 g sugar
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/4 teaspoon rum extract
a little orange and a bit of yellow food coloring
Whip together in your mixer until stiff peaks add food coloring until you think it is one shade darker then desired( dry mix will lighten just a bit)

Then dump the entire dry mix into the egg mix. Fold it over and over until all the dry mix is incorporated and everything looks smooth.

Put the macaron batter into a pastry bag fitted with a rather big round tip #804 or similar. Pipe quarter sized rounds on the silpat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. ( the silver ones work better for me then the dark ones)
Smack the sheet down hard a few times against the table. This takes the bubbles out and prevents cracking later. ( all of these pictures are of the same sheet and same bunch of macaroons. )

See here how there are little divots where the air released well don't worry as they rest the divots will go away.
Let your trays rest 30 minutes
See divots are gone.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 11-13 minutes. ( want the tops dry)
Let cool and then fill with filling.

1/4 cup cream of coconut
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup rum
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups confectioner sugar
a little orange food color

Whip all ingredients together in mixer until smooth and fluffy and fully incorporated. Put into a pastry bad fitted with a medium tip and pipe between two of the shell cookies to create one sandwich cookie macaroons of awesomeness.

Bring to a boat party or any other party that would appreciate it( or just eat for dessert)
To store keep sealed airtight container in fridge. Macaroons actually are best a day or so after baking.

Go forth and make cookies!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Back from the land of not blogging/ Fawcett's talk on Newport Bermuda Prep

Sorry for my hiatus from blogging. I missed you too.
Last night, I went to a seminar at Fawcett's on "Gearing up for Offshore" which had a focus on the Newport Bermuda Race.  For those of you who are not local Fawcett Boat Supplies is a Annapolis based awesome sailing store pyacht is their online world. They have everything you could ever need for your boat and even better the sales staff are all very knowledgeable.
Some bits and pieces of the things I learned last night as they apply to the Newport Bermuda Race are :
1. Lifejackets- officially need leg straps and mod kits are available for mustang and other lifejackets however if you use a mod kit to make it correct for the Newport Bermuda Race then that pfd no longer counts as far as the coast guard is concerned.
2.Tethers. Tethers need a quick release at the point closest to the body. This did not always exist if you have an old tether then you need an upgraded one like this.

3.Primary and backup VHF need DSC. What is DSC you ask? Basically it is a button on your VHF that send out a distress signal and makes your distress signal show up on everyone's VHF with DSC in the area. It allows the boats around you to know you are in distress faster then if they had to wait for the coast guard alert. In the case of a man overboard it makes it easier for someone to come help you or for you to come help others. In an ocean race this makes a lot of sense as most likely those in the best position to help with be the boat just behind you in the race. Example 

4.  Satellite phones are now being required
5.Radar reflectors that you have on your boat now are almost certainly not big enough for the rules for Newport Bermuda. They are looking for huge ones so large that they currently do not exist in the store and only one company makes them.
6. Backup navigation lights ( your red green white tricolor) need to have a 2 miles distance and a separate power source which is different then the old shorter requirement and many boats had them hooked into power source not separate. You know want something like this tri color as your backup that uses batteries.

Well this is what I learned and I hope it is helpful to some of the rest of you. I'm trying to find a ride for Newport Bermuda if anyone is looking for crew.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Irish coffee macaroons

I have been on a macaroons kick lately and made irish coffee macaroons today.