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In an effort to gear myself up to make traditional macaroons, I have been playing around to come up with a coconut macaroon biscuit that works and that I wouldn’t be embarrased to post on my blog. What I thought would be an easy task, was so far from just that. Every and any recipe I looked at said how easy they were and how good they were. How could I not try them? So for a friends Christmas party back in November I threw together a batch of these supposedly ‘simple’ macaroons. Now I cannot deny that they are extremely simple and easy to put together but where my problem came is that they didn’t look anything like any pictures I have ever seen of coconut macaroons. I mean, mine just looked like little melted versions of the real thing. So I told myself “not to worry Vanessa, it’s the effort that counts”. I brought them with us to the party anyway and made people eat them. Everyone was very kind and said they were lovely but in reality I was a little bit embarrased by their appearance. Taste 1, appearance 0. Since then I have been playing around with them. D has brought them to work, I have brought them to work, but still the flavour won the battle against appearance, and I was still a little embarrased.

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(Lemon coconut macaroons looking a little squished and melted like)

Last night however, I won the battle or at least I think so. While confined to the kitchen (D was taking work calls in the living room), I finally put together a recipe that I’m quite happy with and want to share. Just in time for Valentines day too! This batch was a complete fluke, but I threw in some frozen raspberries and voila, a perfect little pink coconut macaroon to share on Valentines!

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RASPBERRY AND COCONUT MACAROONS

This was no easy journey. These little biscuits had my mind constantly on the go. I made them in different ways. Mixing dry ingredients, whisking egg whites (in two different ways), adding different citrus tastes, rolling in coconut, adding various forms of almonds, but nope, the little divils wouldn’t come out looking pretty. Last night though, in an effort to keep them simple and because I was too tired to whisk egg whites (again), I threw everything into a food processor and just blitzed away to my hearts content and threw in a few frozen raspberries as I had no lemons left and wow, much to my surprise the raspberry and coconut were meant to be. And further more, they came out vaguely pretty and macaroon shaped. Oh thank god!

  • 2 egg whites
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • 250 g medium desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 140 g frozen raspberries

THE HOW

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4.

Pop the coconut and sugar into a food processor and pulse for a few seconds just to mix. Add the salt, almond extract and egg whites and pulse or blitz for 30 seconds to a minute.

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Add the raspberries and pulse for about 30 seconds, to break up the raspberries but not to combine to glue like form.

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Decant the coconut mix, into a bowl to make scooping a little easier. Using a 1 tbsp measure, scoop the mix and pop onto a lined baking tray. Repeat until all the mix is used and you should have 30 biscuits.

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Place in the oven for 15 minutes. You should have two trays of macaroons. Either move the racks around in the oven so they are both roughly in the middle or do one tray at a time.

After 15 minutes, turn the tray (s) around and reduce the oven heat to  160°C/fan 140°C and cook for a further 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them. And depending on how you like them, remove them if they are turning too brown for you liking. I like a little crisp to mine but not to be too soft, but still see the pinkness to them. Cool on a wire rack and then devour!

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