Last week I turned my hand to making that British favourite, coconut macaroons. I liked the result, but thought that it would be good to experiment with it a little further. I was happy with the dense, sweet type I made, and they did look great, but I also wanted to have a light and fluffy version in my baking repertoire. All very much in the spirit of the Great British Bake-Off, with each participant preparing the same recipe. Except it’s just me, competing against myself…
With a view to making softer cookies, I decreased the amount of dessicated coconut, and switched from the fine to coarse variety. The stuff I used last time was very fine, and I think it just mopped up all the moisture from the meringue mixture, so I thought reducing the overall amount and using less coconut would address that. I also did a little research, and saw that the recipe on Joy of Baking uses a quick cooked Swiss meringue rather than simple meringue. Armed with this knowledge, I tweaked my previous recipe and hoped for the best.
The mixture itself looked good – white, fluffy, shiny and softer than my previous attempt. I skillfully formed the macaroons using two teaspoons, as the mixture was too moist to roll by hand. After baking and allowing them to cool slightly, a little tasting session was in order. First, the lightness struck me – they felt airier than the last batch, and were much softer. More like a meringue with coconut than a dense, sweet coconut ball.
In short – this is an amazing version of my recipe. I love it – snaps for kitchen experimentation!
To make around 25 coconut macaroons:
• 130g dessicated coconut (unsweetened)
• 20g icing sugar
• 30g flour
• 2 egg whites
• pinch of salt
• 2 pinches of cream of tartar
• 100g white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Place the coconut, icing sugar and flour in a dish and mix well. Set aside.
In a metal bowl, whip the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until frothy. Add the sugar, and place the bowl above a pan of barely simmering water. Whisk constantly until the egg whites form a white, glossy mass that leaves stiff peaks when you remove the beater (around 5 minutes).
Remove from the pan of water, and stir the vanilla into the meringue mixture. Add the coconut mixture, and fold in gently.
Cover and leave in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes. At this stage, preheat the oven to 170°C (335°F) and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Bake for 15 minutes until slightly puffed and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Worth making? This recipe is amazing. They don’t look quite as pretty as the other version of coconut macaroons, but if you are a fan of the softer variety, this is hard to beat. These can also be jazzed up either by dipping in chocolate, or drizzling it over the top, to recall the Bounty bar we all love.
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