Category Archives: Workshops

The Biscuit Workshop

I love home-made cookies or biscuits. Mine are always with whole wheat flour, as in my cakes. The positive thing being the healthy version and the negative being the countless cookies that one consumes assuming they are harmless. Result – end up in more calories and a stuffed tummy.

With loads of information that state the difference between the both, are these biscuits or cookies??

  


  

These are biscuits because they are crisp goodies –
‘crisp cookies are called biscuits. Chewier biscuits are sometimes called cookies’  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cookie

No.No… These are cookies because – they have nuts –

‘A cookie is a baked or cooked good that is small, flat and sweet. It usually contains flour, sugar and some type of oil or fat. It may include other ingredients such as raisins, oats, chocolate chips, nuts, etc.’
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cookie

The terminology seems to be far more complicated than making of the cookie itself..sorry. biscuit..sorry.. cookie..or is it biscuit…
Now, let us decide..

Aubergine in the UK is eggplant in the US;
Ladies finger in the UK is okra in the US;
‘How do you do’ in the UK is ‘Howdy’ in the US;

Likewise-

– the word ‘cookie’ is derived from the dutch word ‘koekje’ as used in the US. In the UK- a crisp cookie is called ‘biscuit’.

I choose to comprehend that biscuits are crisp cookies. Hence, this can be termed as a Biscuit workshop. Period.

These biscuits are made with all purpose flour, margarine, sugar, salt, baking powder and a few more preservatives added to the sugar and flour for packaging purposes.. The ingredients used here are for bulk packaging, and henced provide us a basic understanding of baking  biscuits on a larger scale.  But, it is the process of making that made the workshop interesting – the swiftness of those hands in kneading the dough, rolling out evenly on the table,  sprinkling nuts, cutting them into perfect pieces, arranging in huge trays and placing in several racks and the most important of all – baking to perfection.

Whatever be its name- cookie or biscuit – it is hardwork at its best – the outcome being crisp, sweet and golden.
  

Making of the Biscuit

the kneaded dough –


  

Rolling the dough thin and even –


  

sprinkling the nuts –


  

making a pattern –


 

  

cut into equal rounds and  arranged beautifully –


  

ready to be baked –


  

baked golden and crisp –

The French Macaroon Workshop – Coconut Macaroons

My interest in Macaroons is not only because of my sweet tooth; but my maternal connection to the Pearl City of India – Thoothukudi, which is famous for its cashew-nut macaroon biscuits. The macaroons of Thoothukudi and its relation to macaron and maringue have been discussed in dosaikal previously.  That post was based on a Bakery Visit and learning the process of making macaroons in bulk. Recently, I had this wonderful opportunity to learn the process of making French Macaroons, from a Sous Chef. The Hotel that offers wonderful coconut macaroons to its guests in their Dinner Buffet or Breakfasts/Brunches allowed us to peep into their baking counter. That turned out to be a great workshop on my favourite Macaroons.

What else do I know best, than sharing the episode with my friends through this channel… I chose to do it as a pictoral tour.. come along!
  

The ingredients – as written on the white board for easy reference

  • egg whites – 400 gms
  • breakfast sugar – 1 kg
  • coconut powder – 600 gms
  • icing sugar – 300 gms

  


  

in display


  

the machine


  

Making Macaroons

1. Beat egg whites


  

2. Add breakfast sugar – which is supposed to render a sticky texture to the mixture unlike normal granulated sugar. The chef mentioned, the stores sell ‘breakfast sugar‘ which is not the same as normal sugar.


  

3. When the mixture reaches soft peak consistency,


  

mix coconut powder and icing sugar


  

4. Gently fold the coconut powder-icing sugar into the beaten egg whites with hands


  

5. Remove the mixture into a bowl


  

6. Drop slowly into piping bags


 


  

7. Pipe into beautiful macaroons on a silicon baking sheet


 

 

  

8. Macaroons made by my little chef


 

  

9. Bake at 180 degrees centigrade for 15 to 20 minutes


  

10. Coconut Macaroons are ready. You could serve these as cream filled double macaroons too.


 

 
Those macaroons by my little one made my day…truly awesome.