Moroccan coconut ghrouiba or macaroons, an icon of Moroccan street food
These coconut macaroons are sweets we most of city dwellers Moroccans love.
There is something nostalgic about them , the reason being that they’re one way or another linked to our childhood. They were (and still, I hope) sold near school gates. There was always someone selling them for as cheap as 50 cts which is half of a Moroccan Dirham and at that time that amount was a lot.
There is an handful of coconut ghrouiba/Macaroon recipes in the Moroccan baking repertoire but these are special: their chewy texture is different, their crust/shell is different in a way that it’s tastes like a fudge.. It’s like you’re biting into a Parisian Macaroon but with coconut and no filling.
Anyway, they’re easy to make. What’s the difference between these macaroons/ghrouiba and any other version (beside the obvious ingredients)?
Well, they’re cooked twice: we cook the mix over a bain-marie or at least over medium heat while constantly stirring. We shape them then we bake them. If you choose to use a bain-marie, the water should never reach a boiling point..
Please excuse the the poor resolution of these pictures, I baked them at night. I even forgot to take more photos but it’s not complicated to mix the ingredients so it does not really need a proper tutorial in pictures.
Makes 16 ½ shells or 8 sandwiched shells
Prep: 25 min- baking: 10 min
- 120 g of unsweetened dessicated coconut
- 70 g cake flour
- 3 egg whites (medium-large)
- 230 g of caster sugar
- 50 g of glucose (*)
- 7 g vanilla powder
In a non-stick pan, mix all ingredients and place over medium heat. Keep stirring the mix constantly for 8 to 10 min. The mix first will start to liquefy then will become sticky and thick.
Transfer the mix into a plate, cover and allow cooling and thickening even further. 30 minutes will do.
Shaping and baking
Preheat the oven at 200 degrees C. Cover a baking sheet with baking paper.
You may either pipe or shape balls with slightly wet hands. I did both, no difference. I flattened the balls 4 to 5 cm diameter/2 mm thick. You need to keep about 4 cm space between each macaroon because they expand (slightly).
Bake in a hot oven at 180 ° C for approx. 12 min. They should have some cracks and be nicely golden.
For the sandwiched version (and the authentic one sold in the street), once the macaroons are out of the oven, bring each two together and push to glue them. There is no need for jam or anything. They will stick to each other just by using a bit of pressure.
Note about the glucose
1- You may replace glucose with clear honey. If you are familiar with “confiserie” then you should know that adding glucose stops the mix from getting to a candy-hard stage and will keep the mix “chewy”.
2- I have actually forgotten to add glucose one while testing this recipe. I left the dough to cool, It didn’t finish cooling down that it was already hard to pipe.
The other thing is that the shell of the macaroons hardened after baking and cooling. However, if you leave them sealed for 24hrs they’ll soften..Not that it was bad, I actually liked that texture as well, but it wasn’t the ones I was trying to reproduce. But if you are looking for a chewy inside and a crunchy outside, just reduce the glucose to one heaped tablespoon instead of 50g.