I’d always been confused when people spoke about macaroons in the past – to me they are little coconutty biscuity things, crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, but then these funny French sweet pastel-coloured sandwich things turned up and everyone seemed to call them macaroons too. Which one is the real macaroon and which is the imposter? I had to know, so I consulted Mr Google and it seems us Brits (well the less cultured ones like moi) have been calling the French delicacies macaroons when they are ACTUALLY called macarons! Who knew one less vowel could make such a difference.
Upon delving even deeper into the world of online etymology, it seems that macaroon comes from the Italian ‘maccherone’ which means paste, as they were originally made with an almond paste back in 9th Century Italy. The story goes that Italian Jews then adopted the recipe as it was unleavened so could be made during the Jewish festival of Passover. They then shared it with other European Jews and thus the macaroon love spread. I’m wondering perhaps then if it was my Jewish heritage that drew me towards making these, although it’s equally likely that my sweet tooth played a part too.
These macaroons are absolutely scrumptious, and the juicy strawberries complement the sweet coconut flavour really really well, as well as giving them a lovely light pink colour! The drizzle of chocolate on top makes them even more indulgent (and even more delicious) and has the advantage of making them look very fancy, so perfect for a little dinner party dessert!
- 3 cups desiccated coconut
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 2/3 cup strawberries
- 1/2 cup raw chocolate
Preheat your oven to 180C then pop the strawberries in a blender until they form a purée. Add this and the other ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir together well. Use a tablespoon measure or your hands to shape them into little mounds and pop them on a lined baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes and allow them to cool for a couple of minutes before eating! Drizzle with melted raw chocolate if you fancy – we’d thoroughly recommend it!
Love, Mrs H xx