Raspberry Coconut Macaroons [vegan + gluten free].
Long time no recipe posts, I know, but when in doubt Smitten Kitchen always makes me wanna bake. First of all, let me be clear: these are macaroons. Not macarons. There is nothing (as unimportant) that makes me more (unreasonably) furious as when people call macarons ‘macaroons’ in some sort of horrible lazy bastardised French-British mashup. You can make the most beautiful, fragile, pastel-shaded macarons in the world, but if you incorrectly dub them ‘macaroons’ I will scream like a velociraptor and punch you in the face.
I’m glad we got that out of the way. ‘The Great British Bake Off’ is a very stressful time for me.
But guys, guys. Pedantry aside, look how great I am! Macaroons are traditionally made with predominantly coconut and egg whites, and since egg whites are not a thing I eat, I thought this might be a bit of a challenge. There are vegan macaroon recipes floating round the internet, but all with vastly different quantities of liquid and sweeteners, and given that I wanted to stay as true to the Smitten Kitchen recipe as I could, it took a bit of mental gymnastics and a couple of goes to get the consistency right. Things you should know:
- I have a very tiny food processor, to match my very tiny kitchen. It did not do a good job grinding the coconut, BUT I am nonetheless firmly pro the idea of grinding your coconut into something like a thick paste, for a more delicate texture.
- I made these with ¼ tsp of xanthan gum, as I was worried they’d fall apart otherwise. If your coconut is more pastey, you probably don’t need to worry about this. There’s a chance you don’t need to worry about this anyway, but I’d already made one dud batch and couldn’t afford to risk a second, so I used it. If you try it without, let me know how if it works!
- Sweetened vs. unsweetened coconut. Hoo boy. I went with sweetened as per SK, but it occurred to me almost as soon as I got home that this was probably a stupid idea, given that I’m pretty sure there is no governmental department committed to standardising coconut sweetness. So I may be working with something very different to the sweetened coconut available in the US, for example. For the record: I used Sainsbury’s brand sweetened coconut, which lists coconut as its primary ingredient (always a relief) at 65%, followed by icing sugar. So if you’re somewhere in those proportions, ace. Otherwise you might want to kick up or take down the additional sugar accordingly.
- These do go soft quite quickly, so you probably want to eat them on the day they’re made. (This may not be the case with the non-vegan version, I don’t know). I’m still eating mine a few days later because we’ve established I’m very greedy, and also because they still taste rad. But if you eat them on the first day, you get to enjoy this, the antithesis of a soggy bottom:
I feel like I’m hiding porn under the cut. Look at my bottoms.
I feel like I’ve already raved about the flavour of these on every form of social media I have, so I’ll keep it brief: raspberry and coconut together. A REVELATION. I ate vast quantities of the raw batter and was not remotely sorry.
200g (7oz.) shredded sweetened coconut50g (¼ c.) caster sugar (I used about 30g for my second batch and didn’t notice a difference)¼ tsp. salt½ tsp. vanilla extract90g (3 oz.) fresh raspberries60ml (¼ c.) full fat coconut milk2 Tbsp ground almonds or almond meal¼ tsp. xanthan gum - optional; see note above.
Preheat oven to 160C / 325F. Line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
In a food processor, blend the coconut for about a minute. Add sugar, salt and vanilla and blend for another minute, then finally blend in the coconut milk, almonds and xanthan gum. Add raspberries and pulse machine on and off in short bursts until they are largely, but not fully, broken down (so you get the nice ripple effect, rather than a uniform raspberry pink). Yeah, they’re literally this quick and easy to make. Dangerous, I know.
Scoop the batter onto the baking sheet in roughly equal balls. I got about 11 out of this much batter, but if you were a more refined person who licked their spatula significantly less than I do, you could make it a dozen. Don’t flatten down the scoops! If anything, I gave them a little roll between my palms to make them rounder. You’ll thank me, &c.
Bake for around 25 minutes, until slightly toasted on top, and let them cool on the tray for a while so they can firm up before you move them. Dine like a fuckin’ queen, friend.