I taught my lovely friend Amita how to make macarons yesterday. She doesn’t eat dairy so she’d asked if we could make some dairy-free ones. Macaron shells – made of ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites – are naturally dairy and gluten free, though in all my recipes, there’s dairy in the filling. It was time to do some experimenting and come up with an alternative! We made one batch of peanut butter macarons, using dairy-free Vitalite spread as the butter substitute. They worked beautifully and you couldn’t really tell the difference between Vitalite and butter in the end products. We also made some raspberry and chocolate ones, which I ordinarily fill with ganache.
After some googling, I found some people who’d had success using Vitalite melted with chocolate, but that doesn’t a bit grim. So we tried coconut cream instead – using the same ratio as you would for a normal ganache filling. And you know what? It worked beautifully.
This recipe produces enough ganache to fill about 25 macarons or fill the middle of a two later cake. The texture is very similar to normal ganache – it’s only slightly different. You can taste a very subtle hint of coconut in it but it’s a pleasant addition! It’s one part chocolate to one part coconut cream for this one, but I used the amounts below. It’s perfect for vegans, those with a lactose intolerance, or those who simply don’t want to eat dairy.
- 150g good quality dark chocolate (dairy-free – but most good dark chocolate is!)
- 150ml coconut cream
- Heat the coconut cream in a bowl over some simmering water. Don’t let the water touch the bottom of the bowl.
- When it’s warm, break up the chocolate and add it to the coconut cream. Leave to melt for 5-10 mins as you continue to heat it.
- Whisk the two together until smooth.
- Leave to cool for about 30 mins. It takes time to cool down to the right consistency to pipe or spread.