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Recipe courtesy of Jason Smith

Toasted Coconut Gilded Macarons

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 5 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 1 hr 5 min
  • Yield: 15 macarons
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Ingredients

Macaron Shells:

2 cups confectioners' sugar

1 cup blanched almond flour 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

3 large egg whites, at room temperature 

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar 

3 tablespoons granulated sugar 

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

Red gel food coloring, for the batter 

Filling:

1/3 cup desiccated coconut

3/4 cup heavy cream 

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate 

To Decorate:

5 sheets edible gold leaf

Directions

Special equipment:
a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip; a disposable pastry bag
  1. For the macaron shells: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Using a 1 3/4-inch round cutter as a guide, draw 15 evenly spaced circles on each of two sheets of parchment paper (for a total of 30 circles). Flip the parchment over and line 2 baking sheets with the parchment paper.  
  3. Whisk together the confectioners' sugar, almond flour and salt in a large bowl and set aside.  
  4. Put the egg whites and cream of tartar in the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is opaque and foamy, about 30 seconds. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the egg whites are white in color and hold the lines of the whisk, about 1 minute. Continue to beat while slowly adding the granulated sugar, then the vanilla, until the peaks are stiff and the whites are shiny, about 1 minute more. (Do not overbeat.) Transfer the meringue to a large bowl.  
  5. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry mixture into the meringue, using 60 to 75 strokes (the batter should fold back on itself). Just before you are finished folding, add some red gel food coloring to the batter and continue to fold until the color is even and the desired consistency is reached. Spoon half the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip. Pipe the batter onto the parchment using the circles as a guide, refilling the bag as necessary. Tap the baking sheet hard on a table to flatten the batter out, then let sit at room temperature until the tops are no longer sticky when you lightly touch them, at least 20 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter on the second lined baking sheet. 
  6. Bake the cookies 1 sheet at a time, rotating the baking sheet once halfway through baking, until they have formed a 'foot' along the base and the tops are smooth and dry looking, about 14 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheets. (Leave the oven on.) 
  7. For the filling: Place the coconut on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 2 minutes. Stir the coconut, then bake for an additional 2 minutes. Stir again and bake for another 2 minutes. Continue in the same manner, keeping an eye on it because it can go from toasted to burned very quickly, until the coconut is toasted to a medium-brown color, about 6 minutes more. Let cool completely.  
  8. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling the pan a few times, until bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan but the cream is not yet boiling, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate in a bowl. Let sit for 30 seconds, then slowly whisk the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Fold in the toasted coconut. Let the ganache cool to room temperature.   
  9. Place the ganache in a disposable pastry bag. Snip about 1/3-inch from the tip and pipe about 1 tablespoon onto the flat side of a macaron shell. Place a second shell on top, pressing very gently to sandwich the filling. Repeat with the remaining macaron shells and filling.   
  10. To decorate: Place a gold leaf sheet face-down on a macaron shell, handling the gold leaf very gently, and rub gently with your finger or a brush so that the gold leaf separates from its baking paper and adheres to the macaron shell. Repeat with the remaining macarons.