Thursday, July 09, 2015

A Homemade Life: Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate Ganache

A couple months back, I noticed a new addition to one of my favorite shopping centers - A Lost Abbey tasting room, "The Confessional."

 Lost Abbey is my favorite San Diego craft brewery, and this tasting room was close enough for an after work get together with my friends.  The only problem?  You're not supposed to drink when pregnant.

So I made plans with M that when we were both done being pregnant, we would plan a girl's night there.

The new tasting room is also very close to our pediatrician.  So after one of Thatbaby's doctor's appointments, Thatboy and I headed over to check it out.

It's a small place, but I love the way the interior has an organic feel, with curved lines, and wood everywhere.  There's even a tree right inside the entrance.   The menu has two components, "drink here" and "drink later."   There's the slew of regulars on draft, and you can get a growler to take home of any of them.  They also sell bottles - some hard to find, their classics, and seasonal brews.

We started off with a summer seasonal - the Lemon Yellow Sun by Port Brewing Co., the counterpart to Lost Abbey.  It was brewed for the National Homebrewer's conference, earlier in the month.  A pale ale imbued with citrus, it's the perfect summer beer.  A step up from throwing an orange slice in a hef.

Next Thatboy tried the Serpent's Stout, a classic stout with flavors of coffee and chocolate.  I went with one of my all time favorites, Red Barn Ale, an herby, fruity saison. I've been waiting months for this one!

 For round 3, I tried their seasonal saison, Carnevale.  A fruity, spring saison, this one was lighter than Red Barn.  Thatboy had the Lost and Found.  Lost Abbey uses raisin in many of their beers, which gives a very interesting flavor.  Lost and Found makes good use of this technique.

We rounded out the tasting with Judgment Day and Avant Garde.  Judgment Day is another raisin-y ale, but darker and more full bodied than Lost and Found.  Avant Garde is a warm "drink with anything" kind of ale.

We ended up taking a bottle of Agave Maria, a seasonal beer aged in tequila barrels home with us.   The Confessional doesn't serve any food, but they're located right beside a "pizza by the slice" store, so you won't go hungry.  Want something lighter?  Sambazon Acai is across the way.  Or you could pick up something a little heavier and more diverse from nearby Seaside Market. 

I didn't ask, but I would bet money you could also bring your own snacks in.  Like how we go wine tasting.  Beer goes with just about anything- meats and cheeses are always popular, or french fries.  Or cookies.  Like these macaroons.  I've made macaroons before, but this is definitely my new favorite macaroon recipe ever.  First, because it's easy.  And I'm a sucker for easy.  Second because it tastes so fresh and light!  Being Jewish I've had my fair share of macaroons.  A can makes their way to every Passover, until I grew up.  They're my least favorite Passover treat, those heavy balls of sweetness and not much else.  This version still has some sweetness (coconut will do that) but not the heavy feeling.  And the bittersweet chocolate is a welcome addition.

 Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate Ganache (From A Homemade Life)
3 cups lightly packed sweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup egg whites
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

  1. Place the coconut, sugar, and egg whites in a heavy saucepan and stir well.  Cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, 10-15 minutes, until it no longer looks creamy but is sticky and moist.  Remove from heat
  2. Stir in the vanilla.  Scrape the mixture into a pie plate or small baking sheet, spread it out a bit to allow it to cool quickly, and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 300.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Scoop mixture into small domes and space evenly on baking sheet.  Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden.  Cool completely and place on rack over baking sheet.
  4. Put the chocolate in a medium bowl.
  5. Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat, until it is hot and steaming.  Remove the pan from heat and pour cream over chocolate.  Let sit for one minute, then stir until smooth.
  6. Spoon warm ganache generously over the macaroons, shaking them gently to coax the ganache down their sides.
  7. Refrigerate the macaroons on the rack until the ganache sets, at least 2 hours.


  1. Ooo I think I would love those saisons...I'm so into them lately!

  2. An absolute favourite of mine. I could never stop at one.