Depending as to where you’re from will dictate what first pops into your head when you hear the word ‘macaroon‘. For me it’s these sweet coconut delights that take me straight back to being 11. Some people call these coconut haystacks. Before trialing this recipe I think the last time I baked these retro treats was during Home Ec in High School. I wanted to resurrect these to link in with a school’s How We Were topic. When deciding I was going to teach this recipe in some of my classes this term little did I realise how hard it was going to find the simple recipe I remembered. Luckily my classic 1950′s Good Housekeeping cookbook helped me out.
When developing recipes for my classes I have rules and with the price of ingredients shooting up it’s been quite a challenge to produce a term of recipes that link to topic, stick within £1 per person per recipe budget, teach important skills and most importantly taste good. A challenge I seriously relish. This recipe works out at a frugal 56p per dozen. At the end of term I always review my costings that I do at the beginning of the term to see if something could be done better and it’s always interesting seeing what prices have gone up over the term.
To be frank, it’s quite difficult to make these look pretty. You can press the mixture out on to a board and then cut small rounds out, but I prefer to pile it in mounds. If you wish they can be decorated with a ¼ of glace cherry on top before baking, These are plain, simple, understated, sweet and gloriously chewy.
The pupils have really enjoyed making these with the most enjoyable part being separating the egg then whisking the whites until they are fluffy. We looked at two different ways of separating the eggs. The younger pupils usually opted for the option of having the egg cracked onto their hand then letting the white pass through the fingers. Most of the older pupils used the technique of passing the yolk back and forth to the shell halves until your left with the white in the bowl and yolk in the shell. Of course when using eggs hands are washed thoroughly before and after touching the eggs.
1 egg white
100g desiccated coconut (make sure it is the unsweetened kind)
1) Whisk together the egg white and sugar until fluffy. You don’t have to whip it enough to get peaks.
2) Mix in the coconut until ingredients are well combined.
3) Line a baking tray with baking parchment and spoon the mixture in dessertspoon sized heaps on to the paper.
4) Bake at 180°c for 10 min. Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.