Macaron Howard

Baking, Dessert, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Snack, Sweets

The Emmys are but a day away and as such, Emmy Gold: Golden Family is coming to an end to allow enough time for me to get ready and sneak in to the auditorium. While it is always tragic to know that our awards season celebrations are coming to an end, having been able to spend time with Chris, Riz, Tat, Shelley and Matt are truly a gift.

And finishing with TV icon and multi-hyphenate Ron Howard is just icing on the bloody cake.

I first met Ron way back when we were starting out with our careers on the set of The Andy Griffith Show. While I was working as Andy Giffith’s stunt double, I was only a young lad – did I mention I suffer from Benjamin button disease? – so little Ronnie and I became the fastest of friends.

And that friendship spanned decades until Apollo 13, when my infamous feud with Tam Honks commenced. While I was cast out of his life for a few years – evil Tam’s doing, obvi – we were brought back together by Jess when Arrested Development was getting up. Thankfully, our friendship hasn’t had a set back since.

Given his status as a powerhouse actor, writer, director, model, I decided to run through the oft forgotten about critical categories of writing and directing. For Limited Series writing, I am backing When They See Us but wouldn’t be shocked to see Escape at Dannemora. Variety we both see Last Week Tonight with John Oliver taking it out again. Drama better go to anything but Game of Thrones with me thinking The Handmaid’s Tale may continue it’s hanging episode streak of wins while Ron thinks Killing Eve will come out victorious. Comedy is where we really struggled. It is always hard to bet against Veep, though Fleabag’s second season was near perfect … and I can see Russian Doll picking up a trophy here.

When it comes to Directing, we see The Late Show with Stephen Colbert taking it out given live shows are truly a feat. I think that this once again comes down to Escape at Dannemora and When They See Us, with Ron backing Ben Stiller for the former, while I think whoever doesn’t win writing will grab this and shut out Chernobyl. I hope The Handmaid’s Tale takes it for Drama, but wouldn’t be shocked to see Adam McKay snag it for Succession, just for being Adam McKay. While Bill Hader is universally beloved, I don’t see him winning Comedy directing given he is up against Daniel Palladino for the majestic Catskills episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel which should not be beaten.

With that, I thanked Ron for finally agreeing to appear on this patch of cyberspace and his many years of friendship, handed over a plate of Macaron Howard as I headed out to the awards.

 

 

There is nothing better than a sweet, melt in your mouth macaron. Delicate and delicious, this baby packs a nice blueberry punch that truly fills you with joy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Macaron Howard
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
75g almond meal
115g icing sugar
2 egg whites, at room temperature
55g raw caster sugar
a few drops blue food colouring
1 cup freeze-dried blueberries, finely crushed
60g butter, softened
1 ⅓ cup icing sugar
1 ½ tbsp double cream
½ tsp vanilla extract

Method
Preheat oven to 160C.

Combine the almond meal and icing sugar in a bowl. Meanwhile place the egg whites and raw caster sugar in a stand mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Add the food colouring and ¼ cup crushed blueberries and whisk until just combined. Fold through the dry mixture and transfer to a piping bag.

Line two baking sheets and pipe little macarons across the pans until the mixture is gone. Tap each on the bench a couple of times before transferring to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes, or until puffed, crisp and glorious. Remove to rest for five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

While they’re getting hella chill, combine the remaining blueberry with the cup-measure of icing sugar. Meanwhile cream the butter on medium for five minutes, or until pale and fluffy before slowly adding the sugar and blueberry mix in two batches. Once just combined, add the cream and vanilla, and beat until fluffy.

Dollop the icing on the exposed side of a biscuit and sandwich with another. Repeat the process until done.

Devour, regally. Like TV royalty.

 

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Lemon Merrin Dungey Pie

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Sweets

When I first met Merrin Dungey – aka Mezza – she was cracking jokes with some of the lower members of the cast of Deep Impact. Despite being quite the high roller on set as T’s best-friend, I was drawn to her infectious joy and decided to take her under my wing.

Let me tell you, Mez is just what the doctor ordered – I feel joyous again!

Jubilant even.

Mez has long been someone I’ve relied on to lift my mood and in exchange, I’ve lifted her up the Hollywood ladder. After Deep Impact, I quickly introduced her to Sorks and got her a brief role on The West Wing, landed her a part with my – and I guess the world’s – Friends and bounced her too Chrissie Apps on Jesse before landing her the big fish that was Alias opposite my then boyfriend Bradley Cooper.

It had been a couple of years since we last caught up – I may have caused a scene on the set of Trophy Wife when she was guesting and was scared I had embarrassed her. Thankfully, I hadn’t but sadly that meant I had to struggle with my mood these last few years.

Mezza is trying to relax and make the most of her free time before reporting to the set of her new show, Conviction, so was down to party and bring the joy … which she did.

As did my Lemon Merrin Dungey Pie.

 

lemon-merrin-dungey-pie-1

 

I like my lemon curd like I like to act to attract men – tarty, smooth and soft and warm inside. Add the culinary equivalent of Merrin / valium, pastry, and a generous dollop of mallowy meringue and you’ve got the perfect dessert to eat away your feelings.

Enjoy!

 

lemon-merrin-dungey-pie-2

 

Lemon Merrin Dungey Pie
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
Pastry
1 ½ cups plain flour
2 tbsp icing sugar mixture
125g butter, chilled, coarsely chopped
2 ½ tbsp iced water

Filling and meringue aka all the rest
Lemon Kurd Cobain
1 cup cold water
¼ cup cornflour
8 large eggs, whites only
⅔ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon coarse salt

Method
In a larger bowl, sift the flour and icing sugar together. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the water and mix with your hands until it just comes together … just.

Shape into a 2cm thick disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out until it is about 5mm thick, lay the dough in a 23cm pie dish, trim excess, line with baking paper and return to the fridge for half an hour.

Then add pastry weights and bake for 15 minutes … and then remove the pastry weights and baking paper and bake for a further 15 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Set aside to cool completely.

That was kind of militant right now, wasn’t it? Sorry.

Anyway, while the crust is cooling, get to work on the curd. Start by whisking together the water and cornflour, then go to the recipe and when it calls for the butter add the cornflour slurry.

Rather than chilling the curd, pour it straight into the crust, smoothing over with the back of a spoon and chill in the fridge for 3-5 hours – the pie, not you – or until it is set.

About half an hour before you’re over the pie chilling preheat the oven to 180°C … again.

While the oven is warming up for you, combine the whites, sugar and salt in a large, dry bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high until stiff peaks form. Layer the meringue on the pie, sealing in the curd, and bake for about 5-10 minutes, or until the meringue starts to brown.

You could always use a blowtorch in lieu of the oven but I don’t, and nor should anybody else, trust me with a blowtorch.

Either way, once you’re done devour and feel happiness again.

RIP *spoiler* from OITNB.

 

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No more bad Francies

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

After being thoroughly disappointed by the world for most of last week (until Jay Z dropped by), followed by 13 hours spent watching OITNB season 4 which culminated in a horrific kick to the guts in the second last episode – seriously, I am still llorando – I decided that I needed to focus on the positive and bring a little bit of joy in the world.

But seriously, how fucked up was the end of episode 12?

Anyway, I have decided to become the personification of valium and bring joy, or at the very least a feeling of strange calm, to everyone on the planet.

As I am still reeling from Orlando and the culmination of the fictional prison overcrowding/under-trained guard perfect storm, I wanted to catch-up with someone that brings an infectious joy to my life (rather than infectious disease, FYI) so gave the dear Merrin Dungey a call.

What says while your turn as Ursula made me uncomfortable it will never take away from your majesty on the one-two punch that are Alias and the egregiously Emmy snubbed Summerland?

Picture source: Still from Alias.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.