Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Homemade Scottish Macaroon Bars and Mini Bites

There seems to be a fasion these days for the french type macaroons however I grew up with these scottish coconut macaroon and they are fantastic. The Scottish macaroon is a sweet confection with a thick velvety centre covered in chocolate and topped with roasted coconut.
Traditionally they were made with cold leftovers of mashed potatoes and sugar loaf. When the macaroon bar became commercial the recipe no longer used mashed potato because of shelf life limitations. The modern macaroon is made from a combination (depending on producer) of: Sugar, Glucose, Water and Egg White. These ingredients make a fondant centre.
This recipe was reportedly discovered by accident in 1931, when confectioner John Justice Lees was said to have botched the formula for making a chocolate fondant bar and threw coconut over it in disgust, producing the first macaroon bar.Here is the original recipe and method for making them using the mashed potato recipe.

1 or two medium potato(s)
Icing sugar ( large bag, you need lots of it!)
Several bars of good quality chocolate
( I use plain chocolate as it is not as sweet as milk chocolate and the inside of the macaroons are very sweet)
Desiccated coconut.


Boil and mash the potato and allow to cool. once cooled beat and mix with a wooden spoon to make sure it is very smooth.

Into the mashed potato add your icing sugar, you will need around 500g (maybe more!) but add small amounts first (pic 1 below) and keep adding more . You just keep going until the mixture is thick and doughy enough to handle.As you start to mix the mixture will become liquefied and became like wallpaper paste (pic 2) but just keep adding more icing sugar (pic 3) and it will come together to form a fondant like substance ( pic 4 ). This part is hard work as the mixture thickens! 

Once you have got the fondant ready, spread it out on to a tray and place it in the freezer for around an hour. After an hour remove it and cut it ito the size of bars or bite you want and them put it back in the freezer for a good 2 - 3 hours. This helps keep the fondant shaped when you put it in the chocolate. After a few hours gently melt your chocolate and toast around half of your desiccated coconut ( only toast under a hot grill for around 20 - 30 seconds ) then mix it with the rest of the un-toasted coconut.
Once your chocolate is melted and you have toasted the coconut you have a choice. You can either mix the coconut with the chocolate or leave it in a bowl and put the chocolate covered fondant in to give a really good coating of coconut.   (see images below )

Once coated with chocolate and coconut place the macaroons in the fridge for an hour then enjoy!

These fresh Scotish Macaroons will keep for around three days out of the fridge or four to five days in the fridge so eat quick or give them out to friends, family or neighbours! 


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