Macaroons, Chillis and Tiffin Flapjack

Whilst out yesterday the postman kindly delivered the traditional box of chillis from DSC_0034my Dad via Sea Spring Seeds, he knows i love them and they always send such pretty types and colours although they don’t send the guide with them anymore so its pot luck as to the heat rating and spiciness unless you really know your chillis well. I always put them in a bowl or a jar as they just look so pretty plus it means they wont spoil in the fridge.

It struck me as i woke up this morning that so far since i have stopped working i haven’t managed to get much further in the quest of sorting my future, i know this is a large task and it will take time but i honestly thought i would be more motivated by now. Yes i have spent a month travelling on my own round Europe (a time which i do not regret) but if i’m honest i don’t feel like i’ve progressed that much mainly due to being so tied to home, i spent (in my opinion) too much time leaning on my crutches and not enough time actually putting myself out there and really learning about myself, which saddens me to a certain extent. My friends and family have commended me for my bravery, but to me it feels like nothing…much in the same way that many things feel like nothing…i went to university, i got a mortgage, i got a job that i hate (which admittedly was the point at which i said to myself no more) its like i’m going through the motions of a life i don’t want to live…but conversely i’m now faced, having challenged this fact, with the task of creating the life i do want and that to me is much more scary, especially when i cant seem to throw myself out of my comfort zone.

DSC_0031#1With this in mind (and my innate need to bake when i am feeling unsettled)
i decided to make some macaroons (not before you are disappointed the colourful french fancies but the delicious simple version made with either coconut or almonds) they are the simplest and most gratifying thing to bake they can also be spiced with all kinds of things and of course dipped in chocolate.

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  • 160g/5½oz desiccated coconut or ground almonds
  • 1 tsp grated lime zest (optional)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice (optional)
  • 100g of Chocolate melted (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/355F/Gas 4.
  2. Use your hands to mulch the egg whites, sugar, coconut, lime zest and juice in a bowl until they lightly come together.
  3. Either With wet hands, press the mixture into a flat, square shape about 1cm/0.5in high.
  4. Use a small upturned liqueur glass to cut out small rounds, and place on a lightly oiled or nonstick baking tray.
  5. Or roll into balls by hand if you want ‘bounty’ style bars then you could just cut the square shape into bars
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes in the centre of the oven until very lightly golden, just touched with colour.
  7. Cool the macaroons on a wire rack for a few minutes
  8. Dip in the chocolate (optional)
  9. Store in an airtight jar

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As an after thought i also made some Tiffin Flapjack (due to lack of biscuits oats were used to replace hence the flapjack element using a great recipe from Niknoks Chocolate Tiffin, its a good way of using up the little bits of dried fruit/nuts/seeds and random cooking chocolate you have lying around and is best done in a disposable foil tray (20x20cm) saves on washing up and means that you wont damage any nice non-stick pans you might use.

I love sharing recipes and food with people i think its important that if you are going to eat you should at least properly, speaking to my friend last night she triumphantly announced that she had used the simple ice cream recipe which i had shared with her only a few weeks before and that everyone loved it, the best feeling was the look of achievement on her face was so heart warming.

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