Tag Archives: coconut

Nanaimo Bars

I seem to have formed many of my childhood memories around food, for example I remember being shocked as a six year old being served a whole fish, head and eyes included, on holiday in France, or ordering  “dos of them please” pointing at doughnuts in spain when I was seven and not knowing a word of the language. Sometimes the food in those memories sticks with me for years. One of those memories is Nanaimo Bars. When I was eighteen I spent a month travelling across Canada from Calgary over to Vancouver Island, travelling across the Rockies and visiting family in Vancouver. It was one of the best holidays I have ever had and the memories will stick with me for a very long time. The two foods that I often crave from the trip is Tiger Ice Cream and Nanaimo Bars. Tiger Ice Cream is so different and wondeful, its licorice ice cream swirled with orange ice cream and trust me the stuff is seriously good. Nanaimo Bars come from a town in western Canada and they are a stupidly simple, no-bake recipe. They are rich and indulgent so of course I love them. This recipe was given to me by Jane of http://www.virtuousbread.com/ (on twitter as @virtuousbread) and its really good. Continue reading


Coconut Cake

Can you guess who makes the birthday cakes around here? Yep you guessed right, me, and I love to make them. I really enjoy the challenge of a layer cake so always jump at the opportunity when asked. My older brother had his birthday this past weekend and so I obviously asked him what he wanted. He was very helpful and said anything but chocolate. That might seem easy and straight forwad but if you knew my brother you know he is actually a pretty picky eater. After finally establishing that he liked coconut I chose this cake, once again, from “Sky High Cakes” and thankfully it was another excellent cake from that book. The cake layers are made with the fat/flour method and include coconut milk giving them a mild coconut flavour and a really nice compact crumb (which made for easy cutting). The frosting was also quite different in method as its a cream cheese buttercream where a standard cream cheese frosting is mixed into an italian meringue. The frosting is so soft and silky yet isnt too sweet. The cake went down a treat but sadly I only got once slice before my brother rushed the rest home. Kind of coincidentally I woke up on sunday to frost the cake and woke to up to a thick blanket of snow so had a white scene to match the white snow like cake. Continue reading

Plum and Apple Crumble

Right let me have a look around…cant see her…no I don’t think she’s around so I can tell you about my recipe for crumble. My Mum is the queen of crumble in our family, in fact I cant think of a crumble i’ve eaten that she hasn’t made. My family can all tell you how much I love her version, I can and do eat quite a lot of it. Its a very simple homely affair, absolutely perfect on that cold evening along with a little cream or ice cream, but as much as I love my Mums version it pretty much always stays the same (which is no bad thing, don’t get me wrong). I like to experiment in the kitchen and since she not around for a while and its getting cooler I jumped into the kitchen and made my own version. I went for a plum and apple mix with a bit of vanilla, topped with a standard crumble topping with coconut added for flavour. Whilst it is not my Mums version it was just what I was craving and i’m sure she would approve.  Continue reading

Banana Bread with Coconut

Since bananas are available all year round and don’t really have a season you can make this loaf anytime but for me it seemed perfect for right now. The summer is most definitely over and its started to get slightly cooler with little spurts of rain, and so what better than some fresh warm banana bread. To say I was dubious of this cake would be a little of an understatement because its a cake with no eggs, the leavening comes from the baking soda and vinegar alone. This is something I had never tried before but it actually came out really well. The addition of coconut is also a lovely addition, adding another level of flavour although it is delicate but it was a great way to use up left over coconut. Banana bread was chosen because I had bananas speedily ripening on the counter that either needed eating or cooking with. I obviously decided to bake. I initially thought of making the brown butter banana bread on amateurgourmet.com but as I had coconut hanging around I settled on this and im very happy with it. My absolute  favourite way to eat banana bread is lightly toasted spread with a little butter and this was just perfect for that and since the top is encrusted with demerara you also get that slightly caramel flavour along with the texture of the crunch just perfect. Continue reading

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

Coconut haters may want to turn away and come back next week because this week is going to an ode to one of my favourite ingredients, coconut. Simply put I love the stuff, but often stay away from using it because i’m always worried that what I end up making will just sit there unloved and uneaten. So I decided to make some coconut ice cream because it obviously lasts very well and since you steep the coconut, and then discard it, you remove many peoples biggest complaint: the texture. This ice cream comes again from, where else, David Lebovitz’s amazing book “The Perfect Scoop” which if I have not convinced you already is a really great buy. This Ice Cream was seriously good, the flavour well balanced, not overpowering but not too delicate either. The texture was the best yet, the rum kept it soft enough to scoop and was slightly dense and buttery. Thankfully I wasn’t the only one to agree so this did not last long, which was a shame because it would have been nice to have some more of this, I guess ill have to move to coconut hating household so I can keep this to myself. I currently have a ton of egg whites in the freezer so if anyone has some great recipes for left over whites I would love to hear them, my copy of Pierre Herme’s “Macaron” should arrive next week so that will take care of some but seriously I have loads! Continue reading