A couple of weeks ago I posted my first in a series of posts titled “Baking with ProCook”, we had this great plan to bake everyday so we can test all 6 silicone moulds and tell you about them… and as the saying goes about the best laid plans of mice and men that is to say this plan didn’t work out for us so well… a general lack of time, life getting in a way and to be totally honest just a small touch of pure laziness (I blame the weather it does not inspire one to greatness) stopped us from sticking to our plan… but nothing is lost, we will still do it, just slower than we planned when we set out…
Our new ProCook silicone 12 cup bunsheet came with a mint chocolate cupcake recipe attached to it. We said that we will try all the recipes from the packaging but to be honest we are just not very big cupcake fans – muffins, oh yes please, but cupcakes…
So when wondering what to bake in it, we came up with an idea… a remake with a twist on an already published recipe – our chocolate macaroons. However don’t panic this is not a rehash of an old post, well not completely anyways. This time they are Chocolate and Coconut Macaroons baked in cupcake forms, which means that they are much thicker and taste totally different… they are more like a small cake than a typical cookie (if that makes any sense)
There are 3 main changes when comparing it to our original recipe:
- Reduced volume of almonds and the addition of the coconut
- Baking mould instead of flat baking tray / sheet
- The inclusion of double cream
The cream Mark came up with to avoid the issue that arose in the original recipe. When you add the melted chocolate to the dry ingredients, the shock of hitting the cold ingredients made the chocolate almost immediately set, this made combining the ingredients evenly almost impossible. It did work up to a point but the end product lacked consistency as some macaroons where far more chocolaty than others. The addition of the cream removes this problem completely.
So what do you need to make them?
- 130g plain dark chocolate (or milk chocolate if you prefer)
- 50ml of double cream
- 200g ground almonds
- 100g desiccated coconut
- 130g caster sugar
- 1/4tsp almond essence
- 2tbps Drinking chocolate (use cocoa powder if you used milk chocolate)
- 3 medium egg whites
- Icing sugar for dusting
So how did we do it?
Preheat your oven to 180C.
Boil a kettle and fill a mug up with the hot water and pop a fork into it to warm up.
Prepare your 12 cup bunsheet – we used a silicone one and greased it slightly as per the directions for first time use.
Break up the bar of chocolate into the smallest pieces your finger strength will allow and put into a heatproof bowl over a pan with hot water, now add the cream and the almond essence. Stir gently and melt the chocolate, yes I know it takes an age but stir until smooth, then let it cool slightly whilst you get on with the next phase.
Place the ground almond and desiccated coconut in a large mixing bowl and add the sugar, drinking chocolate (or cocoa powder) and stir to combine. You will be done when the mixture looks like breadcrumbs and the colours are evenly distributed, and of course no lumps.
Whisk the 3 egg whites in a food mixer until stiff peaks form
Add the egg white foam to your bowl of dry ingredients and mix gently with a large metal spoon. Use the motion of around the edge and over the top till almost combined.
Pour in your chocolate mixture and mix gentle now till combined
Use two spoons to fill your bunsheet moulds, one to do the scooping and one to help ease your gooey goodness off the first spoon and into the moulds. Now grab that hot fork from the mug of hot water, the one you were wondering “what’s that for?”, and press each top down slightly to make ridges.
If you have too much mixture for your bunsheet you could always invest in a second one, as we are now going to do, because yes there is always some mixture left over. Until that second bunsheet arrives however you can always line a flat baking tray with some baking paper and scoop dollops of your left over mixture onto it, spacing them out evenly to aid the cooking. Don’t forget to squash them down a bit though to make the ridges.
Sprinkle a good dusting of caster sugar over the top of each one, this will caramelise in the oven and help make a crunchy top.
Nothing else to do so off to the oven they go for around 12-15 minutes depending on the enthusiasm of your cooker. Test them by poking one gently with your finger, if the top is set and dry to the touch, take them out, don’t worry that they may feel squidgy and not firm in the middle, they are meant to be like that and they will set as they cool. So in conclusion be very careful not to leave them for two long or you will lose the magic of the gooey chewy yummy middle bit that makes macaroons so special
Once you have removed them from the oven let them cool for a couple of minutes and then turn them out onto a wire cooling rack.
Enjoy with a nice latté as we tend to do or maybe a more traditional cup of your favourite tea if that’s more to your taste…and reach a state of Zen tranquillity replete with lots of “mmmmmm’s” and thus inevitably prepare yourself to make them quite often.