Category Archives: coconut

Coconut Milk Nutella Swirl Bread

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I love Nutella. There is just something about that creamy chocolate – hazelnut spread that is simply delicious. I’ve been known to slather it on toast or even eat it by the spoonful right from the jar. But it is also a wonderful ingredient to cook with, taking baked goods from ordinary to extraordinary. I’m also a huge fan of coconut and cooking with coconut milk. It is rich and flavorful, providing dishes with a subtle sweetness and baked goods with a moist and slightly tropical consistency that you simply can’t get from other types of milk.

So given my love of both Nutella and coconut, when I found this recipe from NoblePig.com there was no question about my not trying it out. And I’m so glad I did. This quick bread is everything its name promises to be and was such a hit the first time I made it that I immediately got requests for another loaf. I’ve even baked this in the form of muffins following the same method for filling the cups as for making the bread but reducing the baking time to 15-18 minutes. Essentially any way you bake this, it is delicious.
COCONUT MILK-NUTELLA SWIRL BREAD
For the bread:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 cup coconut milk

1/3 cup melted butter

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 cup Nutella, slightly warmed until easily spreadable

For the glaze:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Up to 4 tablespoons coconut milk

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9 x 5 x 2.75 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • In a separate bowl beat egg with a fork and stir in melted butter and coconut milk.
  • Pour egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir just enough to combine. Fold in flaked coconut.
  • Spoon one third of the batter into the bottom of the loaf pan. Add half the Nutella, covering the batter as best you can without mixing the two together.
  • Add another 1/3 of the batter and cover Nutella completely. Finish with the other half of the Nutella and then more batter to top it off.
  • Use a table knife and stick it down, all the way through the batter at one end of the loaf pan. Work your way from one side of the pan to the other in a zigzag motion. Make just one pass for the swirl effect.
  • Bake 55-65 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  •  Let cool 20 minutes in pan before flipping over and letting cool completely.
  • For the glaze, add confectioners’ sugar to a medium sized bowl and start with 2 tablespoons of milk poured into the sugar. Mix until it is a thick, pourable glaze, adding more milk as necessary in order to achieve the right consistency.
  • Pour over bread and allow to sit.
  • Slice when the glaze is completely dry.

Yields 12 slices

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German Chocolate Cupcakes

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I blame it on a partially opened bag of shredded coconut but I’ve been on a coconut kick these past few weeks. Actually, maybe it is my love of coconut that has me using it in everything from sweet treats to savory dinner dishes. Regardless of why, I think that coconut, whether in shredded or milk form, is one of the easiest ways to add flavor, texture and moisture to whatever I make. Plus it simply tastes delicious. So what other reason do you really need?

So when I needed to make treats to share at a recent gathering I naturally found myself searching for coconut based recipes. And bite-sized cupcakes were exactly what I was looking for. I adapted this recipe from bakingmoment.com and these morsels of chocolatey-coconut goodness are sure to please your crowd as much as they pleased mine. And from a baker’s perspective, they are incredibly easy and quick to make. All in all that sounds like the perfect recipe for a winning dessert.

GERMAN CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

For the cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups cake flour

3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 egg

1 14 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the topping:

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 tablespoons water

3/4 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted

To make the caramel:
  • Heat the cream, butter, vanilla, and salt gently, in a small pot, until the butter is melted and the salt is dissolved.
  • In a separate saucepan, heat the sugar, corn syrup, and water swirling occasionally, until bubbling and amber-colored.
  • Remove both pans from the heat and whisk in the cream mixture until well combined.
  • Transfer to a heat-safe container and cool completely.
To make the cupcakes:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Combine the egg, coconut milk, melted butter and vanilla extract in a separate small bowl.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  • Line a miniature cupcake pan with cupcake papers.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake papers, filling until they are 3/4 full.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before adding the topping.

To assemble the cupcakes:

  • Combine the toasted coconut and the chopped pecans in a shallow rimmed dish.
  • Using a small knife or spatula, spread the top of each cupcake with the cooled caramel.
  • Sprinkle the top of each iced cupcake with the coconut-pecan mixture.

Yields 48 miniature cupcakes

Almond Joy Bundt Cake

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As a child one of my favorite candy bars was an Almond Joy. Moist coconut topped with crunchy almonds and slathered in chocolate made for the perfect special treat. As I grew older my love for this flavor combination continued and here it has manifested itself in an amazingly moist and flavor packed cake that is sure to disappear all too quickly.

I’ve adapted this cake  from The Brown Eyed Baker. The cake is rich and moist and filled with coconut goodness thanks in part to using three different types of coconut. Coconut oil takes the place of traditional butter or vegetable oil thus making the cake both moist and flavorful. Coconut milk adds an additional punch ensuring that you taste coconut in every bite. And if that isn’t enough, you get a touch of crunchy toasted coconut on top of the cake. Its delicious.

ALMOND JOY BUNDT CAKE

For the Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup coconut oil
2½ cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1⅓ cups unsweetened coconut milk

For the Glaze:
4 to 6 tablespoons coconut milk
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
6 ounces dark  chocolate, melted and still warm

Shredded coconut & sliced almonds, toasted, to garnish

 

To make the Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-cup or 12-cup Bundt pan and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the coconut oil and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the eggs and the yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Scrape down the bowl again, add the almond and vanilla extracts and beat until just incorporated.
  • Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the coconut milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, mixing after each addition until just combined. Be careful not to overtax the batter.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top into an even layer.
  • Bake until a sharp knife or toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 50 to 55 minutes.
  • Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool completely before continuing.

To make the Glaze:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons of the coconut milk, the almond extract and vanilla extract.
  • Add the powdered sugar and whisk until incorporated and smooth.
  • Slowly stir in the melted chocolate. The glaze should be thick yet pourable; adjust with additional coconut milk if necessary.
  • Pour the glaze in large, thick ribbons over the crown of the cake, allowing the glaze to spread and drip down the sides of the cake.
  • Top with the toasted shredded coconut immediately and slivered almonds.
  • Allow the glaze to set before serving.

Yields 16 slices

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Twenty Five Days of Cookies:

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Christmas is just five days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

Here’s another one of my holiday favorites.  These bite sized cookies from King Arthur Flour are easy and fun for kids to make while being sophisticated enough for even the most refined of adult palates.  I rolled my cookies in shredded coconut but finely chopped nuts would work just as well.  The cookie filling is jam so you can be flexible and use whichever flavors you prefer.  For a colorful contrast I used strawberry and apricot but fig, blueberry, and pineapple preserves are also good.  Perhaps you need to make a double batch and experiment.

THUMBPRINT COOKIES

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, separated

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup almond flour

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup shredded coconut

3/4 cup jam, jelly, or preserves of your choice

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until very light.
  • Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt.
  • Add the almond flour and all-purpose flour, stirring until well blended.
  • Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy.  Place the shredded coconut on a plate.
  • Break off bits of dough and roll between your hands to form 1 inch balls.  Dip the ball in the egg whites then roll in the coconut.
  • Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Use our thumb to form an indentation in the top of each cookie.
  • Bake the cookies for 12 to 16 minutes or until they are golden brown.  Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Fill the thumbprint with jam, using about 1/2 teaspoon per cookie.

Yields: 5 dozen cookies

Morning Glory Muffins

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Morning Glory muffins will always take me back to my childhood.  Growing up, the local bakery produced these giant muffins filled with lots of flavors and textures–from carrots and coconut to raisins and nuts or even fresh fruit, these were my favorite bakery treat.  In hindsight they were probably a lot less healthy than I thought they were at the time.  Somewhere along the line these muffins seemed to drop off of bakery menus in favor of new trends but I still love them.

This recipe is an adaptation of one from King Arthur Flour and is a formula rather than an exact recipe.  If you don’t like dried cranberries you can substitute whatever dried fruits you prefer.  The pecans can be omitted entirely or switched with almonds, walnuts, or additional sunflower seeds.  Be creative; you won’t be disappointed with the results.  As my son says, these muffins are yummy in the tummy!

MORNING GLORY MUFFINS

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups peeled and grated carrots

1 pear, peeled, cored, and grated

1/2 cup sweetened coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup wheat germ

3 large eggs

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1/4 orange juice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to 375.  Line a muffin tine with papers and coat the papers with non-stick spray.  Set aside.
  • Place the dried cranberries in a small bowl and cover them with hot water; set aside to soak.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, spices, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Stir in the carrots, pear, coconut, nuts, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ.
  • In a separate bowl beat together the eggs, oil, orange juice, and vanilla.
  • Add the wet mixture into the flour mixture and stir until evenly moistened.
  • Drain the cranberries and fold into the batter.
  • Scoop the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin.  The cups will be very full.
  • Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.  Remove the muffins from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes.  Turn them out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Yields:  1 dozen muffins

Coconut Tres Leches Cake

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Tres leches cake is one of my favorite desserts.  The tres leches, or three milks, make this sponge cake moist and slightly sweet without being overpowering.  This recipe is courtesy of Pati’s Mexican Table.   I substituted coconut milk for the evaporated milk called for in the recipe and I like this version of the cake even more than the original one.  A bit of toasted coconut on top of the cake dresses it up and makes it dinner party worthy.

As an added bonus the cake keeps well.  You can make the cake one day then store, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to three more.  The longer the cake sits the more of the milk it absorbs making it taste even better.  You can add the whipped cream before storing it but be sure to add the coconut right before serving.  Enjoy.

COCONUT TRES LECHES CAKE

For the cake:

9 large eggs, separated

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

For the sauce:

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 12-ounce can coconut milk

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the topping:

2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/2 cup toasted flaked coconut

To make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 4-5 minutes or until they hold soft peaks.  Reduce the speed to medium and slowly add the sugar, beating until the whites hold stiff, shiny peaks.  Set aside and wash the beaters.
  • Place the egg yolks in a separate large bowl and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and pale yellow, about 5 minutes.  Add the vanilla and continue beating for another minute.
  • Gently and slowly fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture, taking care not to deflate the egg whites.  Fold in the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with the spatula to mix well.  The batter will look a bit streaky.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes.  Place the pan on a wire rack to cool.
  • Invert the cake onto a rack and remove the pan.  Inverting the cake again, move the cake to a rimmed platter that is large enough to hold the cake and the sauce.  Using a fork, poke holes in the top of the cake so that it will absorb the sauce.

For the sauce:

  • In a large bowl, combine the three milks and the vanilla extract, stirring until well blended.
  • Pour all of the milk over the top of the cake.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

For the topping:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spread the coconut flakes onto a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven.
  • Watching carefully, toast until browned 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  • Place the heavy cream in a medium-sized bowl and using an electric mixer beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the confectioners sugar over the cream and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
  • Spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.
  • Serve immediately or wrap tightly and return to the refrigerator for up to three days.

Serves 10-12

Morning Glory Muffins

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Morning Glory muffins will always take me back to my childhood.  Growing up, the local bakery produced these giant muffins filled with lots of flavors and textures–from carrots and coconut to raisins and nuts or even fresh fruit, these were my favorite bakery treat.  In hindsight they were probably a lot less healthy than I thought they were at the time.  Somewhere along the line these muffins seemed to drop off of bakery menus in favor of new trends but I still love them.

This recipe is an adaptation of one from King Arthur Flour and is a formula rather than an exact recipe.  If you don’t like dried cranberries you can substitute whatever dried fruits you prefer.  The pecans can be omitted entirely or switched with almonds, walnuts, or additional sunflower seeds.  Be creative; you won’t be disappointed with the results.  As my son says, these muffins are yummy in the tummy!

MORNING GLORY MUFFINS

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups peeled and grated carrots

1 pear, peeled, cored, and grated

1/2 cup sweetened coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup wheat germ

3 large eggs

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1/4 orange juice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to 375.  Line a muffin tine with papers and coat the papers with non-stick spray.  Set aside.
  • Place the dried cranberries in a small bowl and cover them with hot water; set aside to soak.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, spices, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Stir in the carrots, pear, coconut, nuts, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ.
  • In a separate bowl beat together the eggs, oil, orange juice, and vanilla.
  • Add the wet mixture into the flour mixture and stir until evenly moistened.
  • Drain the cranberries and fold into the batter.
  • Scoop the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin.  The cups will be very full.
  • Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.  Remove the muffins from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes.  Turn them out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Yields:  1 dozen muffins

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