I decided to do two versions of Macaroons using a couple of unusual ingredients.
Dividing the basic recipe into two, one batch will be flavoured with a newish product on the market "Vanilla Bean Paste". If you'd had to scrap vanilla pods before you'll understand how good this is. You get those oh-so-desired tiny little seeds without the effort.
The second will be flavoured using Green & Black's Organic Hot Chocolate with Orange and spice - a change for using plain cocoa.
Basic Macaroon Recipe
2 cups desiccated coconut
½ cup sugar
2 egg whites
Vanilla Bean Paste Macaroons
I had thought of piping these but the mixture is way too firm so I made tiny bite sized rounds, about one inch/2.5cm in diameter.
In the close up you can see the tell-tale speckles of vanilla bean.
Dark Chocolate and Orange Macaroons
My inspiration for this, well, it's nearing Valentines Day, so with chocolate you must have hearts...
To cut the shapes I ended up tipping the mix onto baking paper and pressing it down with a fork so it would bind, then I used a normal cookie cutter to cut out the shapes - be careful lifting them, use a flat bladed spatula and they will hold together
Cook as per the recipe and Voila!
And the taste: Chewy centers and a nice crispness on the edges. The flavourings come through in both Macaroons.