Thursday, April 16, 2009
Today I was so happy with myself as I at last successfully completed a recipe which had been defeating me for some time. This was not a difficult recipe but for whatever reason it just was not obliging me with the correct outcome. I had all the ingredients, not that there were many of them, and the steps all seemed simple enough, but try as I might time and time again I was met with disaster. Why did I continue? Quite simply I do not like to give up.
What was this elusive recipe? A macaroon bar. Most of you reading this blog will be none the wiser. However, if you are Scottish and reading this you will know exactly what I am talking about. A macaroon bar is a sweet treat, or sweetie as we call it. It is a fondant filling covered in chocolate and then tossed in toasted coconut. Interested? Well here is the really interesting part, the fondant is made with potato, yes, potato, and of course a few other ingredients.
When I was home in Scotland I came across a man selling it from a stall at a market in Merchant Square in Glasgow. I told him of my failure and asked if there was a secret to it. Of course there was the only problem was he was not ready to part with it. However, with a bit of sweet talking, and yes some grovelling and begging hefinally revealed his secret which I am about to reveal to you in this recipe. Hope he never reads this, or at least forgives me. I have a friend who always says, that of course he can keep a secret, it just that the people tells it to who can't!
4oz(110g)potato, peeled, cooked, mashed and allowed to cool.
1lb 10oz)approx, powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar(the secret)shh!
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
12oz bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes
Mix mashed potato with sugar, cream of tartar and vanilla until you have a pliable mixture.
Roll out on a powdered sugar surface and roll into a rectangle, about 6"x8" to 1/4" thickness. Allow to firm up. About 2 hours.
Cut into squares or bars, whatever you prefer.
Cover in the melted chocolate and toss in the toasted coconut.
I found the easiest way to apply the coconut was to cover a sheet of parchment paper in the coconut and lay the chocolate covered square on top and sprinkle more coconut over the top.
Leave to harden.
You will be amazed at the white filling, and also the fact that there is no potato flavour at all in this sweet treat. I have been asking some friends to guess the ingredient and no one, so far, has come up with it. Can't help thinking if they knew beforehand that they would not be so willing to try it out.
As this is a sweetie from my past I am now happy that I am now able to make it for myself. It is very sweet, and only a very rare treat, but non the less I am happy to have overcome this nemesis in my cooking skills. I knew I'd get it in the end.