There’s been a hell of a lot of hype about French Macarons lately. They’re more ubiquitous than cupcakes were a couple of years ago. They’re in every fancy patisserie, part of every posh dessert menu and a staple of every food photography blog from here to Timbuktu. While I’m sure the people of Mali have bigger (proverbial) fish to fry, I still wouldn’t be all that shocked to see a food blog come out of Timbuktu. It would probably feature macarons, piled artfully on an ancient clay plate and shot against the rusty hues of a rapidly desertifying city.
Don’t get me wrong. I like macarons. A good one is delightfully light and flavoursome and they look downright adorable. Which is, of course, why they are so popular on the blogs. But I get bored easily. I don’t care if they are popcorn flavoured with a salted caramel centre (don’t get me started on salted caramel), I’m sick of them. The sad thing is, I haven’t even eaten all that many macarons, I’m just tired of seeing their cheery little non-faces everywhere I look.
All this over-saturation got me thinking about how, two years ago, I didn’t even know what a macaron was. I was familiar with the good old, two o’d macaroon. A crispy, gooey, light and heavy haystack of coconut, sometimes dipped in chocolate and sometimes left alone. The French version may be prettier and more refined, but cooking these you’ll never be prompted to write a 1000 word essay on how a spoiled batch of cookies ruined your whole Sunday. Therefore, they win!
- 3 egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 1½ cups coconut
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Heat oven to 150℃ (300℉).
- Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
- Beat the egg whites with salt until stiff and shiny. Add the sugar gradually and continue to beat. Fold in coconut and vanilla.
- Drop by teaspoons onto the baking sheets, leaving room for expansion. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- These are even better when dipped in melted chocolate!