I know better than to separate a whack of eggs at once without using a little dish as a buffer, in case I should nick one of the yolks and taint a half dozen whites. But I always get a little smug when I need to separate a lot of eggs into whites – it’s like my own private version of bungee jumping – and as if it’s a big deal to add one teeny more dish to the overflowing sinkful, I always just go ahead and live on the edge. And so the other day as I was making a hundred teeny pavlovas for my little cooking show at Stampede, I broke a yolk five eggs in. I tried to scoop out the offending yellow with a piece of cracked shell and thought I got it all, but those whites refused to reach their full potential and I was left with a bowl of flaccid meringue and nothing to do with it.
So I stirred in a capful of coconut extract, a cup or two of toasted shredded coconut, and spread it on two foil-lined baking sheets, then baked them in a 250 degree oven for an hour, as I would have had they turned out the way I intended. Once cool the slabs of meringue were easily broken into shards, which we have been nibbling on all week. I think I might be hooked. I’m dying to dunk some into melted chocolate.
Coconut Macaroon Bark
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. coconut extract
1-2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
Preheat oven to 250° F and line two large baking sheets with foil or parchment. Stir the cornstarch into the sugar. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, beating until the mixture holds stiff, glossy peaks, like shaving cream. (If it doesn’t get completely stiff, that’s OK too.) Beat in the coconut extract, and fold in the coconut. Spread the mixture onto the sheets, about 1/2″ thick.
Bake for an hour, then remove from the oven and cool completely. Peel off the foil and break the bark into shards. Makes lots.
(Dinner this week has more often than not been chili, scooped out of a big pot in the fridge and reheated as necessary in between events and trips down to the grounds. I made some for the Stampede party last weekend, and my chef neighbour brought over another vat as he cleaned out his fridge to leave town, and I mixed the two together. Unfortunately this means we can’t figure out what makes it so damn yummy. It has tons of beans, chick peas, chipotle peppers and beef – ground and in chunks. Of course it gets better by the day – deeper and more concentrated. Speaking of mac & cheese – have you ever had chili served over a bed of it? If not, please do.)
One Year Ago: Bison Back Ribs and Blueberry Bison Burgers