29 July 2013

Nigella Challenge: Coconut Macaroons

I made a mini version of these as I was taking them into uni to share with one of my tutorials, and I actually think I prefer them this way! I ate these big, coconutty, English bakery macaroons when I was in the UK and they were good, but the mini ones have less of the soft centre and more crunch which I preferred. Each to their own though, so try them both ways and see which you prefer.

I can make these at the drop of a hat as I generally have everything in the pantry. Which is good for you, as there'll be no tracking down exotic ingredients or standing confused in supermarket aisles.

P.S. Don't see macaroons and freak out. These are nothing like the fancy French macarons.

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar 
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 30g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or coconut essence if you're that way inclined)
  • 250g shredded coconut (not desiccated. It has to do with the moisture - shredded has more)
Preheat oven to 170C and line a large baking sheet (or two if you're making mini ones).

Beat egg whites until frothy (not peaks, they'll be a white foam), then add cream of tartar and keep on beating to soft peaks. Add sugar a scant spoonful at a time, beating away until the peaks are shiny and hold their shape. 

Fold in the almond meal, vanilla and coconut. It is ridiculously sticky, so basically kids will love this and you can let them get messy instead. 

For mini ones, you'll want about a teaspoonful of mixture, but for normal sized ones they should be about 6cm in diameter (think about the size of a mandarin). Keep them nice and round, flattening only a little so they sit well on the tray. Space them out evenly, but don't worry to much as they don't change shape during cooking.  

Cook 20 minutes (a little less for mini ones - just keep an eye on them), until they're lightly golden.