Flourless Chocolate Cloud Cake

This lofty cake is so crammed full of chocolate and butter and air, there’s no room for flour–although we made sure to leave space for ample swoops of softly whipped cream.

This lofty cake is so crammed full of chocolate and butter and air, there's no room for flour--although we made sure to leave space for ample swoops of softly whipped cream.

Coconut Chocolate Macaroon Recipe

Many people tell me this is one of their favorite recipes from my cookbook, Ready For Dessert. In addition to these fantastic Coconut-Dipped Chocolate Macaroons in it, you’ll find the much-loved recipe for Fresh Ginger Cake, which makes a fantastic dessert served with sliced, juicy peaches or flavorful strawberries and raspberries in the summer, or tangy lemon cream in the winter, as well as my other most frequently…

Chocolate coconut macaroons

Many people tell me this is one of their favorite recipes from my cookbook, Ready For Dessert. In addition to these fantastic Coconut-Dipped Chocolate Macaroons in it, you’ll find the much-loved recipe for Fresh Ginger Cake, which makes a fantastic dessert served with sliced, juicy peaches or flavorful strawberries and raspberries in the summer, or tangy lemon cream in the winter, as well as my other most frequently requested recipes.

I’m often asked about the different between Parisian macarons and American-style macaroons, like these. Both are egg white-based, however the European version (which was invented in Italy) uses almonds whereas the American ones use coconut. There’s some dispute about how the American ones came to be made of coconut; one theory is that European immigrants who came to the United States couldn’t get almonds, or they were too expensive, so they used coconut.

Another theory is that European companies wanted to ship their macarons over longer distances, so swapped out coconut for the spoilage-prone nuts. Others credit Franklin Baker, an American flour miller, who found the then-exotic shredded coconut more interesting (and less-expensive) to use than nuts. Either way, I like all kinds of macaroons…or macarons.

Coconut macaroon recipe

The French do make coconut cookies, which are called Congolais or Rochers à la noix de coco, usually shortened to Rochers coco, or coconut “rocks.” I’ve not seen them dipped in chocolate in any French bakery – but why not?

Chocolate coconut macaroons

I’ve tweaked this recipe over the years and tested them with flour alternatives, which I’ve noted in the headnote in the recipe, and they come out great. You can even skip swiping the bottoms in bittersweet chocolate if you wish. No matter how you make them, I hope they become one of your favorite cookies, too.

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Coconut and Chocolate Macaroons

From Ready for Dessert
I invariably make these cookies when I have extra egg whites on hand. The dough freezes beautifully if I don't plan to make the macaroons right away. These coconut macaroons can be made without the flour by substituting 2 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch or potato starch for the flour. Readers have told me the recipe works well with 1/4 cup matzoh meal substituted in place of the flour.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword coconut, cookie, macarooon
Servings 30 Cookies

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups (250g) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 1/2 cups (200g) unsweetened shredded coconut (see note)
  • 1/4 cup (35g) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 3 ounces (90g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped

Instructions

  • In a large skillet or wide saucepan, mix together the egg whites, sugar, salt, and honey.
  • Over low heat on the stovetop, stir the egg whites and sugar together until the mixture is tepid, but not warm or hot. You don't want to cook them; just warmed slightly so they are looser.
  • Add the coconut, flour, and vanilla. Continue to stir the mixture over medium heat for a few minutes until it thickens to a cohesive mass. (It'll be like very thick oatmeal and the bottom will very slightly start to scorch.) Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature.
  • When ready to bake, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and preheat the oven to 350º F (180ºC).
  • Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch (4cm) rounds in your hands, squeezing the dough to coax them into rough rounds (remember, the French call them "rocks," so they can be a uneven - for smoother rounds, dampen your hands), then place them evenly spaced on the baking sheet. Bake the macaroons until deep golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely.
  • To dip the macaroons in chocolate, melt the chocolate in a clean, dry bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in a microwave.) Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Dip the bottoms of each cookie in the chocolate and set the cookies on the baking sheet. Refrigerate 5-10 minutes, until the chocolate is set.

Notes

Unsweetened shredded coconut is available in most natural food shops or you can purchase it online. Flaked coconut is larger and I haven't tried these macaroons with the flakes but if that's all you have, I would pulse the flakes in a food processor a few times until they're finely shredded.
Storage: The baked macaroons will keep for up to three or four days if stored in an airtight container. If dipped in chocolate, store the cookies in a cool place. The dough can be refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for at least two months.

chocolate raspberry pavlova stack

It’s been way too long since we had a showstopper of a dessert. When I look over the last four years of archives, it seems that practical, slightly boring and grownup things like salad and dinner have nudged out cooking purely for the pu…

It’s been way too long since we had a showstopper of a dessert. When I look over the last four years of archives, it seems that practical, slightly boring and grownup things like salad and dinner have nudged out cooking purely for the purpose of generating and distributing decadent joy. The Celebration Cake category looks like the land that time forgot. And so on this very snowy/slushy day, and the day before Valentine’s, no less, I’d like to recommend: Not a weeknight dinner.

chocolate raspberry pavlova stack-11

Here is a three-tiered chocolate pavlova, a crackly-edged, pillowy-centered meringue, with a few messy, wonderful things between and on top of it: raspberry curd, barely sweetened whipped cream, a drizzle of chocolate ganache, fresh raspberries, and a dusting of snow, almost as pretty as what’s out my window right now. There are corners you can cut if you wish: you could use a drizzle of storebought chocolate sauce, you could make a quicker raspberry dessert sauce instead of making the curd, but as the curd uses 6 egg yolks and the pavlova uses 6 whites, you might find the balance of ingredients when you make both as satisfying as I do. You could also revert to the single-layer chocolate pavlova in the archives, should you need less of everything.

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carrot cake with coconut and dates

I realize that sharing a new recipe for a carrot cake the day after Easter is about as useful as a new latke recipe the day after Hanukkah ends or a perfect buche de noel on December 26th. I’d intended to share this a week ago and &#8212…

I realize that sharing a new recipe for a carrot cake the day after Easter is about as useful as a new latke recipe the day after Hanukkah ends or a perfect buche de noel on December 26th. I’d intended to share this a week ago and — hubris alert! — I was patting myself on my back for my own cleverness, the first sign things are going to head south. What could be more perfect for a week that contained both Easter and Passover, while also saving so many people the work of having to adapt a gluten- or dairy-full cake to not include them? Nothing! But I was unraveled by dual forces: first, some confusion about whether or not baking powder, a leavener, is allowed on Passover, a holiday that prohibits leavened breads [turns out it is!] and also by our own Seder preparations [we had 16 people here on Wednesday night; I’m criminally bad at outsourcing so I cooked for 3.5 days straight]. And that brings us up to today. A lovely thing about having a 16 year-old for a cooking blog, however, is that even poorly-timed arrivals tend to find their rightful place in the archives. When you come looking for a flourless carrot cake, be it today, next week, or next April holiday season, this will be here, seemingly right on time.

carrot cake with coconut and dates-01carrot cake with coconut and dates-03carrot cake with coconut and dates-04carrot cake with coconut and dates-06

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How I Modernize My Passover Table (Without Betraying My Bubbie)

Passover is a Jewish holiday that’s been celebrated for thousands of years. Needless to say, the traditions we observe for it are… also old. To celebrate, Jewish families like mine have a big feast called a Seder on the first two nights of the 8-day ho…

Passover is a Jewish holiday that’s been celebrated for thousands of years. Needless to say, the traditions we observe for it are… also old. To celebrate, Jewish families like mine have a big feast called a Seder on the first two nights of the 8-day holiday. It’s a ceremony that has carefully prescribed rituals, including several special dishes and foods that need to be placed on the table in order to properly perform the Passover Seder. The most important is the Seder plate, which is the ceremonial centerpiece that contains six symbolic ingredients (more on those later). A festive kosher-for-Passover meal follows the ceremony, and although you can really serve anything that’s kosher-for-Passover (or free of chametz—this typically includes leavened foods, but can also include corn, rice, peanuts, lentils, and more, depending on who you ask), there are a few traditional recipes you can expect to see. In my family, the same dishes are served the very same way year after year—gefilte fish that sits on a single leaf of curly lettuce garnished with a boiled carrot coin, matzo balls swimming in golden chicken soup, potato kugel, boiled eggs, carrot tzimmes, and brisket. Everything is relatively beige, but delicious nonetheless.

When I was a kid, my mother held my siblings and I hostage for three days before we hosted the Passover seder. We’d have to polish the silverware, press the linens, set the table, help prep vegetables, and lay out our clothes. My mother’s stress was palpable and for good reason: We’d usually have at least 20 people over for dinner, and she wanted everything to be perfect.

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For a New Take on Old Traditions, Consider This Passover Grazing Board

Passover is a holiday that celebrates spring, rebirth, and redemption. Passover traditions change and evolve—no two Seders are the same, which makes them so special. One delightful tradition I stick to is the frequent instruction to drink wine (I don’t…

Passover is a holiday that celebrates spring, rebirth, and redemption. Passover traditions change and evolve—no two Seders are the same, which makes them so special. One delightful tradition I stick to is the frequent instruction to drink wine (I don’t need to be reminded, but it’s a great excuse). Another is having the youngest child ask “The Four Questions,” explaining what Passover is about (the exodus of the Jews from Egypt) and answering, “why is this night different from all other nights?” In my family, I was always the youngest child, so I sang the questions in Hebrew until I was 35. My mother always joked that all she got from my Hebrew school education was the Four Questions. (I actually think that made the tuition worth it.)

With my own kids now shouldering this burden, I can relax! No more anxiety about singing in front of everyone, which means I can drink my wine and chill. And now that I don’t have stage fright, I’ve realized there’s something seriously lacking: snacks. So I have a fifth question to add to the mix—why no snacks at Passover? I don’t see a good reason to exclude appetizers from this meal. We have to sit through a long service while dipping herbs in salt water, reciting prayers in Hebrew, and repeatedly washing hands, all without more than a bite or two of matzo until dinner. Isn’t this holiday about freedom? We’re asked to recline at the table and drink wine, all sans nosh? (Honestly, I usually end up sneaking little matzo, charoset, and horseradish sandwiches under the table).

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Dorie Greenspan’s Mocha Walnut Torte

A rich walnut torte, that happens to be gluten-free and full of chocolate and coffee flavor, is a perfect dessert for sharing. Especially when covered with rich ganache.

A rich walnut torte, that happens to be gluten-free and full of chocolate and coffee flavor, is a perfect dessert for sharing. Especially when covered with rich ganache.

Ina Garten’s Waffle Iron Hash Browns

Drag out your waffle iron and reacquaint yourself with it—then devour some of the most delectable hash browns you’ve ever had. Get ready for a diner-worthy dinner at home.

Drag out your waffle iron and reacquaint yourself with it—then devour some of the most delectable hash browns you've ever had. Get ready for a diner-worthy dinner at home.