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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Spring has Sprung

So spring has sprung and I’ve started thinking about gardens and chicken coops and lambs. I am always a bit cautious about Spring in Dunedin, no sooner do the days get longer and the winds get warmer than a whole bunch of weather pops up from no-where to give us what for. This spring was no exception. No sooner had I got some seedlings in the ground than a cold front swept over Southern New Zealand bringing a dumping of snow and hail. Luverly.

For me, Spring is when we should be celebrating Easter. It feels wrong to me, to be celebrating new life and fertility in Autumn. Easter is now a Christian holiday but it’s no coincidence that we celebrate it with chocolate eggs and baby chicks, it was originally Eostre, a pagan celebration of the changing seasons and new life.  Spring is when chickens start laying cackleberries left right and centre and so it felt right to me to celebrate Eostre in the correct season, using recipes that utilise eggs. Eggs are also a nutritional powerhouse, I don’t know about you but whenever I find a recipe that uses egg yolks or egg whites I scour my recipe books for a complementary one that use the equivalent number of eggs so as not to waste any egg! That’s why my famous 8 egg black pavlova always comes with 8egg home made pasta or a luscious crème brulee.  Or when I make fluffy egg white pancakes I also make Jamie Oliver’s tomato and egg yolk soup. Yumm.

And as such here are 2 egg recipes for you!

What to do with 4 eggs

Spring Linzer Bikkies

Usually these biscuits are made in two circles, one with a hole in and then sandwiched together with jam in the middle. My spring version were plain and cut out in festive spring animal baby shapes. I like how easy these biscuits are and they have a delicious bite to them.

1 cup almonds
1 cup hazelnuts
1 cup sugar
4 cups flour
1 block butter – softened and cut into cubes
Pure vanilla
Zest of two lemons
4 egg yolks

Grind the almonds and the hazelnuts until they are a fine meal. I leave the skins on, it’s not as pretty but it has a better  flavour and nutrient value so looks shmooks! Then it’s a simple matter of placing everything in your food processor and pulsing until it starts to hold together.  If you don’t have a food processor then roll up your sleeves and get rubbing!

Bake the cookies at 160 degrees Celsius on paper lined baking sheets, they only need 10 minutes or so until they catch the barest hint of golden brown.

Dairy and Gluten free Coconut Chocolate Macaroons

4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
3 cups organic dessicated coconut, I prefer coconut threads for a more rustic texture
1 block dark Ghana whittakers chocolate (dairy free)

First off toast the coconut. You don’t have to but it improved the flavour a huge amount. A light toasting is all that is needed. Once it has been toasted, cool and set aside. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks  and then slowly add the caster sugar beating the whole time. A splash of vinegar at the egg white stage will prevent them from becoming overbeaten. Once the mixture becomes glossy and heavy and all of the sugar has dissolved stir in the coconut and vanilla being careful not to collapse the mixture too much. Dollop onto a paper lined baking tray (or pipe if you are a perfectionist, though this recipe is intentionally a little rustic) and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 165⁰C. Once they are cooked take them out to cool and prepare your ganache.

Melt one block of dark Ghana chocolate and whisk in 3/4 cup hot water until it becomes glossy and shiny. It might ‘catch’ and look a bit rough at first but if you keep mixing it should come together and smooth out. Once the macaroons are cooled and while your ganache is still warm, dip the bases of the macaroons in it and then sandwich them together base to base. Decadent!

And there you have it. 4 ways with eggs.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh any chance at all of sharing your 8 egg black pavlova recipe? We have chooks too and love finding more recipes to use them in! Absolutely going to try your macaroon recipe!