COCONUT AND WHITE CHOCOLATE MACARONS
(makes about 30)
150 g ground almonds
150 g sifted icing sugar
60 g egg whites
150 g castor sugar
60 g egg whites
- Preheat the oven to 150° (my oven works best on 140°C – you will have to get to know your oven to get the correct temperature to bake your macarons)
- NB TIPS: Make sure all your ingredients and equipment are ready before you start. Line your baking trays with baking paper. I normally use a bit of the macaron mixture to stick the baking paper onto the trays to prevent the paper from lifting when you start piping. Use good quality baking paper. I use one that is clearly marked which way must face the baking tray. It can make a huge difference. I also do not use silicon mats for baking macarons (lots of recipes will advise to use them) but I prefer the baking paper.
- Sift together the ground almonds and the icing sugar and add the first 60 g of egg whites. Mix to form a firm paste. Add the coconut flavouring. If you use food colouring – add it to the paste as well. Mix well and keep aside
- Dissolve the castor sugar in the water and boil up to 116°C – use a very accurate sugar thermometer to do this. Remove from the heat and cool for about 2 minutes.
- Start to beat the rest of the egg whites (60g) to soft peak stage
- Add the hot sugar syrup gradually to the beaten egg whites whilst beating at a high speed. Beat until the meringue has cooled down.
- Fold one third of the meringue into the almond and icing sugar paste – mix well to get a softer consistency – then add the rest of the meringue. Fold the meringue into the paste using a spatula. Make sure it is mixed in well.
- The consistency must be like molten lawa – it must be able to run a little but still hold its shape. This will take some experience. If the mixture is too stiff – the macarons tend to crack during baking.
- Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a 1cm macaron (round) nozzle.
- Pipe the macaroons onto the lined baking trays – hold the piping bag at a 90° angle with the baking tray.
- Tap a few times under the baking sheet – to remove large air bubbles and for the macarons to run slightly
- Leave to stand for 30 minutes. Use a toothpick or sharp needle to prick any visible air bubbles before baking
- Bake for about 15 minutes. Turn the baking tray quickly after 10 minutes in the oven.
- Bake only one sheet at a time and place your baking sheet in the middle of the oven
- Cool macarons on the baking tray. If they are still a bit sticky at the bottom – place the baking tray in the switched off oven until cold.
- Arrange the macarons in pairs of similar size and sandwich together with the ganache.
WHITE CHOCOLATE AND COCONUT GANACHE
Chop 300g white chocolate into very small pieces and place in a glass bowl. Bring 150 ml coconut milk or normal cream to the boil and pour over the chopped chocolate.
Mix until the chocolate has melted completely. Add 5 ml coconut essence and 40 g of toasted desiccated coconut (toast it in a frying pan or in the oven on a baking tray) and mix well
Cool the ganache completely until firm at room temperature.
Spoon into a piping bag and pipe before it gets too firm.