Posts Tagged 'coconut'

Homemade Neopolitan [Coconut] Sundaes

Do you remember those Brach’s Pick-A-Mix bulk candy bins that they had at all the grocery stores? They still have them at some grocery stores, but you definitely don’t see them as often. You could eat a piece of candy and they had a little slot for nickles.

I absolutely love Brach’s Neopolitan Sundae…a chewy square of coconutty goodness!

When I saw this recipe for Neopolitan Coconut Strips on Martha Stewart, it looked so easy, I had to give it a try…

Combine the white chocolate (I used chips instead of chopped), condensed milk, butter, salt and vanilla (I used extract instead of vanilla beans) in a sauce pan and cook, while stirring, until smooth. Make sure the heat isn’t too high because you could burn the mixture…you don’t want to get little brown burnt flecks in your nice white mixture!

While that’s cooking, line a 8X8 square pan with plastic wrap. Once the mixture is smooth, take it off the heat and mix in the two types of coconut.

Divide the mixture by three. Add the chocolate to one batch and food coloring to the other, leaving the third batch plain.

The chocolate batch goes on the bottom. Smooth it out with a rubber spatula:

Then dollop the plain batch on top of that and smooth it out evenly:

Lastly, the pink coconut:

They look kinda gross up-close, huh? It yummy though, trust me.

The mixture is really sticky, so it makes it difficult to spread. If I could do it again, I would cut out 8X8 squares of wax paper to lay on top of the mixture and spread it out with my hands. You’d get more uniform layers.

Here’s what it looks like when you’re done. Chill it for at least two hours.

After it’s nice and chilly, you can grab hold of the plastic wrap and lift the whole thing out. Peel off the plastic and plop it onto the cutting board. Trim off the uneven edges. I like to use the giant cleaver I bought at Hong Kong Food Market. It is awesome. I bet you could use it as a machete…

Cut it however you like. The recipe tells you to cut it into strips, but you can cut it into cubes…

See how the layers are uneven? And do you notice the little air pockets? Try the wax paper thing and I think it would look nicer…

I know you’re thinking, “Hey, what’s up with all this coconut stuff? Butterscotch bark, toasted coconut flan, Neopolitan coconut candy…” Well, I just like it! I will leave you with this:

“I love coconut, because when you think you’re done eating coconut, 25 minutes later, a little piece of coconut comes out of the back of your mouth, and then you say, “Hey! It’s more coconut!” I think any food with that kind of determination needs a little respect.” – John Mayer

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Toasted Coconut Flan

My mom LOVES flan. I wasn’t even going to make a dessert for Easter dinner, but at the last minute, while flipping through my numerous recipe print-outs, I came across this recipe.

First, toast the coconut in the oven. Try not to be a gung-ho multi-tasker and end up burning the coconut. If you can smell it, it’s probably too late and you’ve burned it.

While the coconut is toasting, boil then simmer the milk, coconut milk and coconut cream. When the coconut is nice and toasty, throw it into the milk mixture to steep.

If you’re good, you could also have been making the caramel during this time. Put the sugar, lemon juice and water into a pan and boil until it’s a nice amber color, like this:

I stirred the caramel even though the recipe said not to because I am a rebel.

Pour this caramel into six ramekins. I just used one large round pan (again, the rebel tendencies prevail). The baking time will differ, but I’ll mention it later.

WARNING: once you pour this caramel into the pan (especially a metal pan), the pan will be extremely hot. Sugar can heat to a much higher temp than water!!

Whisk the eggs and yolks together in a big bowl.

Strain the milk mixture and whisk it in as well. I did it in thirds because I was afraid of accidentally making coconut scrambled eggs…

It made me kind of sad to strain out all that yummy toasted coconut and just throw it away. I wonder how it would be if I left it in the flan? I’ll experiment with that someday…

But I digress…Pour that mixture into the pan (or ramekins) on top of the caramel. Put that pan into a roasting pan. Pour in hot water till it comes up one third of the way up the pan (hot tap water is fine, no need to boil water).

Cover the entire thing with foil and bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, if you used ramekins, one hour if you made one big flan!

Let it cool completely. I like to take it out of the water bath and place on a kitchen towel to keep it from carry-over cooking.

The edges will pull away from the pan and you can just invert it onto a plate. Watch out for all that delicious caramel liquid…make sure the plate you are using to invert the flan has a lip, or at least enough volume capacity to contain it…no one likes caramel sauce all over the counter. If you have the time (and patience), chill it in the refrigerator. It’s yummy when chilled!

Toasted Coconut Flan from Michael Chiarello

Ingredients

2 cups milk

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup coconut cream

1 cup toasted coconut, recipe follows, or store bought toasted coconut

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoon lemon juice

6 eggs

3 egg yolks

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine milk, coconut milk, and coconut cream in a saucepan. Stir, bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 15 minutes until slightly reduced. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Add toasted coconut and infuse for 15 minutes.

To make the caramel: combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium saucepot and cook over high heat, without stirring, until it darkens to amber. Pour the caramel evenly into 6 (4-ounce) ramekins and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and the yolks. Strain the milk mixture into the eggs and whisk to combine. Fill each ramekin with this mixture, then place ramekin in roasting pan. Create a water bath by filling the roasting pan 1/3 way with hot water, and cook, covered with foil, for 25 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

To unmold the flan: take a paring knife and run it around the sides of the ramekin to loosen the flan. To help it along, you may also place the ramekin in a shallow bowl with warm water until it comes halfway up the sides for a few seconds. Invert a serving plate on top of the ramekin and flip over to unmold