Brunch pina colada

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A no brainer for brunches… very easy to do and always a smashing success. Add a little bit of rum for a more festive occasion.

Breakfast pina colada (adapted from a recipe by Allegra McEvedy found in the Guardian)

Ingredients 

  • 1 400g can of pineapple pieces (no skin or core)
  • 6-8 leaves Thai basil
  • 400 mL of coconut milk
  • 400 mL of coconut water
  • Shredded coconut to taste

Method

Put the pineapple and basil in the blender and top up with half coconut milk and half coconut water. Blend to form a liquid.

Taste and adjust the flavours if necessary. Add the shredded coconut.

Garnish  with basil and serve

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Spiced chia pudding with blueberries and crunchy chocolate muesli

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Mighty, gluten-free seeds, packed with omega-3, protein Blah-di-blah-di-blah-di-blah Eleven health benefits of chia seeds that are supported by science Blah-di-blah-di-blah-di-blah Great source of healthy omega-3 fats and fibre blah-di  and fortunately it’s an easy food to ad lalalalala. Indeed, I am trying to repurpose this blog into an healthy super foods outlet. The thing is that I actually like the gelatinous texture with some bite  and a nutty flavour. It make me feel full for a long time. It is super easy a pudding like dessert – all you need is milk or vegetal equivalent, add spices and you are ready to go. For extra healthy points, add another superfood.

Spiced chia pudding with blueberries and crunchy chocolate muesli (adapted from a recipe found in Food and Wine on-line magazine).

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2  cup  (about 120mL) water
  • 1 1/4 cup (about 300mL) of light or full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • fresh blueberries to task
  • crunchy chocolate muesli

Method

In a bowl, combine the chia seeds, water, coconut milk, vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

To serve, stir in the sea salt and top with fresh blueberries, granola and drizzle with maple syrup. Serve chilled.


Coconut cake

 

Not my birthday cake, but close enough… G. and I share the same birthday, and it has become sort of a tradition to have a dinner party around this time of the year. After agonizing for a couple of days what I would be baking for the occasion, I ended up seeing this one on Thomas Keller‘s Ad hoc at home.  It was just not the flavors which caught my attention – there was also a very nice story attached to it. And, having read this was a very dear cake to him, I decided to go for it in less than heartbeat. Let me warn you, it is not an easy dish. But, it is so rich and velvety you end up forget all the cooking efforts once you start eating it.

In case you were wondering what sort extravaganza cake I baked this year, the answer is not 42…  I actually let myself be (very) spoiled my dear Zurich friends. All I can say is that it was chocolate, it was rich and it was dense. Very dense… which is always a good thing when it comes to chocolate.

Coconut cake (adapted from Thomas Keller‘s Ad hoc at home)

Ingredients 

  • 500mL of coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 380g of flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking power
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • The whites of 6 large eggs
  • 400 granulated sugar
  • 180g of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups of drie shredded coconut
  • Sugar syrup (3 parts of water to 1 part of sugar).

Method

1.Pre heat the oven to 180oC (=350oF).  Coat a baking tray with baking spray (or butter and flour).

2.Prepare the coconut-vanilla mixture. Put the coconut milk a small pan and whisk to blend. Bring to a gentle simmer, keeping on whisking until most the water has evaporated. You should have the equivalent of 1 cup. Remove from the heat and let it cool down. When the coconut is at room temperature, add the vanilla extract and mix well.

3. Prepare the dry ingredients mix. Sift the cake flour and the baking powder. Stir in the salt and put aside.

4. Prepare the white egg sugar mixture. Whip the whites with a whisker until they begin to froth. Slowly add 150g of sugar and whisk you see medium peak forming. (the whisker should be put to slow when you start adding the sugar, and then put to medium-high). Put aside.

5. Prepare the butter and sugar mix. Put the butter on a bowl and mix with a paddle at medium-low speed until it starts to soften.  Add the remaining sugar. Mix until it is light yellow and fluffy.

6. Mix the dry ingredients, the butter and coconut mix. It is not important not to over mix the batter. Each addition doesn’t have to be completely incorporated before you add the next. Add half the dry ingredients and mix; then add half the coconut mix and incorporate it. Start all over again: half of the remaining dry ingredients, then the coconut milk. Repeat with what is left. Make sure you mix the bottom of the bowl.

7. Gently fold in the egg whites (1/3 of it at a time).

8.Put batter in the  baking tray and gently smooth the type. Put in the oven for about 30min, and check with the skewer if it done. When the skewer comes out of cake dry, take the cake and let it cool down for about 10min before you remove it from the baking tray. Let it cool completely.

9. Meanwhile spread the coconut on a baking sheet and toast lightly – about 6 to 8min. Let it cool down.

10. Start working on the sugar syrup.  In a sauce pan, mix the sugar with the cold water and put to boil. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture is clear (app 3min).

11. Once the cake is cool, brush all the surfaces with the sugar syrup. Sprinkle with the roasted coconut.


Mandarin orange coconut cake

For obscure reasons I was not able to find out, in Switzerland tradition include giving bags of mandarin oranges, peanuts and a few chocolates. The kind of thing you might get at office or from a distant relative…. I was looking for a Christmassy dish, when I saw this on Cinco Quartos de Laranja who had seen it on All Recipes and then tweaked it a bit. By a happy coincidence, I actually had  way too many mandarin oranges on the fruit bowl, a tiny bit of coconut in my cupboard and just enough time to bake it. And, voila!, a Christmassy and at the same time fresh and casual dish. Actually, it is also delicious and light, with different flavors and textures in each bite. An excellent way of fooling kiddies into eating their daily dose of citrus.

Mandarin orange coconut cake

Ingredients

  • 200g  flour and 1 spoon of baking powder, sifted
  • 175g  sugar
  • 170g  unsalted butter
  • 150mL of mandarin orange juice
  • The zest of 3-4 mandarin oranges
  • 30g dry powdered coconut

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C. Coat a baking tray with baking spray (or butter and flour)

in a large bowl, beat the butter and the sugar until light and pale yellow.

Add the egg one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition.

Fold in the flour and mix well. Once it is well mixed, add the coconut, the mandarin orange juice and zest. Mix until the mixture is uniform.

Put the cake tin in the preheated oven. Bake the cake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (about 30min)


Breakfast oat bars

It came to my attention that yesterday, October 1oth, was World Porridge Day. While it is unlikely I’ll post a porridge dish any time soon, I indeed had on archive something that called for oats. It is a super easy recipe of home-made breakfast by Nigella I first saw on Canela moída. I tend to avoid this sort of snacks, no matter how many claims of “healthy  food” they have. Most of the times they are too sugary, too chewy, too fatty, too synthetic, too caloric…. But, this home-made one is almost a guilt-less treat, packed with different flavors and textures. A healthy sugar-rush, if you will.

As usual, a few tweaks. Cranberries are difficult to source in this part of world, so I used muesli oats with added fruit. But, this is the type of dish you can do with your favorite ingredients, as long as you keep the proportion of solids and condensed milk the same. It is very quick to do, but it takes about one solid hour to bake and another one to get it cool.

Be warned: once you start doing this, there is no back to the vending machine to get a plastic one.

Breakfast oat bars

Ingredients

  • 1 x 397g can condensed milk (=1 tube of condensed milk)
  • 350g  oats (not instant) with 50% added fruit, including a lot of cranberries (original recipe called for 250g rolled oat and 100g dried cranberries.
  • 75g shredded coconut
  • 125g mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame)
  • 125g natural unsalted peanuts

Method

Preheat the oven to 130°C/gas mark 1/2, and oil a 23 x 33 x 4cm baking tin, or use a throwaway foil one.

Warm the condensed milk in a large pan.

Meanwhile, mix together all the other ingredients and then add the warmed condensed milk, using a rubber or wooden spatula to fold and distribute.

Spread the mixture into the tin and press down with the spatula or, better still, your hands to even the surface. Just make sure you are wearing disposable vinyl gloves to do this, otherwise you will end up with the sticky oats all over your fingers.

Bake for 1 hour, then remove from the oven and, after about 15 minutes, cut into four across, and four down to make 16 chunky bars. Let cool completely


Coconut and zucchini bread

I saw it on Canela Moída, whom had seen it on The Novice Housewife, whom had seen it on Thru The Bugs On My Windshield, whom had seen it on Meet the Swans whom had seen it on Cooking Light Comfort Food Cookbook.  Somewhere along the way, the bananas in the original recipe were replaced by an equivalent amount of zucchini (= courgette=calabacin). The combination of flavors sounds a bit iffy – Zucchini? in a cake?? with coconut???  But, have not prejudices: the result is scrumptious. Not only it passed the 11-year old test, but also the 8-month eat it all with gusto and impatience. If he only knew those green dots belongs the same family than the green soups he spits all over himself…

Some bloggers made a Coconut Rum Lime glaze to put on top of it. I am not a big fan of sugary things and excessive ornamentation of cakes, and skipped it. Keeping on sugar matters, this cake is not at all sweet. If you have a sweet tooth, you might want to add more sugar than the quantity I used. Or replace the zucchini by an equivalent amount of bananas.

Coconut Zucchini Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter (about 60g)
  • 1 cup sugar (about 200g. You might want to increase the amount, if you like yours more sweet)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups ripe zucchini, grated (about 1 medium size 2 zucchinis,  app 120g)
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt (I used a whole small pack, with about 180g, minus 1 table spoon))
  • 1 teaspoon rum (I used Malibu – maybe a little more than a 1 teaspoon)
  • The seeds of a vanilla pod (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
  • 2/3 cup grated coconut (about 100g)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour (about 250g)

Methods

Pre heat the oven to 180 oC . Grease a loaf pan with butter and powder it with flour.

Cream butter and sugar until the mixture is white and fluffy.  Then beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well.

Add the zucchini, the yogurt, the vanilla seeds and the rum. Beat until well blended.

Fold in the coconut and all the dry ingredients,  and mix until just blended (do not over stir).

Spoon the  batter into the loaf pan previously buttered.

Bake for about an hour, or until toothpick comes out clean from the middle of the bread.

Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then transfer to serving plate.

Coconut Rum Lime Glaze

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sugar
  • The seeds of a vanilla pod (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
  • 1 teaspoon of  rum or rum extract
  • 3 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Milk as required to get the glaze to the right consistency (you can use coconut milk, in case you have that in hand)
  • Roasted coconut to taste

Method

Mix all ingredients except the milk in a medium bowl. Add milk until it becomes a thick but smooth glaze. Set aside.

Toast coconut under the broiler until just browned. Set aside.

Drizzle glaze over bread. Top with toasted coconut and lime zest.