Not to be confused with Macaron!
I’ve had my share of debates with others on if a “macaroon” is the English translation of the French word “macaron”, or if they are two separate products.
With a bit of research, i’ve established that the word macaroon is a generic phrase that is applied to a number of small, sweet confections. Mostly, the term is equated with the the moist and dense coconut macaroon, which is composed of egg whites, sugar, and dried coconut, piped with a star-shaped tip, and often dipped in chocolate. The coconut macaroon, or congolais, as it’s known in France, is frequently served during passover because it contains no flour.
A macaron is the same egg white and sugar mixture (in most cases with added food colouring) with folded in ground almonds, as opposed to coconut. The almonds give it a much cleaner sandwich like texture, where the coconut is more rustic with a much different taste and feel. A macaron is much more versatile when it comes to individuality. They are usually sandwiched between products such as lemon curd, pastry cream, chocolate ganache etc. My favourite and most impressive macarons I’ve seen to this day were made from Culinary Team British Columbia Pastry Chef Fumiko Moreton at The Taste of Talent Benefit Dinner
It was not just a novelty and it was actually good! I could taste chocolate hazelnut (Gianeuja) as the “patty”, green shredded coconut as the “lettuce” (I thought it was Pandan at first), marzipan (almond paste) as the “cheddar cheese”, and the toasted sesame seeds. They were nice, crispy, chewy, and moist and I could really taste all the layers.
The photo above shows one of the many variations of macarons.
Coconut Macaroon Recipe
454g Shredded unsweetened coconut
454g Granulated sugar
150g Egg whites
5ml Vanilla extract
In a stand mixer, whip the whites to soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar and vanilla and continue to whip to stiff peaks. Add 1/3 of the coconut and gently fold them in with a rubber spatula. Add the rest of the coconut and fold until fully incorporated. Scoop using a small ice cream scoop or spoon on to a parchment paper or silpat lined sheet tray. Bake at 160˚C or 325˚F until lightly golden brown. Let cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container.