October 8, 2009

Coconut and Chocolate Macaroons

Coconut and Chocolate Macaroons

MUNCH RATING: 5/5

I have an aversion to coconut, not so much the flavour as I like coconut milk in curries, but it’s the texture of desiccated coconut that I dislike. But Steve and his Mum really like macaroons and I had loads of leftover egg whites*, so I thought I’d give this recipe a shot.

It’s an incredibly easy recipe to make and the great thing is you can make up the dough and refrigerate it for up to a week or you can freeze it for 2 months.
They got a big thumbs up from Steve and his Mum. Bonus points were awarded to them being crispy/crunchy on the outside and nice and chewy in the middle. Of course I had to try one myself and I have to say that they weren’t as bad as I thought they would be! The texture of the coconut is still quite strong, but it wasn’t disgusting and I managed to eat a whole one!

  • Makes: about 15
  • Oven temperature: Gas mark 4/350°F/180°C
  • You will need: a medium saucepan, a silicone mat/parchment on a baking sheet

Ingredients:
  • 4 large egg whites (100ml/100g)
  • 260g (1¼ cups) white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 200g (2½ cups) unsweetened coconut**
  • 45g (¼ cup) plain flour
  • 50g dark chocolate, broken into pieces

Directions:
  1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the egg whites, white sugar, vanilla sugar, salt, honey, coconut and flour.
  2. Heat the mixture over low-to-medium heat on the hob, stirring constantly, scraping the bottom as you stir.
  3. When the mixture starts to smell lovely and toasty (the smell of coconut is yummy!) and it just begins to scorch at the bottom (the egg white looks like it’s cooking on the bottom of the pan but it shouldn’t colour), remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature.
    (At this point, the mixture can be chilled for up to one week, or frozen for up to two months.)
  4. When ready to bake, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat*** and preheat the oven to Gas mark 4/350°F/180°C.
  5. With your hands form the dough into balls the size and shape of golf balls and place them on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart (they won’t spread too much).
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until deep golden brown. Cool completely.
  7. To coat the macaroons in chocolate: melt the chocolate in the microwave for 45-50 seconds on high. Dip the macaroons in the chocolate (top or bottom, it’s up to you) and put back on the baking sheet chocolate side up. Refrigerate 5-10 minutes, until the chocolate is set.

COOK’S NOTES:
*You can freeze egg whites and the best way is to put each individual egg white into an ice cube tray, so it’s easy to measure them out. You can also keep egg whites in the fridge for a couple of weeks in an airtight container.
**Available from supermarkets but it’s usually better value to buy from health food shops like Holland & Barrett/Julian Graves.
***I tried cooking these in my mini muffin tins because they were just the right size and they sort of came out in a mushroom shape which was cute. But you have to let them cool down so that they set, otherwise they just rip in half. So they were sitting in the tin (whilst I was watching Slumdog Millionaire) and they got soggy bottoms. Even though I’d greased the tin, some got a bit stuck, so I don’t recommend this method of cooking! Stick with the non-stick parchment or silicone! Or use Magic Non-Stick Liner from Lakeland which I’ve just discovered and it’s brilliant as it’s reusable.

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