Market Hall Pastry Chef Neucimar Dias Da Silva grew up in Brazil, where coconut is plentiful. Here is his unique recipe for coconut macaroons, a Passover favorite.
“[In Brazil], we have some kind of macaroons made with fresh coconut that contains no flour or egg whites. Instead of sugar, it is made with condensed milk. And that’s what inspired me to come up with this recipe. I do use eggs whites, as most recipes in the U.S. do. I also use coconut milk to bring the dried coconut to life again, and instead of sugar I use condensed milk. I use Chocoa coating chocolate (couverture), a Belgian chocolate that is kosher. Sometimes I also use Callebaut, also kosher. The chocolate needs to be melted over a hot water bath or in a microwave, and the macaroons are dipped in it.”
Yield 50 1-inch macaroons
1 pound dried shredded coconut, unsweetened
2/3 cup (5 ounces) coconut milk (not a “lite” version)
2¼ cup (24 ounces) condensed milk*
¾ cup egg whites (4 eggs)
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until combined. Place the bowl containing the mixture over a pot of simmering water and stir with a spatula until it is hot to the touch (120˚), approximately 7–10 minutes, until the coconut absorbs most of the liquid. Let dough rest in the refrigerator for a few hours, or even better, overnight. Portion macaroons with a tablespoon and shape them into 1-inch balls, or use a small ice cream scoop (#40) for the shaping. Bake at 375˚ for approximately 15–20 minutes.
*[Note: The sweetened condensed milk is made with sugar, not high fructose corn syrup, which would not be appropriate for Passover.]