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Dessert

Healthy chocolate, coconut overnight oats

This recipe comes from a food blog called ‘Back to her roots” and being a coconut fanatic, that is what first attracted me, then I read the ingredients and fell hook, line and sinker.
Make these in wide mouth mason jars, leave them in the fridge until you have one for breakfast or take one to work. If you want a snack size, make them in a smaller jar.

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 8.32.39 AMMakes one serving

½ cup rolled oats
1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmilk Coconutmilk Almond Breeze
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
⅛ tsp almond extract
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsp maple syrup
Pinch of salt (important)
Shredded coconut, almonds, and dark chocolate chunks for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stirring until well-mixed. The mixture will look liquidy.
Transfer to a serving bowl or jar, cover and refrigerate for at least four hours, or preferably, overnight.
Before serving, stir, and top with additional coconut, almonds, and dark chocolate.

Easy meringue gelato cake with chocolate sauce

This must be one of the easiest recipes I have seen for something that looks so elegant and complicated. Thanks to Nigella Lawson for this gem.
You don’t spend long making it, can do it it ahead of time and everyone thinks you’re a genius! I’ll take it!

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For the meringue gelato cake
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
1 oz bittersweet chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
1 tbsp coffee liqueur (and/or rum)
4 oz shop-bought meringue cookies
8 oz raspberries (to serve, optional)

For the chocolate sauce
1 cup heavy cream
⅔ cup bittersweet chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
2 tbsp coffee liqueur (and/or rum)

For the Meringue Gelato Cake:
Line a 450g / 1lb loaf tin with clingfilm, making sure you have enough overhang to cover the top later.
Whip the cream until thick but still soft.
Chop the chocolate very finely so that you have a pile of dark splinters, and fold them into the cream, along with the liqueur.
Now, using brute force, crumble the meringue cookies and fold these in, too.
Pack this mixture into the prepared loaf tin, pressing it down with a spatula as you go, and bring the clingfilm up and over to seal the top, then get out more clingfilm to wrap around the whole tin. Freeze until solid, which should take around 8 hours, or overnight.

To serve, unwrap the outer layer of plastic wrap, then unpeel the top and use these bits of long overhanging wrap to lift out the ice-cream brick. Unwrap and unmould it onto a board and cut the frozen meringue cake into slabs to serve. I like to zig-zag a little chocolate sauce over each slice, and sprinkle a few raspberries alongside on each plate.

For the Chocolate Sauce:
Pour the cream into a saucepan and add the tiny bits of chocolate.
Put over a gentle heat and whisk as the chocolate melts, taking the pan off the heat once the chocolate is almost all melted. If the mixture gets too hot, the chocolate will seize, whereas it will happily continue melting in the warm cream off the heat.
Add the liqueur, still off the heat, and whisk again to amalgamate the sauce completely. Pour into a jug, whisking every now and again until it cools to just subtly warm.

Vegan Coconut Milk Rice Pudding with Citrus and Ginger

I could eat this whole thing in one go, being a coconut addict and it’s delicious for breakfast, lunch or dessert for dinner. The addition of the ginger and citrus really takes it to another dimension

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Serves 4

1 can (13.6 fluid oz.) full fat coconut milk
1 cup water
3/4 cup orange juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 cup long grain basmati rice
2 to 4 tbsp maple syrup, to taste
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp orange zest

Mix the coconut milk, water, orange juice, vanilla extract, salt, and rice in a medium-sized pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Cover the pot, but leave the lid very slightly ajar to let steam escape.

Simmer the rice for 30 minutes, or until most of the liquid has absorbed. Stir in maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, and zest. Continue cooking till rice is creamy and soft. If necessary, add a little more water or maple syrup.

Serve warm or cool, dusted with extra cinnamon if desired!

Banana coconut parcels

This has got to be one of my favorite desserts and so easy. You can store the banana leaves in your freezer, so you will always have them around.
This recipe is c/o Saveur magazine.

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12 fresh or frozen banana leaves
2 1⁄4 cups coconut cream
3⁄4 cup sugar
Kosher salt, to taste
1 1⁄2 cups short-grain sticky rice, soaked for 6 hours, drained, and rinsed
3 firm-ripe bananas, quartered lengthwise

Cut each banana leaf into a roughly 12″x 14″ rectangle, then cut the scraps into 12 thin ribbons for tying; set aside.
Combine the coconut cream, sugar, 1⁄4 cup water, and salt in a 12″ nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Cook, stirring, until it begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Add the rice; cook, stirring often, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 7 minutes.
Remove from heat; let the rice absorb liquid, about 20 minutes. Divide the rice into 12 equal portions.

Working with 1 banana leaf at a time, arrange a leaf with a short edge parallel to you, smooth side up.
Put a portion of rice in the center; top with a banana quarter; press gently.
Shape the rice into a rectangle.
Fold the leaf ends over the rice to make a packet. Tie with a ribbon. Repeat to make 12 packets in all.
Pour water into a wide-bottomed pot to a depth of 1″. Set a colander inside pot.
Working in 2 batches, steam the packets until firm, about 15 minutes.

Baileys Irish Cream tiramisu

Do you have that bottle of Baileys Irish Cream lurking at the back of the booze cupboard you occasionally stumble upon, think about, then return to the back of the cupboard?
Well get it out because here is the best use I know for it.

 

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9 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1½ cups water (cooled)
1 cup Baileys Irish Cream
14 oz Savoiardi cookies
2 large eggs
⅓ cup superfine sugar
1 lb mascarpone cheese
2 ½ teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix the coffee with ¾ cup of the Baileys in a shallow bowl. Dip the cookies into this liquid; let them soak on each side enough to become damp but not soggy. Line the bottom of an 8½ inch square glass dish with a layer of cookies.

Separate the eggs, but keep only one of the whites. Whisk the two yolks and the sugar together until thick and a paler yellow, then fold in the remaining ¼ cup of Baileys, and the mascarpone to make a mousse-like mixture.

Whisk the single egg white until thick and frothy; you can do this by hand with such a little amount. Fold the egg white into the “yolky” mascarpone, and then spread half of this mixture on top of the layer of cookies.

Repeat with another layer of soaked savoiardi, and then top with the remaining mascarpone mixture.

Cover the dish with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight. When you are ready to serve, push the unsweetened cocoa through a small tea strainer to dust the top of the tiramisu.

Summer berry terrine

This is the prettiest, lightest, most low calorie dessert I can possibly think of. It is a real stunner to look at and dead simple to make. I bet it will be a firm favorite for your outdoor or indoor dinners.

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15 fluid ounces sparkling rose wine
2 oz superfine sugar (caster sugar)
2 x (1/4 oz) sachets of gelatine
1 tbsp fresh lime juice

For the fruit

12 oz sweet strawberries (not too large)
8 oz raspberries
12 oz blackcurrants, blueberries or red currants (or a mixture of them)
Fresh mint leaves

In addition to the ingredients, you will also need two 2 lb loaf tins, 7½ x 4¾ inches x 3½ inches deep, preferably non-stick but anyway with a good surface.

First, prepare the fruit: remove the stalks and halve the strawberries if they are any larger than a quail’s egg. Then mix the fruits together in a large bowl, being very gentle to avoid bruising them.

In a small saucepan heat half the rosé wine until it begins to simmer, then whisk the sugar and gelatine into it. Make sure that everything has dissolved completely before adding the remaining wine and the lime juice. Then pour the liquid into a pitcher and allow it to cool.

While that is happening, lay the mixed fruit in one of the loaf tins – it is worth arranging the bottom layer with the smallest, prettiest-shaped fruit as this will be on top when the terrine is turned out.

Next, pour all but 5 fl oz of the liquid over the fruit. Now lay a sheet of clingfilm over the tin, place the other tin directly on top, then put two unopened tins of tomatoes or something similar to act as weights into the top tin and put the whole lot into the fridge for about 1 hour, or until it has set.

Then warm up the remaining 5 fl oz wine mixture and pour it over the surface of the terrine. Re-cover with clingfilm and return to the fridge overnight to set firm.

When you are ready to serve, turn out the terrine by dipping the tin very briefly in hot water and inverting it on to a plate. Use a very sharp knife (also dipped first into hot water) to cut it into slices. Decorate with the fresh mint sprigs and serve with red berry coulis, chilled pouring cream, crème fraîche or Greek yoghurt.

Beet panna cotta with Meyer lemon mousse

What a surprise to see this recipe! It is sensational and the sweetness of the beets is perfect in the panna cotta, especially when slowly simmered in the cream, producing the most wonderful deep purple color. Do try it!!

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Servings: 6
Beet Panna Cotta

½ lb red beets, peeled, cut into ½” pieces
2 cups heavy cream
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
3 tbsp honey
½ tsp vanilla extract

Meyer Lemon Mousse

1 tbsp finely grated Meyer lemon zest
½ cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces, divided
½ cup sugar, divided
4 large egg yolks
1 large egg
½ cup chilled heavy cream

You will need six 8 oz glasses or ramekins

Bring the beets, cream, and salt to a simmer over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer very gently until the beets are tender, 25–30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, combine the gelatin and 2 Tbsp cold water in a blender; let sit 5 minutes for the gelatin to soften.
Transfer the beets and their cooking liquid to blender; add the honey and vanilla and purée until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard the solids.
Divide the purée among the glass dishes and chill until set, 3½–4 hours.

Do Ahead: Panna cotta can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.

Meyer lemon mousse

Bring the lemon zest and juice, ¼ cup butter, and ¼ cup sugar to a simmer over medium heat in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
Whisk the egg yolks, egg, and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a small bowl until pale and thick, about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the hot lemon mixture into the egg mixture.
Transfer back to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the curd is thickened and the whisk leaves a trail, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ¼ cup butter, whisking until melted and the curd is smooth.
Transfer the curd to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto the surface. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours.
When ready to serve, whisk the cream in a small bowl to soft peaks and gently fold into the curd. Spoon the mousse over the panna cotta.

Do Ahead: The lemon curd can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Roasted figs with pomegranate molasses and orange zest

This is a heady dessert from Ottolenghi. I have not adapted it as there is nothing I could add to enhance these exciting flavors!  I can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is to choose good, sweet, squidgy figs, no matter what you do with them. It makes all the difference.

 

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Serves 4

3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
4 thyme sprigs, 2 whole and 2 picked leaves
Skin of 1 orange, 3 long shaved strips and the rest grated
8 fresh figs, cut in half lengthways
4 oz mascarpone
4 oz  Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp icing sugar
Salt

Put together in a large mixing bowl the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, 2 thyme sprigs, 1 tablespoon of water, the orange skin strips and a pinch of salt. Mix well to dissolve the sugar and then stir in the figs. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together in a small bowl the mascarpone, yoghurt and icing sugar until smooth. Keep chilled.

Remove the figs from the bowl (keeping the marinade) and arrange them snugly inside a small baking tray, roughly 8″ by 8″, the cut side facing up. Sprinkle the figs with the remaining sugar and put under a hot grill, clearing about 15cm from the grill. Grill for 10 minutes, or until the sugar has caramelised and the figs softened.

Meanwhile, pour the marinating liquids into a small saucepan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 2-4 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by half and has a consistency of runny honey.
Transfer the hot figs to serving plates and spoon over any leftover syrup from the baking tray, then drizzle over the sauce reduction and sprinkle with picked thyme leaves. Place a spoonful of the yoghurt cream on the side or on the figs and sprinkle over the remaining orange zest.

Serve at once.

Dark chocolate and coconut truffles

As you have probably gathered by now, coconut is one of my most favorite ingredients. This is a recipe from several years ago from a food magazine that I resurrected and am so glad I did.

The higher the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate, the better for you it is. Go between 72% and 85%. Any higher than that is just way too bitter.

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This recipe yields 12 truffles.

1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup lite coconut milk
3 1/2 tbsp Truvia Natural Sweetener or other natural sweetener
Dark Chocolate (72 % or higher)

In a bowl blend the coconut oil, lite coconut milk and Truvia with a hand mixer. Next, add the shredded coconut and mix well. Roll mix into 1” balls, set on waxed or parchment paper and place in fridge until they are firm. In the meantime, melt the dark chocolate very gently in a double boiler or in a bowl sitting over (but not touching) simmering water, stirring continuously.

Next, dip the coconut balls in the melted chocolate, coat well and place back on the waxed paper. I use either a fork or toothpick to dip.

You may also add some of the shredded coconut on the truffles before the chocolate hardens. Place the truffles in the refrigerator, they will taste better when eaten cold.

Kiwi Christmas jello squares

This is an old favorite Christmas recipe from New Zealand. It is such fun to make, is really pretty and Christmassy served on a platter and everyone loves it, especially the children.
There is no need for measurements as it’s just a matter of making up three things. Red jello, green jello and a white creamy jello made from sweetened condensed milk and dissolved gelatine. You can change it up and add more layers or colors if you like. Go for it!!

 

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All you do is separately make up a batch of green jello and red jello, and dissolve some gelatine in hot water and add sweetened condensed milk to the gelatine mixture.
You now have three pitchers of different color liquids. Pour half the red jello in the bottom of a square glass dish, then put in the fridge to set.
When it’s pretty set, pour over half of the white liquid (condensed milk) and put back in the fridge to set, then half the green jello etc etc.
Refrigerate the whole thing until set.
Cut into small square pieces and top with either whipped cream, mint leaves, red candles and cherries.