Showing posts with label coconut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coconut. Show all posts

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Coconut Snowball Mini Bundts #BundtBakers

Coconut snowball mini Bundts are subtly coconutty inside and full-on coconutty outside. Best of all, they look like small snowballs, perfect little sweet gifts for your neighbors and friends. If you can bear to give them away.

This month our Bundt Bakers’ theme is Winter Wonderland so we’ve got lots of great cakes for you with holiday flavors. I wasn’t sure if coconut was necessarily a traditional choice but last weekend I was at a friend’s house and one of her current food magazines had a gorgeous photo of a three-layer coconut cake with the caption: The only Christmas cake you need to make. Or something like that.

We all agreed that it would never be the only Christmas cake one needs to make, because it’s clearly not actual Christmas cake as we know it. But it would be nice, if you like coconut. Which I most certainly do. With that in mind, I baked these little coconut Bundts, because they look like snowballs.

For the cake batter – fits one Nordic Ware Duet pan
1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
3/4 cup or 150g sugar
1/2 cup or 120ml coconut oil, at room temperature
1/2 cup or 120ml coconut cream
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder

For the frosting:
1/3 cup or unsalted butter or vegetable shortening, or a combination
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups or 312g powdered sugar
1 to 3 tablespoons coconut cream

For decoration:
2 cups, not tightly packed, or 195g sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C. Grease and flour your Bundt pan. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat all of the cake batter ingredients at low speed until well mixed, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently with a rubber spatula.

Put it all in at once. Super easy.

Increase the beater speed to medium and beat for five minutes, stopping every couple of minutes to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Slowly pour the batter into your baking pan.  Smooth out the top with your rubber spatula. This is a Nordic Ware Duet pan.

Bake in your preheated oven for 32-38 minutes or until golden on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes. The tiny Bundts should begin pulling away from the sides of the pan.

To make the frosting: Beat the butter and/or shortening until fluffy. Beat in the salt and vanilla. Add a tablespoon of coconut cream.

Sift the powdered sugar into the mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the rest of coconut cream a little at a time till you get soft spreadable frosting.

Frost the mini Bundts liberally, then cover with coconut, gently pressing it into the frosting so it sticks. You can leave the hole empty so they still look like mini Bundts or fill the holes with coconut for more of a snowball effect.


Many thanks to our host this month, Laura from Baking in Pyjamas. Check out all the other Winter Wonderland Bundts.


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Coconut Curry Shrimp Noodles #FishFridayFoodies

When you have a craving for curry laksa noodles but don’t have the time, this quick spicy coconut curry shrimp pasta hits the perfect spot.

Last year around this time, my husband and I took off for a long weekend in the Seychelles. We booked a place online that looked idyllic, and indeed it proved to be. Set on a lush green hillside overlooking a gorgeous blue-green bay of the Indian Ocean, it was a one-bedroom chalet with a huge porch and a small, but well-equipped kitchen.

One of my favorite adventures in a new place is to explore the local markets and cook with local ingredients. To save from needing to buy essentials in a place where much is imported, I had done a little research to discover what we could bring safely and packed a cooler and a small suitcase with things like pasta and coffee.  The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands so I felt fairly certain seafood would be abundantly available. I had in mind a fish curry for dinner one of our nights, so I brought Thai red curry paste and a packet of coconut milk powder.

The view from our porch

We found local markets without a problem, even a couple that were roadside stands attached to farms, where we bought produce and fresh eggs mere steps from where they were produced. Score! Despite the Indian Ocean all the way around the island of Mahé where we were staying, fish and seafood were hard to find! We didn't know if they were exporting it all or if no one could be bothered to fish for a living but we eventually found a bag of frozen shrimp in a little supermarket to make the seafood curry. You’ll never guess where it came from. Yep, the United Arab Emirates. I should have just brought it from home in my cooler. It would have been way cheaper.

We did manage, finally, to eat local seafood at a seaside restaurant one evening so perhaps they know some fishermen personally. Also, we arrived at the central market in Victoria late one afternoon and there seemed to be a fish counter there, although it was empty, save a few leftover fish from that morning, clearly past their best. I can only hope it's better stocked first thing in the morning.

The mostly-missing seafood mystery aside, I can highly recommend the Seychelles for a holiday. The beaches are gorgeous, colorful fragrant flowers fill the roadsides and forests, the local dishes are tasty, the beer is great and the people are very friendly. We rented a car and explored the island, finding gorgeous little coves to swim in where we felt like we were the only people on the island. Idyllic indeed.

Anyhoo, that’s a long story for a dish that takes mere minutes to make. Since that night in the Seychelles when we dined on UAE shrimp and sipped on chilled Seybrew lager, I’ve made this dish many times, most recently just two nights ago. It’s become a firm family favorite.

3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons red curry paste (I use 3 heaped spoons – we like things spicy.)
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 1/2 lb or 675g shrimp, already peeled and cleaned
8 oz or 225g thin noodles
Fine sea salt
1 14 oz or 400ml can coconut cream
Good handful cilantro, chopped

Sauté the onion with olive oil and curry paste in a pan that’s going to be big enough to hold all of the ingredients later.

Once the onion has softened, add 1 1/2 cup or 360ml water with a teaspoon of salt and the noodles. Cook over a low flame with lid on for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the shrimp with another sprinkle of salt.

Cover again and cook until shrimp are pink and the noodles are done. Give the whole thing a stir.

Pour in the coconut cream and stir to combine.

Cook at little longer, until the dish is heated through again. Try not to let it come to a boil though.

Stir and taste for salt, adding more if needed. Stir some of the cilantro into the dish then garnish with the rest.


As the nights turn chillier in many places, my Fish Friday Foodie friends are sharing seafood pasta dishes that should help you warm up. Many thanks to our host this month, Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking! Check out all our creative pasta dishes.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Long Beans with Coconut #SundaySupper

Fresh long beans with coconut milk are rich and spicy, though the coconut milk helps mellow the potency of the red chili peppers. 

This week my Sunday Supper group is sharing their favorite regional recipes, the ones that define home for them, whether from their place of origin or an adopted city or state that became home. I must confess that I struggled with this one. I’ve called so many cities home, growing to love each and every one from the little Podunk oilfield town of Balikpapan, Indonesia to Paris, the City of Love. And, of course, that doesn’t even take into account my birthplace New Iberia, Louisiana or Houston, Texas which I list as my hometown on Facebook. How to choose just one recipe?

One of the first things I do when we move to a new place is to wander up and down every aisle of the nearest local grocery store or food market. My goal is not necessarily to make an immediate purchase but to see what they have that we love or to discover new unfamiliar ingredients. Take these long beans, for instance. They are common in Asia, often easier to find than the normal green beans I grew up with. And since the long beans are locally grown, most of the time they are cheaper too. They look a bit alien, all curled up in bunches tied with a bit of string or a rubber band to keep them tidy. The little beans inside are larger than our US green beans and have a tinge of purple around the edges.

While I have made my grandmother’s green beans with baby new potatoes and Clara’s Garlicky Green Beans and Carrots with them, somehow they seem to go better with a more Asian style recipe. This one with spicy coconut originates in either Indonesia or Malaysia. They both claim it, but since I’ve called both places home, I’m not going to name one and get the other riled up.

1 lb or 450g long beans
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves
1-2 red chili peppers
1 tablespoon canola or other light oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup or 60 ml thick coconut milk (Scoop out the stuff that floats to the top of the can.)
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut the tips off one end of your long beans and then cut them at an angle into more manageable pieces, discarding the tips at the other end as well.

Cut your peeled onion in half and slice it thinly. Slice the garlic and finely chop the peppers.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and tip in the long beans.

Boil for 2-3 minutes then drain them in a colander. Run cool water over them to stop the cooking process.

In a pan large enough to stir the green beans later, sauté the onions, chili peppers and garlic in the oil until they soften. Add in the ground spices and sauté for a few minutes more.

Pour in the thick coconut milk and stir well to combine.

Add in the blanched long beans and stir again to coat the beans with the now spicy coconut milk.

Sprinkle on salt to taste and a few good grinds of fresh black pepper and stir again.

You can cook the beans longer if you like them softer. We prefer them pretty crunchy so I cook them just a couple of minutes in the coconut milk so it evaporates a bit and clings to them.

This dish can be served warm or cold so it's perfect for bringing along to your next potluck or barbecue as well.


What meal or dish means home to you? Perhaps you’ll find it in this list of favorite regional recipes from the rest of the Sunday Supper tastemakers. Many thanks to Sue from Palatable Pastime for hosting this great event!

Beverages and Breakfast 
Salads and Sauces

Side Dishes and Soups

Main Dishes
Plus Rhubarb Steamed Pudding and Favorite Regional Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter every Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

  Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Gin Lime Coconut Truffles #GalentinesDay

Tart and sweet with the zip of a little gin, these white chocolate and lime truffles are rolled in coconut for a little trip down the islands.

Happy Galentine’s Day! Yep, you read that right. Galentine’s Day: The day women celebrate women, breakfast style, inspired by this scene in Parks and Recreation.

Our smart and lovely organizer, Nancy from gotta get baked, is in charge once more this year, along with her co-host, Courtney from Neighborfood. Their invitation to join the fun said we must also write about a woman who inspires us. I’d like to write about 43,990,000. Give or take a few.

Many years ago, when I was living in Brunei with my father, we had a sweet lady from the Philippines working for us. She cooked, she cleaned and she helped look after my little baby half sister. I was surprised to learn that she had been a schoolteacher in her home country but could make more working as a housekeeper in Bandar Seri Begawan than she could teaching school in her village. So she applied for a job through a maid service, left her own children behind with their grandparents and moved to a foreign country to raise other people’s children.

Lirio was one of an estimated 83 percent of 53 millions domestic workers worldwide, who are women. (Source: International Labor Organization) Millions of whom leave their own families behind, to make a better living elsewhere, so that their own children will have better lives. The sacrifices they make, living with strangers, in strange lands, caring for families other than their own, are deemed worthwhile, because the support money they send home each month is crucial to the wellbeing of their families.

Here in the UAE, it is common practice to hire maids from overseas. I see them in flocks at bus stops on Friday morning, often their only day off, headed to the malls or beaches, to spend time with friends. They are laughing and smiling, enjoying their freedom and a day of rest and recreation. But I know they must miss their children, all the day-to-day milestones of skinned knees and spelling tests, afterschool snacks and goodnight kisses. I admire their work ethic, their dedication and their sacrifice. It’s never an easy job but they are doing what mothers the world over want to do, care for their children, in the best way they know how.

To read about the women who inspire the rest of our Galentine’s Day group and to check out the other wonderful recipes, make sure to scroll down to the link list below.

For the truffles:
10 1/2 oz or 300g good quality white chocolate – I use Lindt bars.
6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup or 150g butter
Zest 1 lime
2 tablespoons lime juice
5 tablespoons gin

For rolling the truffles:
1 cup or 85g desiccated coconut (Not sweetened coconut flakes)
Zest 1 lime

Zest your limes and then juice them, keeping the zest and juice separate.

Add the cream and the white chocolate, broken up into squares, to a heat resistant mixing bowl. Place the bowl on top of a pot about one quarter filled with water. Bring the pot of water to a slow boil, stirring the chocolate and cream in the bowl above, until the chocolate is completely melted.

Add in the butter, cut into pieces and stir until it is melted.

Remove the bowl from the heat and add in the zest of one lime, 2 tablespoonf of lime juice and the gin. Stir until completely combined.

Leave the mixture to cool and then place it, covered, in the refrigerator until it turns solid.

Mix the zest from the second lime with the desiccated coconut.

Use a teaspoon to scoop out small amounts of the firm mixture and roll them into balls between your clean palms. Place the balls in the dry coconut and roll them around until they are well covered.

Place them directly on a serving plate or use little paper candy cups. If you are living in a warm climate, keep the truffles refrigerated until you are ready to serve. These also freeze beautifully!

This made 33 truffles but you would probably get more if you can control yourself and make them all as small as the first ones. Mine tend to get bigger and bigger as I go along.


And now, as promised, the other Galentine's Day recipes with inspiring stories. Make one for a special woman in your life! 


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Impossible (Coconut) Pie #FoodieExtravaganza

Plenty of eggs, milk and coconut, with just a little flour, this pie makes its own crust as it bakes. Impossible, you say? I don’t know how but it works!

Just about six years ago, I saved a recipe on the internet. By which I mean, I copied the text and the URL and put them both in a Word doc and filed it under Recipes/Sweet in my computer. I have no idea what original search brought me to The Impossible Pie, but the title intrigued me. The original recipe was on a .au registered website written by a man named Gourmet Jack, which no longer seems to be in operation, more’s the pity. He had a sense of humor and some great recipes there, as I recall.

As you all know, baking more pies has been one of my recent personal resolutions for the last few months, starting with joining FridayPieDay back in May last year. Well, things are about to get serious this month! I am starting out today with The Impossible Pie for Foodie Extravaganza and I’ll have at least two more pies for you in February, once again for Friday Pie Day and then on the last Sunday of the month, Sunday Supper is celebrating pies, both sweet and savory. And who knows what else in between once the momentum gets going. I can hardly wait!

But first, to the pie at hand. This guy is rather like coconut custard, but it's got the soft texture of a cheesecake, without the cheese, of course. Parts of it are almost flan-like. The side crust and top are golden and buttery, perfectly complementing the tender interior. Hats off to Gourmet Jack, wherever he is! I’ve made a few adaptations, like adding a little baking powder and doubling the coconut, but this one is still unmistakably his.

4 large eggs
2 cups or 475ml cold milk
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
1/2 cup or 65g all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup or 60g butter, plus extra for buttering the pie plate.
1/2 teapoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups or 230g sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat your the oven to 350ºF or 180°C and prepare your 9.5in or 24cm deep dish pie plate by greasing it liberally with butter. The deep dish is essential. If all you have are shallow pie pans, use this recipe to make two thinner pies.

Put all the ingredients in blender, except the coconut. I suggest putting the eggs in first and the flour in last so you don't end up with a clump of flour stuck to the bottom below the blades of your blender.

Blend at high speed until thoroughly mixed. Gourmet Jack says to count to 10 and it's done.

Add in the coconut and blend again for a few seconds.

Pour the mixture into your buttered deep dish pie plate.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until edges and top are golden brown. The very middle will still be a little bit jiggly when you take it out of the oven, just like a cheesecake, if you’ve ever baked one of those. It's really puffy when it first comes out.

Cool completely on wire rack before attempting to slice and lift out of the pie plate.

The pie firms up nicely as it cools. The top also sinks down, but don't let that bother you.

It occurs to me that it's been a very long time since I've shown you a photo of my furry helper. Both in the kitchen and for every photo shoot, he's always supervising. And looking out for fallen food so he can help clean up. He's a very tidy Boxer.


Many thanks to our Foodie Extravaganza host today, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm. Without her pie promptings, this Impossible Pie would still be languishing in the archives of my computer recipe files, saved for nothing two computers and three countries ago. And what a shame that would be!

Check out all the other lovely pies we have for you today, both savory and sweet!

Foodie Extravaganza celebrates obscure food holidays or shares recipes with the same ingredient or theme every month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook group Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out here.