Tuesday, July 6, 2010

You want me to cook what now?

I don't watch MasterChef, for the excellent reason that the telly is borked and there's no time to get organised with a new antenna and shifting the furniture around and blah de blah. Clearly I don't care about TV as much as I thought, or all else would have been swept away before the dire emergency of not having one, so there you go. One continues to learn things about oneself even at my age.

I have no doubt that once I get the TV situation sorted I'll be glued to MasterChef whenever it's on, but in the meantime I need someone to explain this dish to me.
Each was given three and a half hours to cook 120 raspberry, beetroot and black olive macarons and assemble them on a cone reminiscent of Zumbo's 2009 croquembouche, which terrorised contestants in season one.
Macarons hold no terrors for me, nor am I scared of scale. But my understanding of the chemistry of a macaron is that sugar is kind of central. Am I alone in thinking that 'raspberry, beetroot and black olive macarons' sound utterly disgusting? (And they look even worse than they sound.) Can someone who knows more than I about contemporary cuisine please explain?

30 comments:

tigtog said...

I'm mildly relieved to realised that they are referring to three quite separately flavoured macarons rather macarons attempting to combine the three flavours in one, but even so I am indeed having difficulty imagining the result, and certainly don't find the suggested contrast in flavours remotely appetising.

Lord Sedgwick said...

"Can someone who knows more than I about contemporary cuisine please explain?"

I don't know much about modern cuisine, but I know what I can stomach.

'Masterchef - Product Placement You're Standing in It' is increasingly becoming only rice paper thickness away from those inane Japanese games shows where blindfolded naked lads are harnessed to large blocks of ice and hurtle down the west face of Mt Fuji into a piranha infested vat of lumpy sago pudding.

suze said...

I have eaten macaroons from his Balmain shop, I think one was beetroot, not sure about the olive, but they did indeed taste out of this world.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Yes, the raspberry ones sound perfectly all right, though they look a bit alarming. Even beetroot might work if you're into that kind of thing, in the same way carrot cake and zucchini cake work. But black olive? And served together? Even the colours are horrible -- they look like some sort of newly amalgamated confected AFL team's Away jumper.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Sorry, Suze, comments crossed. NB apparently there is in fact a difference between macaroons and macarons but nobody seems quite able to say what it is, apart from one site that says macarons are sandwiched together with filling and macaroons aren't. Also, my traditional understanding of the difference between macaroons and meringues is that macaroons involve coconut.

Tatyana said...

Beetroot and raspberry has some potential. I've made ‘chocolate’ cake which includes grated beetroot and cocoa, to avoid the full-on butter and chocolate version, and it's delicious. (It’s actually a real recipe, good for kids’ lunch boxes, while the fatty chocolate cake wouldn’t be acceptable, I think.) I can't understand the inclusion of olive, though.

Mary Bennet said...

I haven't seen Master Chef since the firts series but we had nothing better to do last night than watch various contestants present their towers of macaroons adn the SMH had a long article on the week-end about how this show isn't like other reality shows and is NICE to contestants.

The olive ones were purple. The raspberry and beetroot ones were a very deep pink. None of the judges seemed to enjoy eating them so I still don't know if the olive ones were sweet.

It was quite a sadistic challenge because the macaroons were meant to have this crispy shell which broke horribly when skewered to a tower. I don't think I'll watch again. In fact I'd have felt better about myself if we'd been watching paint dry instead.

TimT said...

Beetroot is of course a traditional colouring in many desserts, including Red Velvet Cake. And of course USAians always get befuddled by the Australian habit of putting beetroot in hamburgers, so it does seem to be a rather versatile veggy.

My pet hate is what I think of as sweet foods treated in a savoury manner (and savouries treated in a sweet manner.) Croissants with ham and cheese, for instance - so thinking of savoury macaroons holds no pleasures for me.

cristy said...

Yes, I agree with Tatyana, I can imagine the raspberry and the beetroot working. But the olive...?!? All wrong.

We went out and bought a new receiver recently (after it died back in early April) and I was sure that I'd jump on the Masterchef bandwagon. Alas, I have failed to organise myself to sit down in front of it even once since then. It kind of feels like I missed the boat.

Ann ODyne said...

seeing promos for that show is all I need to know. Mr Cravat is pukesome to even look at. erk.
A huge croquembouche-shaped assemblage of black and beet colored biscuits is horrifying and could appropriately be served with fish-flavoured beverages.
Except for ROME at 8:30 tonight, you are lucky your cathode is cacked.
that is all.

Helen said...

Tatyana - Link! :-)

ThirdCat said...

I know you shouldn't judge a book and so on, but I don't like the sound of olive macaroon and I wouldn't eat one. The other night, the mister ate parmesan ice cream. Personally, I didn't it was something a person needed to try to know how it was going to taste.

But it's true, beetroot chocolate cake is brilliant (there's a great cafe/second hand furniture store at Burra where I was first introduced to this...wonder whether it's still there)

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

This is a test, as I think there is something a bit doolally about the Blogger comments at the moment.

Just talk among yourselves ...

naomi said...

I thought this challenge was not really very good.

The End.

Well, actually no ... I had less of a problem with the macaroon flavours than with the idea that a dessert should ever require to be stuck on a styrofoam cone to be served.

The (candied) Kalamata olive macaroons looked purple and the beetroot/raspberry ones were very pretty pink. The mauve and pink sludge they glued them together with was not good though. Best moment was when Peter served his and one of the macaroons fell off and rolled towards the judges. My son was in stitches!

My favourite line, from Jimmy: "Pete's one of my best friends but this is unbearable to watch. I just want to jump down there and take over".

Mummy/Crit said...

I was also mystified by the olive ones, but the beetroot/raspberry ones made perfect sense (and looked awesome) so yeah, not sure about black olive macarons...I can't remember the rest of your question, sorry.

clarencegirl said...

Agree with Ann ODyne - erk!
The first promo I ever saw for Master Chef guaranteed that I would never watch.

Ampersand Duck said...

I don't know what any of you are talking about... Masterchef, World Cup, all mysteries I'm not privy to.

But beetroot choc cake rocks, and I'm sure I've shared the recipe on my blog somewhere. Or on Zoe's.

Tatyana Larina said...

Helen, here’s the general idea of it, one with chocolate and butter and one without (I’ve tried both variations). I think of it as being similar to carrot cake or zucchini slice. The beetroot content apparently keeps the cake moist and reduces the amount of fat required to make a regular chocolate cake. I’m not sure if it’s really all that ‘healthy’. A slice of this, with a quick sandwich and a piece of fruit, can alleviate that awful morning dread: an empty school lunchbox. :)

http://allrecipes.com.au/recipe/10198/chocolate-and-beetroot-cake.aspx

http://www.vitaco.com.au/topics/organic/recipes/biscuits+and+cakes/healthy+beetroot+chocolate+cake.htm

Also, it’s a bit ironic discussing beetroot when using a Russian web name. I don’t think Onegin’s Tatyana would have stained her fingers making this cake, I’m not even sure she liked borscht, but I’m pretty certain she would have found MasterChef pink and black macaron tower really weird.

Tatyana Larina said...

That second long link (for beetroot and chocolate cake) was broken.

Copying again:

http://www.vitaco.com.au/topics/organic/recipes/
biscuits+and+cakes/healthy+beetroot+chocolate+
cake.htm

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Or for a quicker route to Tatyana's choc-beet cake, try this.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Oh dear, the comments really have gone berserk.

Better tell Blogger.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

I'm trying to think of combinations of three that would look pretty together, taste good, and lend themselves to non-disgusting fillings. Lemon, mandarin and green tea? Hazelnut, strawberry and lavender? Chocolate, orange and honey?

cristy said...

Oh now I'm bloody hungry - especially for that last combo. Yum!

Maybe I'll make macaroons this afternoon... Orange I think.

Tatyana Larina said...

Re this from KG (4):

'Even beetroot might work if you're into that kind of thing, in the same way carrot cake and zucchini cake work.'

I made a similar reference (18), but Blogger was displaying a reduced number of comments yesterday, as mentioned, and I didn't see this one when I posted mine ...

It's all there today.

Moving on to other stuff. (Loved the ALR post.)

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Oh good, I'm seeing comments here I never got to see at all. Sorry about that, folks, I have no idea what happened.

Did they really have to skewer the macarons to the cone? Sounds insane, like stitching bits of cooked spaghetti together, a physical impossibility. Surely it would make more sense to glue them in place with a bit of the filling or some royal icing or cream or something.

fifi said...

I thought I was the only person on earth who didnt watch Masterchef. The very idea is abhorrent.
I'm with Lord Sedgewick. LOL.

Lord Sedgwick said...

"Did they really have to skewer the macarons to the cone? Sounds insane, like stitching bits of cooked spaghetti together, a physical impossibility."

Not sure whether you're right. I have sneaking soupcon of suspicion that I saw an Argyle unisex jerkin knitted from macrobiotic grown spaghetti in a May 1972 edition of 'Grassroots'.

(Need I mention that the word verification is 'squeam'?)

Saint Furious said...

My TV is broken too. I bought a USB TV tuner for the laptop which has resulted in two things...

1. I only fire it up when there is something I really want to watch. Which is not much... my love for Monty Don is going unrequited since "around the world in 80 gardens finished". boo.

2. There is nothing on TV that justifies a screen that is bigger than my 15" laptop.

Upon seeking time out from the 7.30 report, I did see the olive macaroons though..as well as what seems to be a new trend in British cuisine..to disguise a thoroughly ordinary desert as a thoroughly ordinary breakfast dish...or was I the only one thinking "why bother?" over a custard and biscuit that was made to look exactly like a soft boiled egg with toast soldiers...eh?

Anonymous said...

If black olive macarons don't appeal, perhaps chocolate-covered olives fire up the senses?

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/09/2949378.htm

Mitzi G Burger said...

Adrian Zumbo is totally hot, and his maccaroon cone was totally not: it resembled a nightmare creature out of Naked Lunch ie inedible and scary.