On Tuesday night I was busy with my preparation of my bake for ‘Let’s Bake Inverness’ – a new baking club that I have been involved with setting up!
The theme for the first meeting was ‘Local Ingredients’. So I enlisted the help of Elizabeth from the Capability Brown’s and the Wee Croft Shop to gather some very local produce (she lives less than 0.5mile from us in Inverness). I asked in advance what produce would be ready around the time of baking, and I had a variety of options: plums, carrots, potatoes, berries and beetroot. I really fancied doing a chocolate beetroot cake but there were not enough available for my recipe, so I had to think of something else using an ingredient that had not already been picked!
Elizabeth suggested a fudge recipe (made with potatoes!) and also mentioned macaroon (which is nowadays made with potato starch) which is a popular Scottish sweetie, and very kindly gave me some potatoes of the Setanta variety to take away with our usual haul of Sunday goodies.
The Setanta potato is a red skinned variety, and very dry – so a good type for mashing, roasting and chipping. I was a bit wary especially as I had not made macaroon or fudge before, let alone a version containing potato! But I went with the macaroon (not to be confused with macarons, which are a slightly more delicate patisserie affair) recipe, and here’s how it went:
I boiled some potatoes, mashed, then left to cool completely for an hour or more.
I then mixed in 16oz (plus a bit more) icing sugar, which turned the dry mashed potato into a sloppy mess, then a solid, almost kneadable mixture.
Quickly I rolled out and cut some small discs of the sugar-potato mixture, then arranged on a lined baking sheet and plate. 100g potato and 400g icing sugar made around 30 discs. (Also I have to say that never have I less wanted to lick the bowl clean – a usual perk of baking for me!)
These then went into the freezer for 40 minutes while I used up the rest of the potato in another recipe – more on this tomorrow!
Then as the macaroon mixture was due to come out of the freezer, I melted 200g of Bourneville chocolate, and toasted 50g coconut in a hot oven for a few minutes.
It’s worth saying that the coating process of the macaroon discs should be done quickly with minimal faffing (something that I am not good at!) and it’s good to have a little conveyor belt. Ideally Mr B would have been on hand to coat the discs with either the chocolate or the coconut, let’s say that things got a little messy and no photos were taken of this stage as the macaroon discs would have defrosted and reduced to a slimy mixture quickly if I had!
Excuse the presentation (not perfect) but they taste good and they got big approval from Mr B who recommended doing another batch flavoured with mint. Maybe when I’ve recovered from the stress dear :-)!