When we moved this summer I was overjoyed to find we had two flower beds just outside the front of the house stuffed with lavender. This of course meant I felt obliged to put said lavender to good use and so I began to comb the internet looking for ideas. Among the things I found was this gem from Hemsley Hemsley (they have some other fantastic recipes that are worth trying out too) for Lavender and maple coconut macaroons.
I really love coconut macaroons and the thought of adding lavender to them was intriguing. I have to say it really works, but a word of warning, they are terribly moreish! If you avoiding wheat/gluten then they make an ideal sweet treat.
Because this just wants the whites from the eggs I timed my baking for when I was also making ice-cream and the yolks went into the ice-cream.
- ¾ tsp lavender flowers, or more to taste
- 4 tbsp pure maple syrup
- ½ tbsp vanilla extract
- 150g (5½oz) desiccated coconut
- 3 medium egg whites
If you are using a conventional oven then you’ll need to preheat it before you begin to 170°C/330°F/gas mark 3½. If like me you are using an AGA, they want to go in the baking oven.
Prep a baking sheet at the outset by lining it with greaseproof paper.
Chop the lavender finely – I used a herb chopper, then add your lavender to a large mixing bowl with the maple syrup, vanilla extract and the coconut and mix it well. Put it to one side while you prepare the egg whites.
Put the egg whites in a clean bowl and whisk with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks. You can do this by hand but I prefer to use an electric hand mixer for ease.
Gently fold your egg whites into the lavender and coconut mixture using a metal spoon to pull it altogether gently.
Now, scoop little heaps of the mixture out onto the baking tray you prepared earlier. You might have to stir the mixture a little as you go to prevent it from separating out. If you want to be precise you could use a tablespoon measure for the scoops and you should then get about 18 macaroons. I just went for dollops of mixture and so got rather less.
Pop into the oven for somewhere between 12 and 15 minutes until they are lightly browned. With the AGA because there are no smells from the oven into the kitchen I find it very easy to forget there’s anything in there, so I always try to remember to set a time. A little kitchen timer has saved me from having to take the charred remains straight outside on more than one occasion.
I think these are rather lovely as they are, but I fancy trying them with one half dipped in chocolate or a chocolate coating on the base too.