Tag Archives: sweet treats

Coconut Ice

There’s certain foods that are out of a home bakers league, and best left to the professionals – for everyone’s sake.

However, there are foods which are the exact opposite – where a store bought version could never out-do a homemade one. It looks better, tastes better – and although baking isn’t necessarily ‘healthy’, it is probably better for you too.

After my success last weekend, I believe coconut ice belongs in this catagory.

Coconut ice is one of my favourite candy treats. Sweet, coconutty, crumbly and gritty – yet a chewy mouthful all at once. Not to mention how pretty it looks. It’s something I have personally bought on numerous occasions, each packet of sugary goodness judged on how it meets my standards – usually there’s something not quite right about it, but it satisfy’s the craving so it passes judgement and onto my waistline .

But now, I no longer have this problem. This coconut ice is simply the best. Melt in your mouth divinity – creamy coconut danced on my tastebuds – really. Plus, it looked amazing too. I stumbled upon it by accident – it was made as a fundraiser for my dance school’s Christmas show and I just needed something fast and simple. Because of that I really didn’t get to indulge in a whole heap of it – but then again you can’t produce something without taste testing it. Probably a good thing anyway, the whole slab wouldnt have lasted very long after the first bite.

Looking back over my posts, I’m aware I have quite a routine going to saying my recipes are along the lines of ‘the best I’ve ever tasted. I would pull myself up on this – but I can’t deny the truth. Homemade really is simply unbeatable.

Coconut Ice Recipe (from ‘Sweet Treat’s by Frankie Magazine)

250grams icing-sugar, 60grams copha, 125grams desiccated coconut, 1 egg white, 1-2 drops of vanilla extract, few drops of red/pink food colouring.

Lightly grease an 8 inch square tin. Put the copha in a small saucepan and melt over a low heat.

In a large bowl, lightly beat egg white. Add coconut, copha, icing0sugar and vanilla. Mix untill well combined.

Split the mixture into two equal parts and press one half into your pan. Stir and mix food colouring into the other half (hands work well) untill it turns pink.

Press pink mixture on top of the plain. Cover in cling film and pop in the fridge for 45minutes untill set.

When set, turn onto a chopping board and cut.

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Cherry Streusel Flan (Cherry Cheesecake Flan)

 

The website is fantastic for finding any recipe you could possibly want. I’ve got so many cook books, but to be honest they rarely get used – which is a shame. I want a recipe, I simply google it and pick the one with either a good picture, or good reveiws. Even so, recently, I haven’t been so lucky with my internet searching for a particular recipe – or cook book searching.

There is a bakery in Christchurch which is one of my mum and mine’s humble favourites. It’s a ‘european’ bakery, and the food is always good – as in, really good. It’s not overly high class, yet it’s a far cry from your typical corner bakery. My personal favourite is either mud cake, carrot cake, cheesecake (yes, I like cake) or gingerbread men. My mum, on the other hand, prefers the almond rondo’s, apple pies and a particular flan called baked cherry streusel.

This is where it gets complicated in my recipe searching. A ‘streusel’, to my knowledge, is like a crumble, therefore you may think a cherry streusel would be like apple crumble, but it’s not. Baked cherry streusel, is a long skinny flan, with a delicious butter crust, filled, with baked cheesecake and topped with big plump cherry’s. Sounds simple enough, but according to the web, and all my cookbooks, this tasty desert simple does not exist.

Although it’s not one of my personal favourites, I’m always up for a challenge, and to please others – so I decided to see if I could do a better job of it. I searched for hours (literally). I couldnt find anything that even came close to recreating the ‘cherry streusel’ – untill I resorted to simple making up my own recipe of butter crust, baked cheesecake and cherry’s – which was when I found this post http://www.cookitsimply.com/recipe-0010-014q800.html . Not exactly cherry streusel, but it sounded just about right.

After making it, and some sampling, mum decided it was pretty close, I had the idea – although I was bitterly dissapointed I added the cinnamon, the original ‘cherry streusel’ deffinatly does not have cinnamon. I thought it was rather nice, but it simply wasn’t the same as the original due to the cinnamon – it’s sitting in the freezer at the moment, waiting for another morning tea.

So, if anyone reading this has heard of anything similar – let me know! There must be another name for it – and I’m pretty keen to try and make another one. If not – thanks for reading, and have a great weekend 🙂 !

Cherry Tart (Cherry Streusel Flan)
 
175 g (6 oz) rich sweet shortcrust pastry
450 g (1 lb) cooking (sour) cherries, stoned or a 675 g (1 1/2 lb) jar (or cans) of dark morello cherries
150 ml (1/4 pint) sour cream
225 g (8 oz) cream cheese
1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
55 g (2 oz) light soft brown sugar
3 tablespoons good quality morello cherry jam (preferably no-added-sugar jam)
1 tablespoon demerara sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, to finish
 
Method
 
1. Line a shallow 23 cm (9 in) tart tin with the pastry and pre-bake or bake blind.2. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C (375°F) Gas 5.

3. If using fresh cherries, remove the stones and stalks from three-quarters of the cherries. This requires patience but is very rewarding if undertaken sitting at a table with a good friend-and sipping something reviving. If using bottled or canned cherries, drain them thoroughly and soak up any excess liquid on kitchen paper.

4. Place the sour cream, cream cheese, cinnamon, lemon zest, eggs and soft brown sugar in a bowl and mix well to remove all the lumps of cheese. This will produce a thickish liquid mess.

5. Assemble the tart by spreading a thin layer of cherry jam on the pastry base, spoon the cheese mixture over the top, then drop the prepared fresh cherries or three-quarters of the bottled or canned cherries into the liquid. They will all but disappear with just a bit of some tops showing.

6. Sprinkle the top with the demerara sugar mixed with the cinnamon. Bake in the oven for about 35 – 40 minutes or until the filling has firmed up (the top of the cherries may look a little wizened, but a good dusting of icing sugar when cool will hide the wrinkles, if they worry you).

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Heidi’s Birthday Cake

I’m really not one to boast, but I honestly could not be anymore proud of myself at the moment.

Totally 100% my own design, baked from scratch by hand, and lovingly decorated. Three layers of devil’s food cake, sandwiched together with chocolate mock cream, coated in chocolate butter icing, dipped in chocolate hail, adorned with white chocolate flourishes, purple royal icing roses, chocolate butterflies, and further vanilla butter icing. After a total of about seven hours work, 7 cups of icing sugar and 400grams of butter later – it was devoured in about 15 mins. And did I mention – the taste was the closest I have ever been to heaven. If there is one thing you could judge by it’s looks, I think this cake would be the suitable candidate.

It was a perfect way to conteract the long-term effects of studying. Here in New Zealand, we have our end of year exams at the moment, and study leave is not doing my head too well. However, I used this cake as an excuse to get away from my science books and for letting off a bit of creative steam – okay, a lot of creative steam. I used the method of alternating, 1 hour of study, meant half an hour spent on the cake. But this quickly turned into 30 minutes of study, and a whole two ours on the cake.

It was pretty challenging to have to sit and study while three freshly baked chocolate cakes sat on the bench in front of me. I baked the cakes on Thursday and decorated on Friday. For someone who is used to the whole ‘bake and eat’ process, having to leave fresh baking alone was quite tough I must say.

I made the beauty (and yes, I think we can call it ‘the beauty’) for one of mum’s work friends wife’s 40th birthday and also to cellebrate the end of year Christmas party for her work. It deffinatly collected quite a few ‘ooo’s’ and ‘ahh’s’, as well as some astounded looks. It is most deffinatly my best baking creation yet. It was the perfect way to end the evening, and like I said before, I’m not even kidding it was like eating a piece of heaven.

And as for science, it didn’t loose out. I sat my exam today and it was a breeze – turns out studying isn’t always the way to go for a baker.

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