Photograph: Martin Poole
In a food processor, whiz together the dessicated coconut, ground almonds and icing sugar for about 30 seconds, then sift into a bowl.
In a clean, dry mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then slowly add the caster sugar, beating well between each addition. Add the food colouring, if using, and continue to whisk until firm and glossy.
With a metal spoon, fold in the almond mixture one third at a time, using a figure-of-eight movement, until you have a glossy batter.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle and pipe 28 small rounds on to two baking trays lined with nonstick baking paper. Tap the trays firmly to knock out any air bubbles and leave, uncovered, for 1 hour to form a skin. Preheat the oven to 160°C, fan 140°C, gas 3.
Bake the macaroons, one tray at a time, on the middle shelf for 12 minutes, or until firm. Cool on the tray for at least 10 minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack.
In a food processor, combine all the filling ingredients until fluffy. Spread one macaroon with the filling, then top with another to form a sandwich.
Kitchen secret: the resting stage for macaroons is crucial, as the skin they form allows them to 'pop' when baked.
Recipe from A Passion For Baking by Jo Wheatley (Constable, £16.99)