coconut

Coconut Chocolate Bowls

Coconut Chocolate Bowls

Now this is fun. Coconut almond sorbet served in chocolate bowls. The idea is to make the dessert look like coconuts. It worked out well and tasted great.

The whole dessert is dairy free and vegan as well. Great for people who have issues with dairy. You won’t miss the dairy in this recipe. The sorbet is smooth and creamy.

These are fun to serve for summer parties. You can make everything ahead of time, assemble and keep in the freezer until you want them.

The bowls are made by dipping inflated balloons in melted chocolate. Then you coat them is desiccated coconut to cover the chocolate. Desiccated coconut is dry and unsweetened. It looks like white bread crumbs. You can find it at Asian markets (it is the type of coconut used for coconut shrimp) . It is also found at cake decorating and candy making stores.

Let the bowls set- in fridge or freezer- until the chocolate hardens. Then you just pop the balloons and remove them. You are left with a chocolate bowl. Fill the bowls with the sorbet- you could use vanilla ice cream. I suppose, but the coconut sorbet really is better in this dish.

You can serve them as is- or top with some fresh fruit or chocolate sauce.

So here are the directions for the bowls and the recipe for the sorbet.

 

Chocolate “Coconut” Bowls

 

8 Balloons- blown up to 4-inch diameter

12 oz. Chocolate – I used bittersweet. Chocolate chips would work, too

about 1 cup of desiccated coconut- cake and candy making stores sell it- Asian markets, too.

Coconut Almond Sorbet- recipe follows

 

Blow up balloons and tie the ends. Melt chocolate and stir until smooth. I melt mine in a microwave, being careful not to let the chocolate burn. Allow chocolate to cool down a bit before dipping the balloons. This is really important: if the chocolate is too hot the balloons will explode before the chocolate hardens. Also, don’t get really cheap water balloons- they pop easy. I normally melt my chocolate and then add some unmelted chocolate to the bowl, which cools it down. Place some of the desiccated coconut in a shallow bowl. Dip the bottom of the bowl in the chocolate. Use a small rubber spatula to remove excess chocolate from the bottom. It is supposed to become a bowl, so leave some on the bottom, just not a huge blob. Tip the balloon and sprinkle the coconut all over the chocolate. You can set the balloon in the coconut, too. Set balloons on a small tray, lined with wax paper to set up. This is faster in the fridge or freezer. Once the chocolate is hard- pop the balloon and be sure to remove any of the left over pieces of balloon. Keep bowls in the fridge until ready to fill with sorbet. Makes 8.

When ready to fill them- scoop in some of the sorbet and smooth the top. You can do this ahead of time and store in the freezer until ready to serve.

 

Coconut Almond Sorbet

 

1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk

1½ c. almond milk

¼ c. sugar- or to taste

2 t. vanilla

 

Combine all ingredients in bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Place in an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Makes 1 quart.

 

Note: If you don’t have an ice cream machine, you can freeze the sorbet in a shallow tray. Once frozen, remove from freezer and let it soften a few minutes. Break into chunks and process in a food processor to soften. Return to freezer until ready to use.

 

Hawaiian Wedding Cake

Hawaiian Wedding Cake

Hawaiian Wedding Cake

I get a little nostalgic when I make Hawaiian Wedding Cake. This recipe was very popular when I was a kid. I don’t know a lot of people making it anymore- and that is a shame. The cake is very tasty and quite easy to make.

This recipe proves that you don’t always need a lot of time, to bake a homemade dessert. You can make this moist and tasty cake in less time than it takes to make a box mix cake. Really. The ingredients are all combined at once in a mixing bowl, and stirred by hand until mixed.

Of course, time saving means nothing if the dessert doesn’t taste good. The cake is really good. It is studded with nuts, coconut and has plenty of pineapple in it, too. Once baked and cooled, it can be topped with cream cheese frosting, powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. You can even leave it plain.

The cake can make a nice gift, too. Use small foil loaf pans- and divide the batter among them, filling half way. Bake at the same temperature, but for a shorter time.

The mix of tropical ingredients certainly inspired the name of this cake. I don’t really know if people in Hawaii actually ever serve this cake at weddings. I like to think that they did. I do know how much I like it. I think you will, too.

 

 

Hawaiian Wedding Cake

2 c. flour

2 eggs

1 (20oz.) can crushed pineapple in its own juice, undrained

1 c. shredded coconut

1 c. sugar

1 c. chopped walnuts

2 t. baking soda

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch pan. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour into prepared pan and bake 35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cool and dust with cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, or frost. Serves 12.

Frosting recipe:

8 oz. Cream cheese, softened

3/4 c. powdered sugar

1 stick butter, room temperature

Beat all together until fluffy. Frost cake and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Cake should be golden brown on top when baked

Cake should be golden brown on top when baked

 

Coconut Orange Cupcakes

Coconut Orange Cupcakes

Coconut Orange Cupcakes

This is a great dessert to take along on picnics, when the weather might be too warm for frosted treats.  A cupcake without frosting? Well, if it is this Coconut Orange Cupcake you will never miss it. The cupcake batter is made with orange juice and enriched with vanilla chips and mandarin oranges. Before baking a slightly sweet coconut and butter mixture is sprinkled on the top. The end result is a cupcake with a toasted coconut topping and enough flavor and moisture to carry the day without frosting.  They are also very simple to make. You can have the batter mixed and ready in the time it takes to preheat the oven.

Coconut Orange Cupcakes

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup oil, I use a light flavored olive oil

2 eggs

1 cup orange juice

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup diced fresh oranges

1 cup vanilla or white baking chips

TOPPING:

1 cup flaked coconut

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, oil, eggs and orange juice; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; stir into orange juice mixture just until moistened. Fold in oranges and chips. Fill 24 greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over cupcakes. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 24.

 

Coconut Cracker Snacks

Coconut Cracker Snacks

Coconut Cracker Snacks

If you are craving something sweet and pressed for time these are really a fun snack to make. Super easy they are also a great recipe for kids to make. The base is saltine crackers topped with butter, brown sugar, coconut and cinnamon. They are ready in just a few minutes.  Sweet and just a little salty, too. You could use chopped nuts in place of the coconut if you prefer.

 

 

  Coconut Cracker Snacks

36 saltine crackers
1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 c. coconut
1 t. cinnamon
Cover a baking sheet with foil. Place the crackers, touching, side by side in a single layer. Melt butter in microwave, then add sugar and heat together 1 minute on high. Stir butter and sugar mixture together until smooth and drizzle this over the crackers. Combine coconut and cinnamon and then sprinkle the coconut over the crackers. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, or until coconut is toasted. Cool on baking sheet on a cooling rack. Crackers will easily break apart from each other. Makes 36.

Arrange crackers on a baking sheet

Arrange crackers on a baking sheet

Drizzle crackers with the butter/brown sugar mixture

Drizzle crackers with the butter/brown sugar mixture

Sprinkle on the coconut and bake until coconut is toasted

Sprinkle on the coconut and bake until coconut is toasted

Coconut Orange Cupcakes

Coconut Orange Cupcake

Coconut Orange Cupcake

A cupcake without frosting? Well, if it is this Coconut Orange Cupcake you will never miss it. The cupcake batter is made with orange juice and enriched with vanilla chips and mandarin oranges. Before baking a slightly sweet coconut and butter mixture is sprinkled on the top. The end result is a cupcake with a toasted coconut topping and enough flavor and moisture to carry the day without frosting.  They are also very simple to make. You can have the batter mixed and ready in the time it takes to preheat the oven.

Coconut Orange Cupcakes

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 cup orange juice

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained-you can also use 1 cup diced fresh oranges

1 cup vanilla or white baking chips

TOPPING:

1 cup flaked coconut

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, oil, eggs and orange juice; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; stir into orange juice mixture just until moistened. Fold in oranges and chips. Fill 24 greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over cupcakes. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 24.

Coconut Snowballs

Coconut Snowballs

Coconut Snowballs

We made these in a chocolate cooking class last night. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching I thought I’d share the recipe with you. While the recipe calls for baking a cake and cutting it into squares I prefer to bake cupcakes. That way they can be called snowballs. All too appropriate this time of year. Whether you bake a cake and cut it into squares or make the cupcakes they do need to be frozen before dipping in the chocolate sauce.

Coconut Cake Squares aka Snowballs

1 white cake, prepared and frozen solid

1 c. cocoa

1 1/4 c. sugar

2 c. water

1 t. vanilla

½ c. desiccated coconut (available at cake supply stores and some health food stores)

Cut frozen cake into small squares, or cake can be baked in regular or mini cupcake tins. Keep cake frozen until ready to use. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients, except coconut in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Using toothpicks or fondue forks, dip cake in sauce let drain a few seconds, then roll in the coconut. Can be used right away or frozen again for later use.

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