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orange & toasted coconut macaron

October 17, 2012

I made these macs in September.

The beginning of September.

In time for Father’s Day.

But somehow, as tends to happen in situations where you think you’re just about at a point where life has calmed itself right down to a manageable state of affairs, I lost the plot, flew in and out of Melbourne two or three times (with another trip happening next week!), helped to move the family business from a location we’ve held for the last 12 years into a new commercial space and decided to open my own branch of said business. (Not in that order).

And so the macaron were delayed.

I also managed to squeeze in a kids camp (where I taught 15 kids in a sticky, hands-on rice bubble treat and hommus mixing class), a mini photoshoot for a great local joint, a birthday picnic complete with 60 mini cupcakes and a couple of weekends packed with hens nights, baby showers and the like into that time.

And then I decided I didn’t like my photos. That I wanted to re-make and re-shoot the recipe. That… I couldn’t because my oven was busted.

It’s amazing how much a busted oven can send a girl into a funk. A one-month pity party full of ideas and nowhere to have them come to life.

(Which wasn’t strictly true, as I had my apartment’s oven and Koji’s oven to carry me over.)

(My excuse being that my apartment’s oven is a million years old and measures everything in Farenheit, and that Koji lives in a share house where there is often a tray full of hardened chicken grease sitting in the oven.)

I never even realised how much I relied on the darn thing to keep my spirits up until I found myself sitting on the floor in front of it with a forlorn look on my face and the newly imagined recipe for a cookie in my hands. Turns out, where others use therapy and chocolate, I use a big square box with a light and a heating element to maintain my sanity.

Weeks (and numerous emails, phone calls, “We have the parts!” / “We won’t have the parts for a month” / “We have no record of your complaint” / “Looks like we found the complaint records” and threats of contacting the Ombudsman) later, Blanco finally fixed our well-within-warranty oven and life has slowly started to come back to normal.

And still, I haven’t had time to re-shoot the macaron.

So you’ll have to deal with these photos instead. (And a couple of happily snapped instagram shots to add to the collection, if you like.)

(Way back when I made them, they sat atop a smaller version of my orange & coconut cake and made it quite the sight to behold!)

orange & coconut macaron

makes approximately 20 macaron sandwiches (with two shells & one set of filling… and leftover filling)

you will need (for the macaron):

25g shredded coconut
100g egg whites
85g almond meal
200g icing sugar
50g caster sugar
1 tsp powdered egg whites (optional)
orange gel food colouring

how to do it:

1. Put the shredded coconut in a dry frypan and toast it over a medium heat, tossing occasionally until it starts to smell like the tropics and browns nicely. Remove from heat and let it cool. Pop the cooled coconut into a spice grinder and whizz until it has the consistency of sand.

2. Put the egg whites in a microwaveable bowl and zap on defrost for about 10 seconds. Let them sit while you continue with the recipe.

3. Put the almond meal, coconut and icing sugar into a food processor and pulse until it is well combined and there are no lumps left. Place this mixture into a large bowl.

4. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and powdered egg white (if using) until they reach soft peak stage. Add the caster sugar a bit at a time and continue beating until they form stiff / firm peaks.

5. Add the meringue mixture to the almond meal, coconut & icing sugar mixture and stir quickly and firmly at first to combine the mixtures and bash all of the stiff bubbles out of the egg whites. Once it starts looking combined, take out a scoop (about 1/5) of the mixture and place it in a separate bowl.

6. Add the orange colouring to the main mixture and stir carefully until the colour is combined into the mix and the mixture becomes shiny again. If you flick a streak of mixture across its surface, it should disappear back into the mixture in a few seconds. Using a clean spatula, mix the 1/5th that you took out until it is a similar consistency.

7. Using a round piping tip (between 0.7 – 1cm is ok) and piping bag, pipe the orange mixture onto a baking sheet in 3-4cm circles.

8. Place the plain (uncoloured) mixture into a piping bag with a 0.1 or 0.2cm round tip and pipe the circle and three intersecting straight lines directly onto the surface of the orange macaron. If you are quick enough, the mixture will dissolve into the orange so that there is no visible bump. If you would like a bumpier texture (where the plain mixture sits on top of the orange) wait 15 minutes or so before starting to pipe the white mixture onto the orange.

9. Leave the macaron to sit for at least half an hour after the last piping is done, or until you can touch the surface of the macaron without leaving fingerprints.

10. Pre-heat your oven to 150C and bake the macaron for 20-25 minutes, turning the heat down at the end if they start to brown too much.

11. Fill with orange & coconut buttercream and orange gel per the below recipe.

orange & coconut buttercream

you will need:

1tbsp toasted, ground coconut
150g butter (cubed)
2 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp (20ml) coconut cream
zest of 1 orange

how to do it:

1. Put the shredded coconut in a dry frypan and toast it over a medium heat, tossing occasionally until it starts to smell like the tropics and browns nicely. Remove from heat and let it cool. Pop the cooled coconut into a spice grinder and whizz until it has the consistency of sand.

2. Beat the butter in a mixer until it is soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat it until it is smooth.

3. Add the remaining sugar, the coconut cream, orange zest and ground coconut and beat until it is smooth and pale in colour.

[Pipe circles of the butter cream on each macaron shell, as well as a dollop in the middle of each so there it looks like a target. You’ll fill the gap between the buttercream with orange gel, so the buttercream needs to be piped in a way that will allow it to be a barrier, stopping the gel from escaping!)

orange gel

you will need:

50ml orange juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
zest of one orange
2 tbsp white sugar
4 egg yolks

how to do it:

1. Put the juices, zest and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over a medium heat until it comes to a simmer (ie: tiny bubbles breaking the surface). Remove from the heat.

2. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl until they are fluffy and pale.

3. Add half of the egg yolks to the saucepan, whilst whisking vigourously, until they are combined. Add the rest of the egg yolks in the same fashion.

4. Return the saucepan to a low heat and cook, whilst whisking continuously (not fast, just moving stuff around) until the mixture thickens up and is glossy. This will take between 5 to 10 minutes.

5. Strain the mixture, let it cool and then spoon it onto the macaron shells, in between the piped circles of buttercream. When you bite into a macaron you should be able to see the buttercream around the edges and the gel in the centre.


  • #1
    koji
    October 17th, 2012

    you cut your oranges the right way!

  • #2
    October 18th, 2012

    They still look fantastic shez, i really love the play on the cross section of the organge. Good to hear you’ve been busy and I’m sure your readers (inlcuding myself) have missed your regular posts :)

  • #3
    October 19th, 2012

    These look great! Looks so yummy =)

  • #4
    October 19th, 2012

    Despite what you think I love your photos :) Makes mine look… abismal. I’ve tried using coconut before in my macaron shells but they put craters through them when baked… will have to get my hands on a spice grinder me thinks. Mmm yumyum!

  • #5
    October 20th, 2012

    OMG these are the cutest thing i’ve ever seen!!! i love it, well done!!!!

  • #6
    October 20th, 2012

    These are adorable. If it wasn’t so hot today I might attempt some macarons myself. I doubt they’d be as pretty as these though.

  • #7
    October 20th, 2012

    The photos are great and these are such cute macarons!

  • #8
    October 21st, 2012

    so adorable! you should sell them!!

  • #9
    October 23rd, 2012

    Zomg what a toool!!! I swear I thought I’d already posted a comment but must’ve closed the window before I clicked the submit button omggg… Anyway, this post was honestly jaw dropping. Best macaron post I’ve seen, and there’s a lot out there! The flavours are just what I enjoy most and it’s so unconventional that you paired orange with coconut, I love it! And not to mention how cute they look with the design. You really continue to leave me in awe. Thanks for this, Shez. And hey hey hey I’m SO looking forward to making your jam. Got my strawberries waiting for me in the freezer but having exams soon so can only make em after. Really can’t wait!

  • #10
    October 24th, 2012

    Seems like you’ve been real busy! Hehe cute macarons :) Love the idea of the orange gel

  • #11
    October 26th, 2012

    What beautiful macarons! You have far more patience than I, to create something so perfectly detailed.

  • #12
    November 4th, 2012

    This looks amazing! Cant wait to try!

  • #13
    November 21st, 2012

    Fantastic, great combo of the buttercream and gel in the middle! One day I’ll make macarons… one day…

Shez