For a while there I lost sight of why I started this blog. Swept away by a preoccupation with views, foodgawker and a need for validation, I forgot the reason for this blog’s existence: motivation to cook something new and to improve my photography. I spent a disproportionate amount of time evaluating whether a chocolate cookie or a quinoa salad would get me more views, rather than thinking about what I actually wanted to cook and eat. Suddenly it all felt like too much work and the enjoyment was gone. Combine that with a couple of summer holidays and moving to the other side of the Thames and you’ve got 3 months without a blog post.
It’s time for a new beginning. From now on, I’ll cook what I want, when I want. If I don’t post every week, it’s not the end of the world. If foodgawker don’t like my photos, I’ll cope. If no one reads my posts, admittedly I’ll be a tiny bit sad but I know my mum will still tune in and that’s good enough for me.
To celebrate this new attitude, I decided to whip something up using one of my favourite foods, the coconut. Coconut macaroons are my idea of heaven, mainly when accompanied with dark chocolate, rendering them reminiscent of a Bounty bar. For those unfamiliar with the Bounty (you poor things!) it’s like an Almond Joy bar but without the almond and soooo much better!
I find macaroons strangely comforting. As anyone who knows me is aware, I’m not good with flying, but if I nip to Pret before getting on a plane and pick up a packet of their coconut macaroons to snack on, I can’t help but feel just a little calmer. I think it has something to do with the chewy texture of coconut, it doesn’t make much sense, but neither does my fear of flying.
These macaroons are ridiculously easy to make and have hardly any ingredients but are incredibly satisfying. You just mix together some desiccated coconut (unsweetened shredded coconut for any Americans out there), sugar, egg whites, vanilla and salt, form the mixture into little balls and pop them in the oven for 15 minutes.
They’ll come out beautifully toasted, slightly crisp on the outside whilst incredibly squishy and gorgeous on the inside.
The only way to improve them is to dip their bottoms in melted dark chocolate and drizzle any extra choccy over the top. Also, making a mess is fun.
I couldn’t resist covering one completely in chocolate in homage to my favourite Bounty bar. It melted all over my hand when I ate it but it was totally worth it! No regrets!
Chocolate Dipper Coconut Macaroons
Recipe from Martha Stewart
Makes about 14
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 1/2 cups of desiccated coconut (aka unsweetened shredded coconut)
2 large free range egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
80g (about a cup) of dark chocolate
1 tsp coconut oil (optional)
Preheat the oven to 175C / 160C Fan / 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Mix together all of the ingredients except the chocolate until thoroughly combined. Wet your hands with cold water and then form the mix into tablespoon size balls with slightly flat bottoms. Put them on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
Pop the macaroons in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned, let them cool for 5 mins on the baking sheet and them move them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Next break the chocolate into chunks and melt it in a small bowl over a pan of simmering water. I added a tiny bit of coconut oil (on the advice of Joy the Baker) to make the chocolate a little bit runnier and easier to dip into.
Dip the bottom of each macaroon into the chocolate and put them on a sheet of parchment to set. Once they have all been dipped, drizzle the excess chocolate over the top. You can now pop them in the fridge for a while to set the chocolate.
They’ll last for a good few days in a sealed tin. Enjoy!