Saturday, 27 November 2010
Coconut Cream Pie
For the custard filling
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
2 1/4 cups milk, preferably whole milk
1 1/4 cups shredded or flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the meringue
3 large egg whites
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
Make and blind bake a crust using a recipe of your choice.
Make the custard filling
1. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl. Use a fork or a whisk to mix them well. In another small bowl, beat the egg yolks.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk almost to a boil, stirring it as it begins to steam. Scoop out about 1/2 cup of the hot milk with a measuring cup and pour it into the beaten egg yolks, stirring constantly as you pour. This warms up the eggs and discourages them from curdling. Pour the bowl of egg yolk-milk mixture into the milk in the pan over medium heat and stir well.
3. Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture to the warm egg-and-milk mixture and stir until dissolved. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard mixture becomes very smooth and has thickened to about the consistency of cream. Cook for about 1 minute more and then remove the pan from the heat.
4. Add 1 cup of the coconut, the butter, and vanilla to the custard in the pan. Stir to mix everything. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard and set it aside to cool to room temperature. When the custard has cooled down, remove the plastic wrap and pour it into the piecrust.
Make the meringue
1. Heat the oven to 350° F (176°C)
2. Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Increase the speed to high and gradually add the sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time. Beat the egg whites until they swell up into plump, shiny, soft clouds that hold firm, curly peaks.
3. Scoop the meringue on top of the cooled custard filling, spreading the meringue all the way to the crust and mounding the meringue up slightly in the center of the pie. Create swoops and swirls in the meringue for decorative effect and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of the coconut over the top of the meringue.
4. Place the coconut cream pie on the middle rack of the oven and bake until the meringue is a beautiful golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Place the pie on a cooling rack or a folded kitchen towel and let cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature or, if desired, refrigerate and serve chilled.
My iBook has quit working and my cordless phone battery only lasts five minutes, so I had to drag my ingredients to near the telephone base so we could chat on speakerphone while whipping everything up. My phone is on my desk in my bedroom, so what's where I worked. There's a first time for everything!
Here's a pictorial tour of the process:
I used three egg whites in the meringue, and next time I'd use less chocolate in the middle layer, but other than that the recipe felt quite reliable. I didn't apply the parchment paper very well, so it did more harm than good to the surface of the meringue. If you're going to apply the paper, follow the directions and press it smoothly and carefully onto the surface before baking. I think the paper might be altogether unnecessary, but then again I haven't tried it without...
These cookie bars were extra sugary sweet. They recalled to my mind some of the most sugary foods I know, such as a big glass of cherry Kool-aid. I think it would be the perfect pairing for this dessert. All or nothing!
Thursday, 25 November 2010
Oh man. Another killer week. It's going to take all the energy I have to type this.
A while back I bought a ton of 70% chocolate for a bargain price and I've been using it for ages. I was pretty excited to buy this stuff just because I love the packaging. I'd just about forgotten how much it increases the price of the ingredients though.
This was really easy I thought. The end product was slightly strange. I'm not sure the meringue really added anything but it was nice. Technically the recipe was good. The cookie layer was really tasty too. I'd recommend it just as a stand alone thing for sure.
These bars certianly looked good and they were tasty too. I'd just say the meringue was a little unnecessary.
Saturday, 20 November 2010
The recipe for these halfway cookies came from the kitchn.
I won't type out the method, you can find that through the link but here are the ingedients in metric:
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
110g unsalted butter, softened
100g granulated sugar
270g brown sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
300g semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
Making the crust was very simple and stress free. I'll eventually be able to roll out and transfer thin dough to a dish, but until that happens I'm glad that I've found a recipe for a crust that can be pressed into the pan. I will definitely add this one to my repertoire. The uncooked dough resembeles choux paste but the baked crust is quite different and tastes flaky and buttery.
Whipping up the filling was also incredibly easy. I was loading up my shopping cart with expensive chocolate bars when I realized I could just use chocolate chips. So I bought a bag of Whole Foods' semi-sweet chips for much less than the price of three nice chocolate bars. It worked great. After adding some half-and-half and eggs, I had a lovely batter. I filled up my tart crust and had enough left to fill a ramekin. I ate the latter as a very unhealthy breakfast one morning. It was worth it!
The tart came out nice:
And then I dropped a box of ziplock bags onto it:
I'm getting more like that Julie and Julia moron every day. Somebody shoot me!
At any rate I thought it tasted great and my co-workers liked it, too. It is a nice simple, elegant dessert. It packs a big punch. It might be fun to try using some milk chocolate in it someday. It would also be fun to make mini-tarts in the little pans I bought for the strawberry meringue tartlets we made a while back.
Thursday, 18 November 2010
I'm going to go crash. I'll probably dream there was one last slice left in the tub for me to eat...
Friday, 12 November 2010
Sunday, 7 November 2010
This started off fairly promisingly. The dough came together alright and I left it to sit and rise. Which it barely did. It took nearly 24 hours for the dough to double in size. Regardless I ploughed on and shaped them. Then, left them for and hour or so and into the oven they went.
Suddenly they decided they want to expand! They grew massively and the tops cracked. What a shame. Still the decoration managed to hide it a little.
They tasted pretty good. Not too sweet, fairly rich. They were a bit dense though I'd say. Certainly a whole one as shown above was a bit too much. I gave away a bunch to people at work but still had a few left which I turned into bread pudding. That was a real triumph!