Passionfruit & Coconut Macaroons

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I made these for Luise and Elsa on Valentine’s day with the intention of sharing the recipe here on the same day. I planned to call them Passionate Macaroons. But then I realised that I didn’t want to spend Valentine’s evening in front of a computer. So here they are, a few days late but just as good.

Me and coconut macaroons go way back. Along with sticky chocolate cake, this was a treat that was easy enough for me to bake as a kid. So I did. Many times. And since then, I have been following more or less the same recipe, it’s so simple, quick, and delicious that I never found a reason to divert from it. That was until a few weeks ago. We were preparing our breakfast event at Little Bird Organics in Auckland when they handed us a bag of their passionfruit & macadamia macaroons that kind of blew my mind. Pairing passionfruit with coconut is just brilliant and it adds a new dimension to this classic cookie.

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I have borrowed their idea in my own version. The result is a very tropical, sweet and just slightly tart flavour mixed with all the richness that comes from coconut. This was also my first successful attempt at making them vegan without using an egg white as binder. Instead I use coconut milk, honey (or yacon syrup or maple syrup) and almond flour. They hold together well once they have cooled down but might be a little crumbly straight from the oven. Just pop them in the fridge if you want them firmer. You can replace the almond flour with almost any flour of choice, or cacao powder for a tropical chocolate version.

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Passionfruit & Coconut Macaroons (vegan + gluten-free)
Makes 12

Depending on your preference and the sweetness of the passion fruits you might want adjust the honey accordingly before baking. We find this ratio to be just perfect for us. Vegans that don’t want to use honey can of course use one of the other sweeteners listed. We have tried this recipe with different versions of sweeteners and they all turn out good.

2 tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil (or just extra coconut milk)
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/3 cup raw honey (or yacon syrup or maple)
1/2 vanilla pod, seeds scraped or 1/2 tsp ground vanilla powder
2 cups desiccated coconut, unsweetened
3 tbsp almond meal/flour (or other flour if nut allergic)
1/3 tsp sea salt

3 passion fruits
1 lime, juice

50 g / 2 oz dark 70% chocolate, for drizzling (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350°F / 180°C. Add coconut oil, coconut milk, honey and vanilla to a saucepan on medium heat and bring to a slow simmer. Add the desiccated coconut, almond flour and salt, stir and let it all come together into a sticky mess. Remove the pan from the heat, add passionfruit and lime juice and give it a good stir.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a large tablespoon, ice cream scoop or your hands to form the mixture into balls (about the size of a golf ball) with a flat bottom. Place them on the baking paper and bake for about 12 minutes in the oven.
Let cool slightly before serving or start making the chocolate drizzle: Pop them in the fridge while melting the chocolate in a water bath. Take out the tray form the fridge, dip a teaspoon in the melted chocolate and drizzle back and forth over the macaroons. Repeat until you are happy with the amount of chocolate.
Store in fridge, lasts for at least 5 days but will probably be gone within 24 hours.

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