Tag Archives: coconut

Coconut Mango Panna Cotta and Defrosting Update

A picture of some lovely ripe mangoes (88 cents each) in the most recent Food Basics flyer led me to consider making either mango creme caramel or a mango panna cotta. I decided on the latter since it didn’t involve turning on the oven. In the current heat wave, even with the A/C on, that’s an important consideration.

I was able to get a couple of cups of a smooth and tasty mango puree from two mangoes. And, using a can of coconut milk in place of whipping cream let me get some extra flavour into the creamy dessert while reducing the calorie count.

Based on the proportions of gelatin and mango puree I found in a recipe on line, I came up with a recipe. And then I had to adjust THAT since my panna cotta didn’t set enough to turn out cleanly. The recipe below is a bit awkward but uses amounts of coconut milk and mango puree that minimize wastage or leftovers. Once I get through all this test batch of panna cotta, I’ll play with reducing the recipe to something that’s more practical for a single person.

Coconut Mango Panna Cotta – serves 6 or 7 1/4 cup portions

1 can (400 ml / 1 2/3 cup) coconut milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 cup mango puree*
4 1/2 tsp gelatin (1 1/2 pkts Knox gelatin)**
2 tbsp room temperature water (or orange juice)

Mise en Place … after finishing this bowl of soup, I’m going to make my mango puree

* Two good sized ripe mangoes, diced and pureed in a stand blender, with as much juice as gathered while cutting and peeling the mangoes, should give you about 2 cups of mango puree. Taste the puree and, if needed, add a tablespoon or two of additional sugar before using.

** If using some other thickening agent, ie agar agar or sheets of gelatin, use enough to set 3 cups of liquid.

Scald the coconut milk. Pour into a large bowl and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Let cool until just warm to the touch. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt.

In a small bowl, empty the gelatin and stir in the orange juice and 2 tbsp of warm coconut milk. Stir/whisk until the gelatin is evenly moistened and then pour into the warm coconut milk. Whisk through. Add the mango puree and again, whisk until everything is evenly mixed together. (If desired, pass the mixture through a fine sieve to make sure there aren’t any mango fibres or undissolved bits of gelatin.)

Divide among as many small ramekins as desired. Portion size may vary from 1/4 to 1/3 or even 1/2 cup. Tap the bottom of the container, very gently, on a flat surface to release any bubbles in the panna cotta. If using fragile glasses, you may not wish to risk breakage so skip this step.

Refrigerate for a minimum of two hours, but preferably overnight, before serving.

NOTE: If you wish to turn out the panna cotta, lightly oil the ramekin with a neutral tasting oil. Otherwise, just pour into a pretty cup, let it set, and serve directly out of the cup.

Freezer Defrost Status: Before and After … as of July 1st, this is my upstairs freezer.

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Mini Coconut Cream Pies

This is the coconut dessert I was going to make originally, but with a busy work week I didn’t have the energy to make the filling, crust and topping needed. I found it online and rewrote the amounts and instructions to reflect the pastry making technique I used.

Mini Coconut Cream Pies

Pie Crust – makes enough pastry for a single 9 inch diameter pie top and bottom, or 6 x 5 1/2 inch diameter bases

1 cup very cold unsalted butter**, cut into small cubes
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup to 1/3 ice water (use just enough to allow the pastry to hold together

** I used half butter and half lard

Using a food processor, or a pastry blender in a large bowl, cut the cold butter (and lard) into flour and salt until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Small pieces of butter should still be visible.

Pour cold water over the mixture through the feed tube, pulsing until the mixture begins to clump together. If using the bowl, sprinkle a few tablespoons of water over the flour/butter mixture and toss with a fork until dough begins to form. Take a handful of the mixture into your hand and squeeze gently. If it holds together, stop adding any more water. (Use your hands as little as possible as the heat will melt the butter and work the dough as little as possible as it will develop gluten and your pastry will toughen.)

Divide the dough into 2 even sized balls, flatten into 2 round discs, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes. You can freeze the second disc for another time. (My pastry weighed about 600 gm.)

For the 5 1/2 inch mini bases, roll the pastry out about 1/8 of an inch thick and about 8 inches in diameter. Drape over the aluminum pie dish leaving some overhang. Finish the edges as desired. With the tines of a fork, prick all over the pastry and bake in a preheated 375 deg Fahrenheit oven until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Cool the pie shells thoroughly.

Coconut Cream Filling – makes 2 cups of filling, enough to fill 3 of the 5 1/2 inch diameter bases above

1 1/2 cups milk, scalded
5 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/3 cup of sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, finely ground**
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract

** I ground the coconut in my coffee grinder with about 1 tbsp sugar

Scald the milk in a sauce pan or in the microwave.

Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt In a medium sized sauce pan. Pour in half a cup of the scalded milk and whisk until smooth. Make sure that you don’t leave any dry flour/sugar in the corners by using a large soup spoon. Place on the stove over medium/medium-low heat and cook, whisking all the while, until the mixture starts to thicken. Add another half cup of the milk and continue cooking. When thickened, add the last of the milk and continue cooking until it has thickened again. Take the sauce pan off the stove and reduce the heat to medium-low, if needed.

In a small bowl lightly beat the egg yolks. Add about 1/4 cup of the hot custard mixture to the beaten eggs and whisk in to temper the eggs. Add another half a cup of the hot custard mixture to the eggs and whisk well. Pour the egg/custard mixture into the custard in the sauce pan. Whisk well and return to the heat. Cook while whisking until the custard mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat.

Whisk in the butter and the vanilla and almond extracts. Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Whisk a final time and fill the cooled pie shells. You’ll need about 2/3 cup of filling per mini pie shell.

Lay a sheet of food wrap on top of the surface of each pie and refrigerate for 4-6 hrs or, optimally, overnight, before topping.

Vanilla Whipped Cream – makes enough whipped cream to top 3 x 5 1/2 inch diameter mini pies

1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tbsp icing/powdered sugar, sifted

3 tbsp toasted shredded coconut for garnish

Combine the whipping cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract in a medium sized bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Spread on top of the cooled coconut cream filling. Garnish each mini cream pie with toasted coconut and serve.

Just a quick review … the filling was very tasty and I’d make it again but I’d use one of my other pie crust recipes for the shell. I may have rolled the crust too thick, and I certainly under-baked it, but I found the resulting crust heavy (not flaky) and bland. NOTE: I did substitute half the butter with lard so that may also have affected my results.

Mini “Magic” Coconut Pie Plus a Chocolate Variation

NOTE: I corrected the amount of flour listed in the recipe below as I realized I had written it incorrectly as the full (rather than the halved) recipe amount.

I had plans for a coconut dessert this weekend, as well as the chili etc., but it didn’t happen. I still had a coconut craving when I got home from work today, though, so I made a “Magic” coconut pie.

What does the term refer to, you may ask? Well, it’s one of those dishes in which all the ingredients are whisked together and then, during baking, they separate into a crust, filling and some sort of top. And because I didn’t want to be eating it daily – and doesn’t that sound familiar – I decided to scale down the recipe, which supposedly serves six, to half that. I had to do a couple of adjustments since my shredded coconut was unsweetened, and I used melted margarine instead of butter. I’m posting the revised recipe below.

Mini ‘Magic’ Coconut Pie – serves 3 (2 is more realistic)

2 tbsp  flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp  baking powder
1/4 cup  sweetened shredded coconut*
6 tbsp (1/4 cup and 2 tbsp) milk
2 tbsp melted butter**
pinch of salt**
1 egg
1 tsp  vanilla extract

* Replaced the sweetened shredded coconut with unsweetened coconut and an additional tbsp of sugar
** Replaced the melted butter and salt with just melted margarine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium sized bowl, mix all the ingredients together with a whisk or hand blender. Pour into a buttered and floured 5 1/4-inch wide pie dish. Place on a baking sheet in case of spills.

Bake in a 350 deg F oven for 35 min or until golden brown and set. (You may want to test with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.)

Let cool, slice and serve with a scoop of sweetened whipped cream or a small scoop of ice cream or gelato.

Chocolate Variation: Substitute 1 tbsp of cocoa powder for 1 tbsp of the flour in the recipe above.

NOTE: Visual progress of the pie

After 20 minutes, the pie showed little change.
After 25 minutes, it’s puffed up to almost double in size, there’s cracking on the surface, which is pale. The custard inside seems moist.
After 30 minutes, the surface of the pie has darkened somewhat and the custard seen through the cracks seems more set.
After 35 minutes, a toothpick inserted into the ‘custard’ filling comes out clean and the top is nicely browned.
Upon removal from the oven, the pie slowly deflates and about half an hour later, there is a definite depression in the central 2/3 of the pie.

The crust is defined but a bit soft and not like a ‘regular’ pie crust. Taste-wise, it’s delicious. And not overly sweet.

Barbie’s Super Simple Oatmeal Cookies (with Coconut)

I enjoyed the taste of the last batch of oatmeal cookies that I made … but the ‘look’ didn’t thrill me.

These, on the other hand, are very photogenic. And they taste good as well. Not overly sweet … next time, I’d use half the amount of salt though cause the margarine, which I used instead of butter, was salty enough.

This recipe also came out of Edna Staebler’s “Cookies and Squares with Schmecks Appeal”. The kitchen was a bit warm for September (77 deg F) so, by the time I had mixed up the dough and started shaping it into 1 inch sized balls, my dough was pretty sticky. I persevered and then refrigerated the resulting cookie balls.

After 30 minutes, I used the back of a fork to press down gently on the cookie balls in order to flatten them and baked the cookies for 14 minutes, instead of the 12 minutes recommended, in a preheated 350 deg F oven. I left the baked cookies on the baking sheet to cool for about 10 minutes, before using a thin metal spatula to transfer them onto the cooling rack, to finish cooling.

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Simple to make, with a crisp texture and just a bit sweet, a batch of these cookies can be put together while your oven preheats and the butter is melted.

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies – makes 5-6 dozen cookies

NOTE: 2nd amount is for a half recipe

2 cups oatmeal (rolled oats)                                  / 1 cup
3 cups Baker’s Sweetened Coconut                     / 1 1/2 cups
2 cups flour                                                                 / 1 cup
2 cups sugar, white                                                  / 1 cup
2 tsp baking powder                                                / 1 tsp
2 cups (4 sticks) melted butter**, cooled        / 1 cup
2 eggs, slightly beaten                                           / 1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract                                                 / 1/2 tsp

** used salted butter

Preheat oven to 350 deg F.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients and make sure everything is mixed together. The dough will be wet and sticky.

Place teaspoonfuls of the batter on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. The cookies will spread so only add 12 cookies per sheet.

Bake for 12-15 until the cookies are golden brown around the edges.

Let cool on baking sheet for 10 min then transfer to a cooling rack using a thin flexible metal spatula.

* * *

Trial 1 (cookies on the left): Cookies were baked right after the dough was mixed. It took 15 min for the edges to brown and the bottom to be golden. Spread quite a bit.

Trial 2 (cookies on the right) : In an attempt to reduce the spreading, the rest of the dough was shaped into 1 inch balls and refrigerated for 30 min. A second tray was baked at that point. Butter was observed to ooze out and pool around the cookie after about 5-10 minutes. As the cookies were not done after 15 min, they were baked for an additional 5 minutes. During this time, the butter disappeared. Next time, I might reduce the butter used, by 2-4 tbsp on a half recipe.

* * *

Stove-top Coconut-Raisin Rice Pudding

I haven’t made one of these simple recipe posts in ages. Perhaps I’ve been overwhelming everyone with all the pictures and information. I’ll try to do better in the future.

I’m eating out of the freezer these days so I’m not doing much cooking.

One of the goodies I found was a two serving container of leek and ground pork mapo tofu, so I made a pot of long grain rice to serve it over. I used half the rice for a comfort dish … rice pudding. The cold rice was combined with some odds and ends in the fridge … coconut milk and whipping cream. After the fact, I realized that I could have used some of the sweetened condensed milk in my fridge in place of the sugar in the recipe. Something to remember for the next time.

Coconut-Raisin Stove-top Rice Pudding

Coconut-Raisin Stove-top Rice Pudding – serves 4

2 cups cooked rice**
3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup whipping (heavy) cream
3/4 cup 2% milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup raisins
1 inch cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
ground cinnamon for garnish

** 1/2 cup raw long grain rice cooked in 1 cup water with a pinch of salt

In a medium saucepan, combine the cooked rice, coconut milk, cream, milk, sugar, raisins and cinnamon stick. Place the saucepan on the stove-top and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, for 25 minutes or until the rice is still somewhat loose. (Remember that it will thicken as it cools.)

Remove from the stove and take out the cinnamon stick and discard.

Stir the vanilla and almond extracts into the rice pudding.

Serve warm (or cold) with a pinch of ground cinnamon over the top.