Monday, April 14, 2014

Key Lime Pie with Coconut Crust

Last week I had an interview for an exciting internship opportunity over the summer in California! I'll talk more about this later but to ease my nerves that morning I woke up and baked a pie. It seems rather ambitious to bake a pie before an interview rather than other sorts of preparations, but baking calms my nerves! So a pie it was. Mom and I have been going crazy over a local food truck here called the Itty Bitty Pie Company that make the best miniature key lime pies in the universe, and ever since we found them I've been itching to replicate. After searching through several recipes, I finally found one that was simple enough to whip up in a couple hours. Here's the recipe:

(Adapted from Hummingbird High)

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (appx. 14 crackers)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil

14 oz sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 tablespoon lime zest

Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a food processor, combine graham crackers and shredded coconut until crumbly. In a bowl mix together the crumb mixture, coconut oil and sugar until moist. Using your fingers press the mixture into a 9 inch pie dish, until evenly spread. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool completely.

Lower the oven to 325 F. In a bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, egg yolks, lime juice and zest until just mixed. Pour into your cooled crust. Bake for 15 minutes, or until solid but still slightly jiggles. Allow to cool before serving. Top with whipped cream and lime zest.

Note: I know this is technically supposed to be key lime but we had lots of regular limes so I used those and it was still fantastic. Lime Pie just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Coconut Brownies

I always think I don't like brownies. If I'm in a bakery or a cafe, no part of me is thinking about choosing a brownie. Even when I'm browsing through recipes I'm always like "Meh, brownies." But then for some reason I'll buy one or I'll make a batch and I'm like, "Ohh yea...brownies." So of course I had to make a coconut-ty version of them to satisfy all the needs. These brownies are still the perfect amount of chocolate with a slight hint of coconut. If you want to jazz them up even more you could add a hint of espresso powder or some coffee chips to give them a light mocha flavour.

Here's the recipe:

Adapted from the Pastry Affair


4 tablespoons solid coconut oil
4 oz of semi sweet chocolate, chopped
2 eggs
3/4 cups brown sugar
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9x9 square pan with aluminum foil and light grease.

In a saucepan, melt together the coconut oil and chopped chocolate until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for five minutes. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Once the chocolate has cooled slightly, mix in the egg, sugars and vanilla. Gentle stir in the flour, baking powder and salt making sure not to form an air bubbles. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into the greased pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the shredded coconut on top until covered. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out (mostly) clean.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Good Books: Oh She Glows Cookbook

As much as I would like to count this as another book read for my 25-book pledge...don't worry, I know better. I'm not going to be one of those sneaky readers who ups their book count with cookbooks, storybooks and goodnight moon. If you're over the age of 6 and counting goodnight moon for anything, get a hold of yourself! That does not count!

Anyways, all that being said, I actually have finished another book for my pledge. I recently finished The Giver by Lois Lowry but apparently I'm the only person in the universe who hadn't read this during grade school so I'm going to save you a review. To sum up - it was great, and the newly released movie trailer does not do it justice.

The book I'm actually here to tell you about is the Oh She Glows Cookbook. I first shared with you the wonders of the Oh She Glows vegan food blog in this post, and since the release of the cookbook, food has gotten so much better. I was wandering through the bookstore, caught sight of this beauty, and after just a couple page turns I knew I had to have it. It has honestly become one of the greatest cookbooks in my collection. Each recipe comes with a picture, is easy to follow, and leaves you with some of the tastiest dishes you'll ever try. From tortilla soup to homemade rolos to chickpea salad to lentil walnut meatloaf, everything in this cookbook is a win. If you're a vegan, vegetarian, healthy eater or food experimenter get this book in your collection stat, or at least check out the blog. Every recipe I've tried so far has been fantastic, and I can't wait to try a few more.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Three-Layer Pineapple Cake

Over the past couple months I've been really into cakes. I've never really been a cake lover either, I'm more of a pie girl. But lately! Lately I've just had an itch at making these sweet, layered, beauties. It is a well known fact on this blog that anything coconut-y (or with the potential to become coconut-y) is an immediate favourite in my books. Add that hint of coconut flavour to a moist, pineapple cake, smothered in whipped cream and you've got yourself a winner. I found this recipe on one of my regular browses through Pinterest and as soon as I got home that night I headed straight to the kitchen and began baking away! Though there are quite a few steps involved, this cake comes out stunning and delicious. I'll be surprised if it's not the best cake you've ever had. Here's my take on the three-layer pineapple cake:

For the cake:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon coconut extract
3/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
20 oz can crushed pineapple, drained

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare 3- 8 inch cake pans, greased and lined with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and sugars on medium speed, until creamy. Add in the vegetable oil and coconut extract. Gradually add in the yogurt and dry mixture, alternating between the two until just combined. Gently fold in the drained, crushed pineapple. Evenly distribute the batter between the cake pans, and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

For the filling:

20 oz can crushed pineapple
1.5 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon water

In a small saucepan, heat the pineapple, sugar and water, until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick.

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 dark rum

In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil. When the sugar has evaporated, remove from heat. Allow to cool and stir in the rum.

2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup icing sugar

Whip the cream and icing sugar together until stiff peaks form. Allow to chill.

3/4 cup toasted coconut

Once the cakes have completely cooled, you can begin assembling the cake. Starting with one cake as the base, soak the top of the cake with the rum syrup. Next gently spread a few tablespoons of the crushed pineapple mixture on top. Spread about 3/4 cup of whipped cream on top and lightly dust with toasted coconut. Continue these layers until your cake is completely assembled. Allow the cake to chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. For serving, gently saw with a serrated knife, making sure not to crush the cake. 

I know this cake will be the perfect summer dessert and am already dreaming up some cupcake versions of it to bring to parties and BBQs!