On one of my particularly greedy afternoons, I was nibbling on a batch of – admittedly, shop-bought – coconut macarons, and thought they were a little dry. I raided the fridge and found cream cheese and lime curd, so I put them both to good use. The idea for this came instantly, and the next day I had to get down to work. The trick to an utterly toothsome macaroon base is to combine the coconut with melted marshmallows before baking. And since marshmallows are a great setting agent, I used them for the filling, too, so there is no need to bake that. 

Ingredients - serves 10 

  • 360g white mini marshmallows
  • 300g desiccated coconut
  • 300g good-quality lime curd
  • 450g full-fat cream cheese
  • Zest of 1 lime 


Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Grease and line the base and sides of a 23cm springform cake tin.

For the coconut macaroon base, put 180g of the marshmallows into a heatproof bowl with 1 tablespoon of water. Set over a pan of barely simmering water and stir until the marshmallows melt into a thick goo. Add the coconut – still over the heat – and stir until well coated in the marshmallow melt. Tip into the cake tin and press it over the base and up the sides. I find it far easier when I grease my hands with a little oil, and I prefer a more rustic, uneven edge (see picture). Bake the base in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. This will puff up a little, so as soon as it comes out of the oven, press it down gently to compact it. Allow to cool.

For the filling, repeat the marshmallow melting process with the remaining 180g marshmallows and another tablespoon of water. Once melted, remove from the heat and beat in the lime curd, then beat in the cream cheese – it’s easier to do this with a whisk but don’t whisk to aerate, just vigorously mix until smooth. Pour the lling into the cooled coconut base and refrigerate overnight. Don’t be impatiently prodding this or prematurely slicing it; just forget about it until it sets completely. Sprinkle over the lime zest before serving. 

Recipe taken from John's book, Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients. Buy here.