A celebratory treat: Coconut Macaroon – “Gateaux Coco”
On the occasion of one of the most important days of celebration in Mauritius, Mauritian chef and food blogger Brinda Bungaroo shares the recipe for a little cake that reminds her of primary school days….
Little coconut macaroon or more precisely “Gato Coco” is a very popular little cake sold in many corner shops and patisseries on the island. They come in different shapes, colours and flavours, and are deliciously nutty. I have always been and still am crazy about these little delights, and can never refuse them when I see them in the shops.
I have chosen these especially for you on this special day of Mauritius Independence. Nostalgia, nostalgia… while I think of all of the school children gathered in the assembly room and proudly singing the National Anthem. Taking me back in time… after singing we were offered a selection little patisserie with a glass of fizzy drink. That moment was so blissful and it felt like having a reward for singing and celebration of the Special Day.
Here is my version of one of those little treats, divine and delicious.
Makes 10-12 little macaroons
• 125 gms desiccated coconut (or grated coconut)
• 300-350 gms sugar or 1 can sweet condensed milk
• 250ml water
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Food colouring of your choice
See my note below for colouring and flavouring. Method
1. Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan on medium heat until a syrup forms. If using sweet condensed milk, mix the coconut with the condensed milk. Then cook on medium heat (see below).
2. Add the coconut and stir well. Keep stirring continuously until you reach a thick consistency.
3. Once you notice when you stir the mixture, it leave the bottom of the pan almost clean, you know you have the right consistency. Remove from the heat.
4. If you are doing the “Gato Coco”, coconut macaroon in different colours, place in separate bowls and add your chosen food colourings. As mentioned above for the brown flavour, just add cocoa powder. If you like Mocha flavour, add a few drops of strong coffee to the cocoa powder.
5. Use a teaspoon to scoop up balls of the coconut mixture and place on a tray lined with baking paper. Allow to set in the fridge for half an hour and then serve.
6. These will keep for a few days. If any of you have tried them, serve crushed in bread roll….heavenly
Brinda’s Note: If you like the brown chocolaty flavour, use cocoa powder. If doing pink ones, add a few drops of Rose water to match the colour of your cakes. For green, you can add almond essence. White ones, you can simply add few drops of vanilla essence. Feel free to experiment with flavours. In one of the cakes in the picture above, I have added chopped fresh basil. The little hint of fresh herbs instantly lifts the flavours.
Find more recipes from Brinda on her blog and her Instagram account.
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