The Executive Pastry Chef I worked for at the Four Seasons name is Randy Gehman, he’s retired now, but his teachings have stuck with me throughout the years. He’s an absolutely a master when it comes to running a hotel pastry kitchen and his sugar and chocolate sculptures were always magnificent. The end of year Holiday display was humongous, 20 feet long with dozens of pounds of chocolate and sugar sculpture on display for a good part of December. I feel very lucky to have learned so much from him.
He was not an easy boss, very intense and demanding, think ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ pastry edition and that’s a pretty good representation. Funnily enough, one of my annual reviews read: “Steve needs to learn to take the near constant criticism with a better attitude” Haha. I never learned that lesson, lol, but I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the Chef.
This is one of Chef Randy’s recipes, and although I made it dozens of times at the hotel, I had a huge problem with it at home. At the hotel, we made a 20-pound batch of this recipe, When I tried to reduce it to a 2-pound batch, the taste, texture and finished product were way off, completely wrong. Luckily, Chef Randy was a great teacher, and since I know what it’s supposed to taste like, I’ve been able to recreate the way this Coconut Macaroon is supposed to be for the home cook.
It just goes to show, you do not always come out with the same result when you change the size of a recipe, reducing it or double the size is often completely different than the original.
Enjoy this recipe, it came from a true Master, and if you ever read this, cheers to you Chef Randy, have a great retirement and thank you for everything!
Here’s how I made it:
- 4 Egg whites
- ½ Cup Sugar
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ¾ Cup Sugar
- 14 Oz Sweetened Coconut, shredded
- 1 ¼ Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Chocolate chips
-Whisk egg whites and salt, once whites start to develop into a foam, slowly add ½ cup of sugar to form a meringue, whisk to firm peaks
-Combine remaining ingredients, fold into the meringue
-Using an ice cream scoop, scoop macaroons onto a lightly oiled parchment sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350F from approximately 15 minutes.
-Melt chocolate chips over a double boiler, or a microwave is fine. Go slowly with a microwave, 15 seconds at a time, stir thoroughly after every microwave attempt, depending on how powerful the microwave, 3 or 4 times is probably more than enough, don’t burn the chocolate in the microwave
-Dip half of the Macaroon in chocolate, or drizzle chocolate over the top.