Mutant Coconut Cookies

Hello! How are things with you?

I’ve been perusing (is that actually a real word? And does it mean what I think it does?) my local asian supermarket’s shelves this week because I love finding new and interesting ingredients to buy, even when I don’t know what to do with them! For example the tofu skins I briefly mentioned here. This week I found mutant coconut:

I mean seriously who can ignore a name like that?? It turns out that macapuno is the name for a coconut that has a genetic flaw making the meat more gelatinous and ‘setting’ the milk. It’s really popular in the Philippines, especially for making sweets and desserts. Macapuno coconuts can be produced on any tree but are rarely produced exclusively (i.e. a few will be macapuno but most of the coconuts will be normal). And once a coconut tree has produced a macapuno coconut it’ll keep on producing them for years to come. For more information click here.

I have never come across this stuff and I did not have a clue what to do with it!! So I figured I’d make it really easy on myself and make cookies. What can’t be made into a cookie right?? I wanted quite a short cookie, and I decided to flavour it with cardamom to cut through the sweetness and match the coconut. Well it works for Indian sweets like Burfi and this wonderful cake.

Mutant Coconut Cookies
225g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp sugar
3tbsp shortening
3 tbsp margarine
1 tsp ground cardamon
1/4 tsp salt
macapuno balls

Preheat the oven to 200c. Line a baking tray.

In a food processor place the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, shortening, margarine, cardamom and salt. Pulse the mixture until it forms a ball, being careful not to overmix. You could also do this by hand by rubbing the mixture through your fingertips until it comes together.

Allow the dough to rest for 20minutes in the fridge, then roll out to about 5mm in thickness. Using a circular cookie cutter cut out as many circles as you can, re-rolling the dough when necessary.

Take a macapuno ball out of the syrup it comes in and flatten it to create an oval shape. In place the ball of macapuno on a dough circle to the side. Fold the other half of the dough over and using a fork press together the two edges to create a pretty pattern.

Bake in the oven for 10-15minutes until they look golden brown.

Eat.

These are pretty good, the biscuit comes out a bit like a digestive, and the cardamom does distract you from the super sweetness of the macapuno balls. They’re also quite filling so one alongside a cup of tea is a pretty good afternoon snack. Anyway enough of my waffling, have a great weekend.

Elise x

Blackberry & Frangipane Tart

Hello, how are you?

I realise I’ve not updated this blog for 2 weeks now, something I promised myself I wouldn’t do. I also realise that a lot of my posts seem to start with an apology, so this one won’t. I don’t need to feel guilty for not updating everyday, but I probably still will. I think a 2 week hiatus deserves an explanation though. Simply I haven’t been myself the last month, I’ve been feeling really lethargic, I keep getting sick and generally feeling a bit down. I’m not entirely sure why, but I think I’ve been feeling quite stressed both in my job and thinking about the future, so I’ve made a few decisions and I’m feeling much better. Sometimes I think my indecisive nature makes me unwell, the anxiety I feel while trying to make a decision is usually far more painful than the actual choice.

But anyway I’m back, and I come bearing a gift of frangipane.

and a cute picture of my mum's dog!

I went to my mum & dad’s this weekend for some TLC, but now I’m ‘grown up’ I feel like I should take them something for their hospitality. Gary’s mum had just bought us round some blackberries and seeing as they’re so close to raspberries (the flavour jam used in Bakewell tart) I thought they’d make a good alternative.

And you know what?? They did!

Blackberry & Frangipane Tart
3 tbsp Psyllium Husks
120ml Water
100g Margarine
125g Caster Sugar
150g Ground Almonds
1 tsp Almond Extract
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 punnet Blackberries

Preheat the oven to 200C

Prepare your tart crust, I used this recipe from Seitan is my Motor, but I misread it and didn’t add in the sugar, this was stupid and I don’t recommend it, although it actually didn’t taste bad, it just needed some sweetness.

Put the psyllium in a grinder/processor and blend for a minute or two to break down the husks. Mix together the water and psyllium husks (I also learnt of the existence of these as a good egg replacer from Seitan is my Motor and her awesome recipe for coconut macaroons). Stir well and leave until it goes gloopy. I used psyllium because I didn’t want an overpowering seed flavour but I think ground flax would work just as well.

Cream together the margarine and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the psyllium and mix until well combined. Stir through the extracts and the ground almonds.

Pour the mixture into your prepared crust and place the blackberries in an eye pleasing design. Bake for 35 minutes.

Enjoy.

Before I turned vegan I had a massive obsession with Bakewell and would always choose it if it was on offer. This has made me very fussy about frangipane. Don’t get me wrong this recipe was pretty damn good, but it wasn’t the best I’ve ever had. So expect more experiments soon!

Elise x

Cornbread!!

Hello, how are you today?

Sorry I haven’t posted the last few days, I haven’t been very well :( but I’m much better now and feeling hungry so back to cooking and baking I think!! I wanted to start with something simple and yummy that was plain so it wouldn’t upset my system all over again, so I chose cornbread. It’s pretty plain, a brilliant yellow colour and delicious spread with jam so nice and sweet too. Happy :)

I used this recipe which comes from the genius of the Post-Punk Kitchen and is tres yummy. I used buckwheat flour instead of all purpose and replaced 1 tbsp of the maple syrup with sugar because I ran out half way through! I’ve also made this recipe with white spelt flour which I think I preferred because the buckwheat was a little overpowering. Anyway it is delicious and you should definitely try this recipe!

Plum & amaretto jam goes especially well with the savoury-ness of the cornbread!! Hmmm…hungry just looking at it!

Elise x

P.S. Leftover cornbread recipe coming later in the week :)

Single Lady Cupcakes!

Hello, how are you today?

I’m good, I’ve been pretty busy in my kitchen of late because I just bought myself a magimix 4200 and I’m in love!! I’ve been saving my tips from work for ages and this was my treat to myself :) You’ll probably hear about it quite a lot in the coming months. So far I’ve been making date balls & banana ice cream…so good! What have you been up to? Any new and exciting kitchen appliances or is it just me that gets this excited?!

It was my friend’s 40th birthday on Friday, which as an important milestone, needs cupcakes to be celebrated properly! But when I asked him what his favourite flavour was his exact reply was ‘I like *all* cupcakes’….uh oh! But then…duh duh duuuhhhh! In steps Chocolate Covered Katie with another great idea, a recipe for a single cupcake! So I doubled the recipe 5 times, mixed in some different flavours and voila 10 cupcakes in 5 flavours!


I must admit I am pretty proud of this collection :) Even better, they didn’t take that long to make, although I did end up with 5 bowls to wash up!!

The pina colada flavour! I added 1/4 tsp of coconut extract into the original recipe to enhance the flavour. After icing the cupcake I sprinkled it with desiccated coconut and topped with some dried pineapple I found in the cupboard.

One strawberry flavoured cupcake! I made 4 of these because I figured as it was summer and we live in England, strawberries were very appropriate. And after more prodding, Paul admitted he really liked strawberry flavour cupcakes! For the icing I mashed 5 strawberries with a fork and mixed with the pre-made icing for a pretty pink colour!

Probably the least pretty of the cupcakes but they were the tallest! This is the banana cupcake. I really wanted to put a piece of dried banana on the top but I couldn’t find any in the flat (I even checked the boys muesli!). I think fresh banana would have gone brown and looked icky pretty quickly!

The decoration on this was my favourite! We found the icing carrots in a baking shop in Brighton! So cute! As you may have guessed these are carrot cake cupcakes. I was going to add some raisins into the original recipe, but Gary hates them and I am a wonderful girlfriend so I left them out for him!

This was my favourite. The lemon & olive oil cupcake. I replaced all of the oil with the olive oil because I love its flavour, especially mixed with lemon. I also replaced all of the liquid for the cake with lemon juice instead of just adding 1/4 tsp. This gave a serious lemon flavour and it was great! It did affect how the cake rose a little, though that was to be expected but in some ways it improved the cupcake because the top was a shortbread/biscuity texture with a dense cake texture underneath. Seriously delicious.

I topped all of the cakes with Katie’s cashew butter icing because I couldn’t be bothered to walk to Sainsbury’s after work for Trex, not even for Paul’s birthday! Oh and I added some yellow food colouring for the lemon and banana cupcakes. I still feel a little proud looking at the pictures of the cupcakes now…is that sad??

Anyway, go make cupcakes, you have no excuse seeing as you can make just one and Katie has loads of flavours to choose from. Go, now!

Elise x