So, after a week of my body fighting off the onset of a cold, it seems to have finally dug it’s germy little claws into my body – I have been sneezing and shivering all day, with these ol’ bones of mine creaking and aching away. Of course, this is probably my own doing after overdoing it a bit yesterday – on 6 hours of broken sleep I was running around and barely stopped for about 20 hours. Yeesh!
Part of my running around yesterday was that I’d finally managed to line up a photography lesson with one of my favourite Melbourne-based photographers from Flickr, and in exchange for a free lesson on taking landscape/scenery shots for the day, I was going to provide a few baked goodies! However, a problem arose when I checked the pantry on Friday to discover that I had run ridiculously low on baking supplies! Egads! Suddenly, the list of things I wanted to bake was no longer viable, and after taking an inventory, I had to make a new list of things that could be done with what was already on hand.
One of the things I had a plenty of was dessicated coconut – almost a full bag of the stuff! I sat and pondered what I could use it for when I had such little flour, but plenty of eggs and sugar. Browsing through my cookbooks, I realized that it had been awhile since I indulged in any Nigella Lawson goodness, so decided to give her coconut macaroons a try!
Now, I did slightly overcook these little sticky domes of sweet, chewy goodness, but according to the reports of M, who also received a goodie basket for taking me along to the Melbourne Comedy Festival show, they were still pretty alright… the only thing he rued was the fact that he couldn’t add a little bit of jam on top of these marvels, the way he remembered enjoying these in the past.
These are quite easy to make, and a bit amusing, especially when trying to roll them into shape! It’s essentially a meringue base with lots of coconut tossed in, and as a result they are deliciously fragrant and sweet without being rich or overwhelming in flavour. I’ve since tried these with a little jam, and do have to admit that they do go down pretty well with a dab of strawberry or raspberry jam!
Now, please excuse me while I curl up in bed with a nice big mug of tea, Mr. Woofy and some movies while I try to will this cold away
Coconut Macaroons (from ‘How To Be A Domestic Goddess’ by Nigella Lawson)
2 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
100g caster sugar
30g almond meal
A pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g shredded coconut *
* You do need shredded coconut for this recipe, not dessicated. Dessicated will make these far too stodgy and compact without giving the soft, sweet chewiness that is the desired result!
1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
2. Beat the egg whites till they’re frothy (using a hand mixer at the highest speed, this should take about 1-2 minutes), then add the cream of tartar and continue to beat till the egg whites are at soft peak stage.
3. Add the sugar slowly, 2 tsp at a time, beating well after each addition, and keep beating till the egg whites can be formed into firm peaks , then fold in the salt, coconut, almond meal and vanilla. Make sure its well combined and the result should be a sticky mess that still holds together when shaped.
4. Shape them into little spheres about 8cm in diameter (you should get about 8-9) and bake them for about 15-20 minutes or till they just start to go golden! Do not overcook them like I did as they’ll lose some of that beautiful sticky chewiness and begin to go dry!
5. Remove from the oven and set aside on the tray to cool – do not touch them till they have completely cooled down as whilst still warm they are still a bit unstable. Once cooled, serve with a little raspberry or strawberry jam and enjoy
I took quite a few photos of Melbourne-town that I like on my outing, and will be uploading them slowly onto my Flickr page over the next few days if you’d like to see what a pretty town I live in