may: kerri’s chocolate raspberry macaroon tart

I’m not the biggest fan of straight coconut desserts. And although I considered making one, I decided in the end to make something I’d love to eat :) (Not that I’m averse to trying different things, just that with the little baking time I have right now, I’d prefer to indulge myself!)

It didn’t take long for me to figure out what I wanted to bake. The original recipe for this tart is actually for 6 individual tarts. I made them years and years ago and they were so good, but for some reason haven’t made them since. I keep stumbling on it but always save it ‘for another day’. So it was perfect for this month’s theme! I like how this recipe uses coconut a bit differently, as a tart base rather than using pastry or biscuit crumbs.

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When baking the base, just bake until firm. It doesn’t have to be golden and browned too much as it will go into the oven again with the filling, and will brown up more during that baking time.

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As with most things I bake these days, this tart is really easy and quick to make. The tart base is easier and quicker than a pastry or biscuit base – just mix, press and bake! It’s a great recipe for a beginner tart maker, and seasoned ones will love the ease. The filling is also easy, so you’ll be sure to impress anyone who eats it!

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I received lots of compliments from my guests for this tart. The mixture of coconut, chocolate and raspberries is luxurious and indulgent. Shhhh, don’t tell them how easy it is to make!

You can find the recipe here.

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may: coconut

coconutCoconut products have become a craze of late. The market has been flooded with products such as coconut water, coconut oil, coconut sugar and coconut flour.

These products have become popular replacements in cooking as they are naturally dairy and gluten free and because of the nutritional benefits. It’s yet to be seen whether this is a fad or if it’s here to stay, but this month, we’re exploring the versatility of coconut in our sweet dishes!

april: anna’s maple and pecan ice cream

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I’ve decided that ice cream is going to be my thing this summer! After making it a couple of times recently with very favorable results, I was keen to continue experimenting with new and different flavors!

Once you have an ice cream base that you like, there’s really no limit to the different flavor combinations you can make. I’ve seen lots of unique combinations pop up recently… the most interesting combination I’ve tried is miso and sour cherry, which actually worked really well (I’ve mentally added it to the list of flavors to try making)!

This particular ice cream used maple syrup as a complete substitute for sugar. The recipe suggested using Grade B maple syrup, which has a more intense flavor, but I only had Grade A maple syrup on hand, so I used that instead. I love freshly roasted pecans, so I added those to the ice cream too.

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The ice cream turned out really well! Very rich and creamy. I just used plain roasted pecans, but you could also toss them with salt or other spices, for something a little different.

Find the recipe here

 

april: kerri’s maple syrup ice cream

Many apologies for my late april post! I was three quarters the way through when 30 April became 1 May. Meaning I only had one step left (ok, two when you count the freezing) before I ran out of time.

I’ve discovered that days and dates blur in a way they haven’t before when most days (and nights) are spent feeding a little one, and feeling accomplished when you can actually leave the house looking somewhat together :) So the end of April crept up on me too fast, even though I had my recipe ready for some time. Again, apologies… but here it is!

When maple syrup was announced as the theme this month, my mind went into overdrive. So many ways to use it, how do I choose just one? Circumstances are a good way to narrow things down. I needed something simple and fast. And wanted something indulgent that I couldn’t have while pregnant. Home made ice cream was the answer :)

When we were living in Hong Kong, we subscribed to the Asian Food Channel on which many Canadian food shows are shown. One of our favourites was ‘Chuck’s Day Off’, where chef Chuck Hughes cooks simple, hearty recipes for the every day person in his restaurant kitchen. So when I came across his recipe for maple ice cream, I knew I had to try it. I stuck to the original recipe bar the maple flakes, which I didn’t have.

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And it was as easy and delicious as I thought it would be. And my guests also thought the same. Creamy and not too sweet, it’s a recipe I will keep in my repertoire. It goes well with anything, giving a different but not-too-distinctive flavour to vanilla when paired with almost anything. I served mine with brownies, but it’s equally as good on it’s own (as you can see from my second helping in the photo!).

You can find the recipe here.