at sideshow stalls, they throw the balls at coconut fur

Winter has got me, and not in an epic, sweepingly-caped Game of Thrones kinda way (although, phew, look at that show’s very casual body count) but in the more unremarkable, throat infection kind of way. While I’ve been coughing at intervals during the daytime, I’m starting to wonder if there’s some chemical or hormone that’s released just as you’re about to drift off to sleep (perhaps to dream about being cast as Amy in Company, as my brain somewhat plausibly presented me with recently) which reacts with whatever’s happening in your throat. Because it’s at night when I cough the most. My brain is woozy and dozy, but my throat and lungs are wide awake and on fire.



So I’ve generously applied a tea made from chopped, carroty-fresh tumeric root and fibrous chunks of fresh ginger. I’ve drunk a lot of water, sipped Gees Linctus, eaten leafy green vegetables, and dissolved so many lozenges on my tongue that my teeth’ll probably corrode before the season is out…and also had some whiskey. Fingers crossed this elixir mix gets the better of my immune system soon.

In the meantime, here are the promised Coconut Macaroons – luckily, as in previous winters, I haven’t got a blocked nose and therefore no sense of taste. Those winters are no fun at all. I’d take a cough and no energy over that any day. I’d never tried these Coconut Macaroons before, despite owning How To Be A Domestic Goddess since 2006. But one of the many manifest joys of Nigella Lawson is that with her massive quantity of recipes, there’s always deliciousness anew to discover and love.

This is how much coconut they use…On the other hand, only two egg whites! These macaroons are less sophisticated than their French macaron counterparts, but they’re significantly less terrifying to make, too.

Coconut Macaroons

From Nigella Lawson’s important book How To Be A Domestic Goddess

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 100g sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 250g shredded/fancy shred/long thread coconut (if all you have/can find is dessicated, I’m sure it’s fine, but Nigella does make a bit of a point of saying that shredded is better – am just the messenger)
  • 30g ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or coconut essence

Set your oven to 170 C/340 F and line a baking tray with baking paper. In a non-plastic bowl, whisk the eggs till just frothy, then add the cream of tarter and whisk some more till you get soft peaks forming.

At this point, carry on whisking – fun! – while gradually adding the sugar a teaspoon at a time. It should eventually be thick and shiny, by the time all the sugar’s used up.

Now plunder all this gorgeous meringue-y hard work by tipping in the coconut, salt, extract and ground almonds, and fold together till you have a sticky mixture. I’ll tell you now: this mixture tastes amaaaazing.

Take a quarter cup measure, and scoop out cups-ful, dumping them down onto the tray. You should get between 8 and 12 out of this mixture. Bake for around 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. If you like, once they’re cool, drizzle them or swirl their bases in melted dark chocolate (around 150-200g should do this lot)

I love them. They’re satisfyingly large, pleasingly occupying both biscuit and cake territory, chewy with the fresh, summery taste of coconut and the bounty bar-echoing delight of their optional chocolate coating. They’re just seriously delicious.

Title via: the very lovely David Bowie’s earlyish song Karma Man, from the album London Boy.

Music lately:

With the lack of sleep that recurrent coughing brings, I’ve not been drawn towards anything with a heavy beat or a heavy meaning to process lately. Which is why Patsy Cline and the serenely beautiful Ali and Toumani album, for example, have been played a lot.

Next time: I found this amazing roast vegetable tart recipe, vegan and gluten free and delicious and everything. Hopefully will be blogging with a non-inflamed throat next time, too.


13 thoughts on “at sideshow stalls, they throw the balls at coconut fur

  1. Hannah says:

    Love the plate! Also, I'm rather sick and tired of macarons, so I very much appreciate this return to old fashioned goodness. Although, of course, this might be a bit too coconutty for silly me 😛


  2. Anonymous says:

    You've sold me on the macaroon mixture. I'm more excited to eat that than the finished product (which sounds delicious, too)!

    Hope you feel better soon (and fresh tumeric! nice!) 🙂


  3. Couscous & Consciousness says:

    Hi Laura -so sorry that you have a cold – that really sucks 😦 that night coughing is really the worst!

    Loving these macaroons though. When I was a kid, whenever we went down to Hamilton for any reason we would always stop at a little bakery in Mercer and buy a big bag of coconut macaroons, which would happily be munched on in the car. I adored then and they were my Dad's favourite too, so I am going to make him a batch of these on the weekend. Of course, I know he'll share, so we'll both be happy 🙂

    Thanks for sharing the recipe and hope you're feeling better soon.

    Sue xo


  4. Janae says:

    Hello! First off, I love your site(!), I find it so friendly and fun to read. I love the title inspirations and music mentions at the end.

    Also, your macaroons look lovely. A lot of recipes I've seen (and tried) call for sweetened condensed milk, which I find makes the batter too runny, and therefore the macaroons turn into soggy, sad heaps. Yours are perfectly formed and beautiful, I'm guessing because they smartly only include egg whites (Nigella is awesome).

    Hope you feel better!

    PS. I think it's some kind of universal law that the minute you try to sleep when you have a cold, the coughing attacks begin.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Coconut Macaroons! They are cute but lend themselves to be decorated with some bunny ears and a fluffy tail 🙂


  6. Anonymous says:

    This reminds me of one I used to make with orange, possibly my first ever post with a photo but dam tasty, must try them again.


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