Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

Thai Sticky Coconut Rice with Mango

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I

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LOVE

mangoes

MANGOES. I love them so much I make artistic (stupid)  flower patterns with them and take their picture.

Words to go with this dessert: Refreshing. Or Coconuttiness. Or Mangolicious.

Mangoes are my favorite fruit. And I’m quite a fruity person. I like the smoothness in their taste, and that subtle sweetness when they are at their peak of perfection. And what better way to accompany them than with coconut? This sticky rice has an ooey gooey texture that binds the coconutty flavor of the milk it is cooked in. Most recipes say this takes an entire day to prepare, but I’m very impatient, and I don’t want to wait for my dessert. This takes about an hour. Because when I want it, I want it now (or within the hour). That’s what cravings are made for, instant (sort of) gratification.

Thai Sticky Coconut Rice and Mango Dessert (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sweet rice (package will say sweet, glutinous, or sticky – all are correct)
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 2 ripe mangoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • salt
  • coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch with 2 tsp. water, mixed into a paste

Directions:

1) Soak one cup of rice with one cup of water for 20 minutes.

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2) After 20 minutes, add 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup coconut milk, pinch of salt, and 1 Tbsp. brown sugar to the rice. Mix thoroughly.

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3) Cook in rice cooker until it clicks off. Let steam with the cover on for 5-10 minutes. If you do not have a rice cooker, simmer in a pot on the stove for 20 minutes or until the water absorbs into the rice.

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4) Use a small pot to prepare the sauce. Add remaining coconut milk, pinch of salt, 1 tsp. vanilla and handful of coconut flakes. Obviously I have a rediculously enormous bag of coconut flakes, but that’s just because I wanted to show it off. Just use a handful.

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5) Cook on medium low for 5 minutes, stirring consistently. Do not boil. Stir in the cornstarch and water mixture to thicken the sauce, take the pot off heat. It sure smells co-co-nutty.

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6) To cut cubes out of the mangoes, cut the two largest surface areas parallel to the mango seed. And score squares with knife as seen below.

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7) Invert (flip) the slice so it pops out like so. Spoon the cubes out into a bowl.

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8) To prepare dessert, pile the sticky rice into a pyramid (which I didn’t do a good job of) in the middle of a bowl. Ladle a generous amount of coconut sauce on top. Plop mango slices around the rice.

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9) Eat.

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Chocolate covered strawberries

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I wish I had some better pictures, but I had to use a flash, and I don’t like using a flash on food photos. These chocolate covered strawberries were so easy to make, I don’t even want to write down directions. I found recipes on-line that stated the level of difficulty as INTERMEDIATE! Intermediate to what, boiling water? I didn’t know what made it intermediate, and I started to panic thinking I did something terribly wrong, maybe I was missing a step that involved doing a hand-stand as I dipped the strawberry into the chocolate. I don’t know. They tasted the same as any other chocolate dipped strawberry I overpaid for at a fancy supermarket.

My husband helped me dip these, and as you can see, he likes his chocolate to cover his strawberries like a conservative turtleneck rather than a formal tuxedo.  But I guess he wanted the chocolate to strawberry ratio equal.

Level: BEGINNER-IF YOU CAN BOIL WATER YOU CAN DO THIS.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pints of strawberries
  • 8 oz. dark chocolate chips

Directions:

1) Wash and completely dry each strawberry with a paper towel.

2) Line a dish/pan with parchment or wax paper.

2) In a liquid measuring cup, melt chocolate chips in the microwave, about a 1 – 1.5 minutes. Take out of microwave, stir until top surface of chips are completely melted.

3) Holding stem of strawberry, dip into cup of chocolate. Twist the strawberry out of chocolate, place on wax paper.

4) Let cool for an hour.

Banana Cake with Chantilly Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting

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Okay, so I make cake like a 4 year old would. I haven’t made a cake since I was practically 4 years old, because I like salty things more than sugary things. Don’t mind the salt and pepper shakers in my photo, I didn’t salt and pepper my cake! I just forgot to remove them in my photo shoot.  This recipe can be used for muffins, or bread, but I decided to wing it and make a 2 layer cake with it. I thought, bananas + cream cheese + coconut = delicious. Chantilly frosting is what has the coconut in it. Let’s get started on my sloppy journey through cake-making.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6 bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup melted butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • Chantilly frosting for filling (recipe here)
  • cream cheese frosting (recipe here)

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 2 9 inch cake pans.

2) Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

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3) In another bowl, mix bananas, sugar, eggs and butter together with a potato masher.

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Should have this consistency when mixed together.

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4) Stir banana mixture into flour mixture.

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Should have this consistency when mixed.

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5) Pour batter equally into the 2 cake pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

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6) Insert toothpick into middle to see if it comes out clean.  Cool thoroughly.

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7) Using a knife, gently loosen the sides of the cake, and put a sheet pan upside down on the top of the cake. Using both hands, flip both pans upside down.

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Voila. Do the same with another sheet pan if you have an extra one, or move the first cake to another dish.

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8) Keep the cake on the sheet pan if you’re going to make a mess with the frosting, and slide the entire 2 layered frosted cake into fancy dish with 2 spatulas after you are done decorating.  I got ahead of myself and moved the first layer into a fancy dish that I had to clean off afterwords. Slather on Chantilly filling starting in the center and working towards the edges. Don’t get filling too close to the sides like I have. When the second layer squishes down, the filling oozes out and makes a mess.

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Filling too close to edges.

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9) With your hands, gently place the top layer cake, flat side down onto first layer.

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10) Using a rubber spatula, slather cream cheese frosting all over cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, serve.

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Chantilly filling

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flaked coconut

Directions:

1) Combine milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla in saucepan.

2) Stir consistently on medium heat until thickened.

3) Remove from heat and add coconut. Let cool and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using on cake.

Crepes

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Crêpes are surprisingly easy to make.  Think of them as thin pancakes, well, because they are.  I needed another excuse to eat my cream cheese and strawberries in the fridge, and I had a couple of pears laying around too.  So that’s when I decided to whip these up.  Crêpes can hold a variety of fillings, for example, you can make breakfast crêpes with sausage, egg and cheese, or dessert crepes with fruit fillings, or plain crepes with sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top.  You can even mix cocoa powder into the batter and make chocolate flavored crêpes. The list goes on and on and on. 

Basic Crêpes (makes 8 )

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • non stick pan
  • spatula
  • liquid measuring cup

For sweet dessert crêpes, add these 2 ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar

Directions:

1.  In mixing bowl, mix flour and eggs.  Add milk and water intermittently stirring until well blended.

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 2.  Add milk and water intermittently, stirring until well blended.  Add salt and butter, blend until consistency of very thin pancake batter.  It should look like this:

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 3.  Lightly grease a small non-stick pan, heat on medium high.  Use a liquid measuring cup to pour exactly 1/4 cup of batter onto pan.  To cover surface with a thin layer of batter evenly, pour directly into middle of pan, then swish from the center out by tilting pan in circular motion.  Do not pour batter in zig-zaggy lines to coat surface quickly.  I did that the first time and it left gaps.

4.  Crepes should cook for around 1-2 minutes, until golden brown.  Use spatula to gently flip to other side.  Change heat back and forth between medium high to medium, if pan starts getting too hot and crepes are turing dark brown or burning.

 

 

Strawberries and cream cheese filling (makes 8 )

Ingredients:

  • 10-15 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 package of cream cheese (4 oz.)
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar
  • honey
  • nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Mix 1 tbsp. sugar into strawberries, until glazed
  2. Mix 3 tbsp. sugar into cream cheese, lightly drizzle honey and sprinkle nutmeg
  3. Spread cream cheese down middle of crepe, then layer strawberries on top of that.

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Carmelized Pear filling (makes 8 )

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 large pears, peeled and sliced
  • 4 tsp. lemon juice

Directions:

1.  Melt butter in skillet on medium high heat.  Add brown sugar, stir until melted (about a minute).

2.  Add pears and lemon juice.  Stir frequently until pears release liquid, and liquid becomes carmelized with brown sugar.  Take skillet off heat, let cool a bit before putting into crepes.

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