Chocolate-less coconut macaroons (John Whaite Bakes)

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In an era where my favourite chefs have been around so long now, that I struggle to find anything new in their new cookbooks, I’m really appreciating that my favourite food show, which of course is Great British Bake Off, is beginning to produce some great new talent to feed my groaning cookbook shelves. I’ve already written about how much I like James Morton’s book and John Whaite’s book is equally good. John Whaite Bakes is divided into chapters of recipes according to mood, Whaite is open about how baking has helped with his depression and he has recipes to bakes when blue or anxious, as well as recipes for tranquil moments, to invoke nostalgia (of which the macaroons recipe is one and it has so worked with me, just a mouthful of these invokes memories of eating these at my grandmother’s, she was not a brilliant cook but she had a wicked way with desiccated coconut), there’s also speedy solutions , a section of really decadent recipes, an artistic section and finally a section of party recipes. There’s some interesting recipes and not recipes I can find countless versions of in all my other baking books to.

The macaroons, as I said really remind me of my childhood and I think they’re probably one of the nicest things I’ve made in a while, in that sort of eyes screwed up in pleasure sort of way, as you take a bite. They’re crisp and chewy on the outside and melt in the mouth creamy on the inside. They should have had chocolate on but I attempted, for the first time, to melt chocolate in the microwave and despite following instructions I found on the web, the first time the chocolate seized and the second time it burnt, will stick to the old fashioned method in the future. That’s what you get when you’re squeezing in a quick bit of baking between shifts at work and feeding the kids, the hob had the kids tea on, so I had to use the microwave. Still, they still taste beautiful without the chocolate.

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