Making Banana-Coconut Beignets with Chocolate Ganache & Dulce de Leche
It’s safe to say that today’s been a long day, what with helping mother in the kitchen and around the house in the early morning in lieu of Eid tomorrow (or is it on Wednesday? still pending sightings of the moon), but I wanted to post something before disappearing for the celebration. So here goes the simple snack with a mouthful of a title. Both chocolate ganache and dulce de leche, on their own, makes a wonderful dip for these little buggers - but what’s there to stop you from dipping these in both? I’ll tell you what - Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Banana-Coconut Beignets (a tweaked version of the one from justgetoffyourbuttandbake)
[2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying + 1 - 1/2 cups cake flour + 2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon + 1/3 cup sugar + 1 large egg + 1/2 cup water + 1/2 cup mashed banana + 2/3 cup shredded coconut + teaspoon of vanilla extract + 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (to dust off)]
** If you do not have Cake Flour, use 1 1/2 cups All purpose flour minus 3 Tablespoons.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and granulated sugar in a large bowl.
Mash the banana (about 1 large overripe one)
Whisk the egg, milk, vanilla extract and vegetable oil in another bowl.
Add the mashed bananas and shredded coconut.
Whisk the dry ingredients into the banana mixture.
Leave the batter to sit for at least 10 minutes.
Heat about 2 inches vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until a deep fry thermometer register 375 degrees F.
Working in batches, drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 15 seconds per side.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, then roll in the cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar.
[4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped + 1/4 cup heavy cream]
Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.
Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until comes to a boil
Pour over the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth.
Dulce De Leche:
[1 can of condensed milk]
Place the can in a deep sauce pan and fill the pan with water just until 3/4th of the can is immersed and simmer over low heat for 2-4 hours.
**The time depends on how thick and dark you want your dulce de leche to be – I simmered mine for 2 hours, but if you’d like it thicker and darker, then continue simmering.
Keep an eye on the the water level, making sure to refill the water and maintain the level. After the 2-4 hours, turn off the heat and let the can cool.
Remove the lid and serve or use as desired.
Serve the beignets with both (or either one) sauces on the side.
Enjoy! (and an early Eid Mubarak!)
Making Lime and Coconut Soufflé
Lime seems to be making a regular appearance in my recent posts and if you don’t have a thing for these little suckers, then I duly apologize. As it is, today I decided to attempt to make one of the crème de la crème of desserts - the soufflé. I used Paul Rankin’s recipe as a guide and had a bout of paranoia on the cooking time, and so spent the entire 10 minutes with my nose against the oven door watching the souffle rise, just incase I miss the limit and it collapses. In the end these came out pretty well. Serve these immediately because being the elitist that they are, they definitely do not hang about.
Lime and Coconut Soufflé:
[ 1 cup coconut milk + 1/3 cup unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the ramekins + 1 tablespoon corn flour + 1 tablespoon flour + 1 lime, zest only + 3 eggs + 1/4 cup caster sugar, plus extra to dust the ramekins ]
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350F.
Zest the lime (will yield about 1 teaspoon).
Brush two ramekin dishes (or teacups, in this case) with a little melted butter.
Add a small amount of sugar to each, turn them to coat the sides and bottom, shaking out any excess.
Separate the the egg yolks from whites and set aside.
Making the Coconut Pastry Cream:
Heat the coconut milk, flour, cornflour, lime zest and butter in a saucepan over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Remove from heat.
Add in the lime zest to the coconut milk mixture.
Whisk the egg yolk lightly and first temper the coconut milk mixture into the egg yolk (pour a ladle into the egg yolk and whisk) before adding the rest in.
Return to the saucepan and cook on low heat until it thickens.
**When you lift a spoonful up, the mixture will be able to hold its shape without running off the spoon.
Put in a bowl and put a cling film over the surface to prevent filming. Set aside to cool off completely.
In a separate, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the sugar until it forms soft peaks when the whisk is removed.
Carefully fold the coconut mixture into the egg white mixture.
Spoon the soufflé mixture into the ramekins. Tap the ramekins down to evenly distribute the mixture at the bottom.
Level off the tops with a palette knife and run your thumb around the edge to help it rise.
Place onto a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown.
Dust with icing sugar to finish off and serve immediately.
Making Raw Coconut Cream
As far as convenience goes, the place I live in is probably one of the most inconvenient place to be in when it comes to speedy cooking. Pre-made ingredients just seem really difficult to come by, which is why I had to resort to making this coconut cream at 11:59PM last night. I was apprehensive at first because making it at that time will mean venturing to the horrors of night photography, but thankfully it photographed pretty well.
There are many variations as to how to make your own coconut cream, ranging from those involving cooking the grated coconut with cream or water, to this one - a raw version that only involves refrigerating. I know that I said I may not be posting much this month, but honestly, I think I’m having cooking withdrawal so bad that I can feel my hand physically itching to just make anything - which is why this post is a prelude to another food post. Meh.
Raw Coconut Cream
[ 4 (loose) cups of grated coconut flesh + 2 cups of warm water ]
Put the coconut into a bowl and pour in the water.
Using your hands, mush the mixture as if you’re kneading a dough.
Do this for about 10-15 minutes.
Put the mixture through a cheesecloth and strain it.
You’ll end up with about 1 1/2 - 2 cups of coconut milk and a whole lot of dry grated flesh. The flesh can be used to make other things such as Macaroons or others.
Refrigerate the coconut milk for at least 4 hours.
When the time has lapsed, the coconut milk would’ve separated into layers and the top would have hardened a bit.
Use a spoon to scrape the hard layer - this is the coconut butter. You can either put it aside in another bowl or just mix it with the coconut cream.
The layer under the coconut butter will be considerably runnier but still rather thick - this is the coconut cream.
Scoop out the mixture using a spoon and transfer to a bowl.
The third layer is the runniest one - this is the coconut milk.
Use the butter, cream and milk whenever required in a recipe.
Making Mango-Sago Pudding
New watermark! I’ve been on and off the fence about getting my photographs watermarked. On the one hand, I don’t want people to think that I feel my photos are so good they’re worth stealing. But on the other,you know, you can never be too careful. And so I will not tarnish my photos with my name; but instead with the abbreviation of this ongoing blog :)
But enough about that. This is mango-sago pudding. A real simple crowd-pleaser that takes no time (or fuss) to make. You can always substitute the mangoes with whatever fruits you like (raspberry, strawberry or jackfruit will equally make a stellar dessert).
[ 450ml coconut milk + 250ml condensed milk + 3tbsp cornflour + 80g cooked tapioca pearl/sago + 1 mango (make sure they’re sweet mangoes) + 2 star anise (substitute: 1 vanilla pod, 1 stick cinnamon) + 1tsp salt ]
Take a pan and heat the coconut milk on low heat.
*Remember to not let the coconut milk boil, or it will start to break i.e the oil will separate. Just let it simmer.
Add HALF the amount of condensed milk. stir (or whisk lightly)
Throw in the star anise and salt. Let simmer for about 10-15 mins. Add in the cornflour (do this by putting a ladle of coconut milk before simmering into a small bowl, add the cornflour and whisk with a fork until dissolved. Then return liquid to the pan and stir).
Throw in the cooked tapioca pearls/sago. Follow the instructions on your sago packet on how to cook it. Basically:
- Boil some water (twice the amount of sago you’re going to cook)
- Throw in your tapioca pearls
- Leave to boil for about 25 minutes. Stirring from time to time to prevent them from clumping.
- Then turn off the heat, put on the lid and leave them be for another 20 mins.
- Rinse the pearls with warm water to remove excess starch.
Give it a little whisk and leave to simmer for about 10 mins. Meanwhile..
Prep the mango!
Give it a good rinse to clean.
Then cut the mangoes as close to the seed/center as possible. You will get 4 “cheeks” (yes, that’s what you call them).
Take the mango cheek and make a grid with your knife, NOT cutting all the way through the skin.
Then just scoop the dices with a spoon. Piece of cake, right?
Use the dices from 2 cheeks to add to the pudding mixture. Give it a stir. Turn off the heat and leave it be for 10 mins.
Then add the rest of the condensed milk. I’m not sure why I did this, but I find that adding the rest while it’s a bit cool adds a bit more of that oh-so-good sweetness from the condensed milk.
Use the diced mango from the other 2 cheeks to make mango puree.
To serve: Take your nice bowl/cup or whatevers and fill it with the pudding. Top with mango puree, sprinkle with some toasted coconut and almond slices.
I prefer to eat this after it’s been chilling for a while in the fridge. Some people like it warm. Go ahead and do your own thang :)
Making Coconut Macaroons
I’ve been wondering what I should make since I’ve pretty much been M.I.A for the past two weeks. I was looking for something easy and budget-friendly, but was at loss. Went through scones and eclairs but thought they would take too much time. Then I thought about coconuts and was inspired. Coconut treats are inexpensive and taste oh-so-good. So this is coconut macaroons. No, not macarons. Macaroooons. Macarons are not so friendly to your purse strings. Something to keep you busy while I dive in again for another week of studying :)
Makes 2 dozens.
*I halved the recipe since the domestic population are not so keen on sweets, myself included.
[120gr egg whites + 200gr granulated white sugar + 1/4 tsp salt + 1 tsp vanilla extract + 60gr flour + 300gr fresh coconut]
So you’re probably wondering.120gr eggwhites? Yes. 120gr eggwhites. You’ll find that some measuring jugs put measurements in grams as well as cc’s (or ml).So use that. Or I could just tell you that for my measurements (60gr), I used the eggwhites of 3 small eggs, so you can sort of wing it.
Separate the yolks from the whites.
Add the sugar and salt
Whisk until egg whites become stiff and glossy
Sift in the flour
Mix well. Make sure there are no air or flour pockets.
Add in the coconut
Fold in the coconut until completely combined
Grease a baking tray and drop a spoonfull of batter per macaroon. You can probably squeeze in a dozen in one baking tray
Bake for 15-20 mins at 170 degrees celsius (make sure to preheat your oven before hand!), until the bottom and edges are brown and the top golden
Cool on a wire rack. While you wait, you can go ahead and melt some (semisweet or dark) chocolate to spread on the underside of the macaroons;
When cool, spread the melted chocolate
Leave to set on a wire rack