Coconuts are a fantastic ingredient, and I’m not just saying that because I’m South Indian. Okay, maybe I’m a little biassed but that’s because coconuts are everywhere in Kerala! It’s the perfect ingredient to showcase in our new series – One ingredient, two different ways to cook it! The Thai Red Curry recipe showcased the savoury side of coconuts while this recipe sees it shine in a dessert.
There are plenty of coconut based desserts but perhaps the macaroon is the best. When I think of a macaroon I’m immediately reminded of bounty bars. If you’re a fan of Bounty, then you’ll definitely love these cookies. They’re soft and chewy on the inside and a coconut lover’s dream. They also come together pretty quickly so you can whip them up in no time. What’s special about this recipe is that we’re going to use fresh coconut!
Shredded Coconut vs Fresh Coconut
Most coconut macaroons called for sweetened shredded coconut; which are tiny strips of coconut sweetened with sugar that have been dried out to increase their shelf life. This is crucial in countries where coconuts are not that easy to come by. However, that’s not a problem for us in India! The coconuts we get here are so fresh and naturally sweet that these macaroons are going to taste infinitely better! I like to use the largest side of a box grater to grate the coconut into long strips. Since freshly grated coconut can be quite moist, you can toast it for a few minutes to get rid of any excess moisture.
The entire range of OTGs by Wonderchef caters to every kind of chef. From 60 Litres to 9 Litres and plenty in between, there’s an OTG to fit every space and price requirement. The 19 Litre OTG is perfect for those looking for a machine that can do some heavy duty baking but can also fit snugly in your cupboard when you’re not using it. It’s also so affordable that you’ll wonder why you’ve been relying just on a microwave for all these years!
Since these macaroons are slightly finicky, it’s important that your OTG heats up evenly. Which is great for me, since the Wonderchef OTGs all place even heat distribution high on their list of features. Of course, it’s not enough that they look great, performance is everything! With a heat resistant glass window and easy to use control functions, this oven is safe and so easy to use. Even us experienced cooks are known to get a few burns and cuts in the kitchen so I’m always keeping an eye out for safety features when I buy any equipment. Since this recipe calls for stiffly beaten egg whites, I like to use my Crimson Edge Hand Mixer because it gets the job done in an instant and because I skipped arm day at the gym last week. And month. And Year.
Coconut macaroons are fairly easy to make. You can also increase and decrease the amount of coconut in the recipe based on your own preference but in general the ratios below will give you a great batch. Be sure not to over mix the egg whites into the coconut mixture, since this can make your macaroons spread out. You can serve the macaroons up as is, or you drizzle it with some melted chocolate. I personally love the combination of melted chocolate and coconut!
Makes: 18-20 Macaroons
- 3 – 3 ½ cups Shredded Coconut
- ¼ cup Condensed Milk
- 1 Egg White
- 1 tsp Vanilla (optional)
- 90g Chocolate
- Begin by shredding your coconut. Use the largest shredding side on a box grater to grate the coconut.
- Preheat your oven to 170c.
- Toast the shredded coconut for 3-4 minutes. You can do this in batches so as to not overcrowd the pan. Allow the shredded coconut to cool.
- Beat the egg white with a hand mixer until you get stiff peaks. Set aside.
- Add the shredded coconut, condensed milk and vanilla to a bowl and mix well.
- Add a third of the beaten egg white to the coconut mix to lighten it up. Add the rest of the egg white and fold gently.
- Use a mini ice cream scoop to measure out tablespoonfuls of the batter and plop onto a baking paper lined tray.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and your kitchen smells heavenly!
- Once your macaroons are ready, take them out and use a flat spatula or flipper to gently release the macaroons from the tray. Allow them to cool completely.
- While the macaroons are cooling, chop your chocolate up into small pieces and heat in 20 second bursts in the microwave. Mix the chocolate after every 20 seconds and make sure you don’t burn it. It should ideally take less than a minute. You can stop heating it when it’s about 80% melted.
- Drizzle the chocolate over the macaroons or dip the bottoms into the chocolate. You can also fill a piping bag with the melted chocolate if you like to be more precise like me!
- Serve with a cup of tea and enjoy!
Author: Sneha Sundar is the creator of You Dim Sum, You Lose Some; a philosophy she adopts both in and out of the kitchen.