Image: ‘Malt’, an oat flour macaron. Developed by artist Cherry Truluck with chef Grace Gibbons. Photo Anne Tezlaff.
As part of the Politics of Food, season five at Delfina Foundation in 2022, artist Cherry Truluck launched THE ANIMIST ALMANAC, her six-year programme of arts-based research and practice around oat cultivation and fugitive temporalities.
The event (also part of the Patchwork Commons series of commissions for Seeding the Commons), which took place on 8 November 2022, under a full moon, included a seed sowing ritual and a performative meal – composed of a wide-range of oat-based recipes developed in collaboration with chef Grace Gibbons.
One of the courses served that evening was titled Malt. Malting is a process of rest and revival. It is an interruption of cycles of storage and growth. First the grain is dried and stored, then it is steeped in water and allowed to germinate. The germination triggers the development of malt enzymes which modify the structure of the grain’s endosperm by breaking down the cell walls and the protein matrix, producing the sugars needed for fermentation in beer-making. Germination is then halted by exposure to high temperatures, effectively cooking the grain and generating the Maillard reaction which gives that rich malty flavour.
‘Malt’ was an oat flour macaron, filled with an Oatmeal Porter malted buttercream, served on a linen pillow filled with the soft chaff from Cherry’s oat harvest. As a digital outcome of that event and Cherry’s experimentation with and deep research into oats, she shares here the recipe.
RECIPE FOR ‘MALT’ MACARONS
Makes 12 macarons
60g egg whites (at room temperature)
54g caster sugar
4g cream of tartar
75g oat flour (we recommend Hodmedod’s malted naked oat flour when available. Alternatively, just blitz oats in a blender until fine)
75g icing sugar
50g icing sugar
250ml oatmeal porter
1 tbsp barley malt extract
Leave the butter out of the fridge to soften.
Pour the porter into a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir in the barley malt extract and reduce to approx 1/5 of the volume and leave to cool. The cooled liquid should have the consistency of a free-flowing syrup.
Using a stand mixer or electric whisk, cream the butter and icing sugar together.
Once the butter mix is pale and fluffy, slowly drizzle in 2-3tbsp of the malty syrup, whilst whisking continuously. Stop if the mixture starts to lose its fluffy texture.
Refrigerate until ready to use
Line a baking sheet with greaseproof/parchment paper and fit a large round tip to a piping bag.
Combine oat flour and icing sugar, set aside.
Using a stand mixer or electric whisk, whisk the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Then add cream of tartar, and continue whisking until you see the trail of the whisk leaving a pattern on the surface of the egg whites.
Slowly add the sugar while whisking continuously.
Once all the sugar is added, turn the mixer up to high speed and whisk until stiff peaks begin to form.
Fold the oat flour mixture gently into the egg whites with a spatula.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag, and pipe 24 equal circles onto the lined baking sheets about an inch apart.
Tap the baking sheet firmly on the counter to release air bubbles.
Leave to rest for 30 minutes whilst you preheat the oven to 150 degrees celsius.
Bake for 12-15 minutes. Leave to cool completely on the baking sheet.
If buttercream is too hard, leave out of fridge to soften for 15 minutes
Gently spread approx 1 tsp buttercream onto a macaron shell using a butter knife
Match to a similar sized shell and sandwich together
Repeat x 12