Posts tagged coconut milk

Chocolate Coconut Tres Leches

Chocolate coconut tres leches on a plate

Tres Leches translates into three milks cake. With nearly the consistency of a pudding cake, the dense cake batter is designed to soak up a sweetened milk glaze that you pour over it before after baking and before adding the frosting.

 

I first sampled the traditional vanilla tres leches not in Mexico, but La Crosse, Wisconsin of all places. In a tiny Mexican restaurant frequented by college students and foodies our server brightened when we ordered the tres leches. The owner of Iguana’s Mexican Street Cafe made it from scratch and took great pride in serving us a huge slice. I’ve been thinking about making it ever since. That was July.

 

I wanted to amp up the flavor of the cake so of course I thought it needed chocolate. I found a version of Chocolate Rum Cake from Chow that lead me through how to add chocolate to both the cake batter and the tres leches glaze. But I also wanted to temper some of the tres leches glaze, which can become too sweet for my taste, with another ingredient. I found it in coconut milk – a great stand-in for much of the heavy cream and some of the sweetened condensed milk. I just couldn’t stop there. I also added dark cocoa powder into the whipped frosting for a rich dessert that really is more like Cinco Leches – sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, coconut milk, heavy cream, and milk chocolate chips. I usually opt for semi-sweet but this creamy dessert works better with a milky chocolate.

 

Both of the recipes I combined made the tres leches cake as a layer cake. I like it better in a casserole dish – it’s easier to make that way and serves more people. If you want a layered cake go ahead but your cake may not soak up all the tres leches glaze, which was another reason I went with the dish – I didn’t want to lose any of the sauce!

Chocolate Coconut Tres Leches

Recipe

For the cake

¾ cup water

2 tsp. dark cocoa powder (opt. I used black onyx)

½ cup cocoa powder

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 ¼ cups sugar

5 large egg yolks

½ cup vegetable oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. coconut extract (opt.)

8 large egg whites

¾ tsp. cream of tartar

 

For the tres leches

4 ounces chocolate (milk chocolate chips work well)

1 cup coconut milk

½ cup sweetened condensed milk

¼ cup evaporated milk

¼ cup heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. coconut extract (opt.)

Tres leches ingredients

For the frosting

2 cups heavy cream

1/8 cup coconut milk

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp. dark cocoa powder

1 tsp. coconut extract (opt.)

 

For the garnish

Shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

Mini chocolate chips

 

Directions

For the cake

  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously coat the inside of a 9” x 13” casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, ½ tsp. salt, and ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In another bowl whisk the egg yolks, oil, and extracts until combined. Whisk dark cocoa powder into the water right in the measuring cup and then whisk into the egg mixture.
  4. Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the flour until combined. (Lots of whisking!)
  5. In yet another bowl, beat the egg whites, ½ tsp. salt, and the cream of tartar in a bowl until the egg whites become frothy, about 2 minutes. (Yes, you’re essentially making a meringue.) Gradually add the rest of the sugar, ¾ cup, into the egg whites and beat until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.
  6. Working in three batches, add 1/3 of the egg whites to the flour-egg yolk mixture and fold together until there are no white streaks. Follow the same procedure with the rest of the egg whites.
  7. Pour the batter into the casserole dish and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Test to see if the cake is done by putting a toothpick into the center – if it comes out clean take the cake out of the oven. Cool the cake for 10 minutes.

Adding tres leches

For the tres leches glaze

  1. In a large, glass measuring bowl, melt together the chocolate and ¼ cup heavy cream in the microwave on medium-high heat for 90 seconds. Stir until smooth.
  2. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk in coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, extracts.
  4. Pour 1/3 of the tres leches glaze onto the cake. Wait 10 minutes and then pour the next 1/3. Follow the same process with the rest of the glaze.
  5. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or, if possible, overnight.

 

For the whipped topping

  1. With a hand-held mixer beat the whipping cream until frothy. Add the coconut milk and powdered sugar to the whipping cream until stiff, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add in the extracts and cocoa powder and whip 30 more seconds.
  3. Spread the whipped topping onto the cake using a spatula.
  4. Optional toppings – shredded coconut and mini chocolate chips.
  5. Refrigerate 1 more hour.

 

To serve

  1. On a large plate use chocolate sauce (such as Hershey’s syrup – it’s for the design not the flavor) and make a swirl shape on the plate.
  2. Use the extra tres leches sauce in the pan to do another swirl of sauce.
  3. Cut the cake into square pieces.

 

*Not a coconut fan? The coconut flavor in this recipe is subtle. Nix the coconut extract and the coconut milk in the whipped topping if you don’t like coconut. Keep it in the tres leches and you probably won’t notice it. Or, just go ahead and use all heavy cream instead of any coconut milk.

 

Pieces of chocolate coconut tres leches

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Coconut milk chocolate cupcakes

I needed some chocolate therapy this weekend so when a friend of mine passed along a recipe for chocolate cake with the subject line “OMG best cake ever” I had to give it a try. Thanks Jessie!

This recipe for Double-Deep-Chocolate Hanukkah Layer Cake from Gourmet makes for tasty cupcakes. The batter came together fast and filled 28+ cupcakes. (I did 20 then a small-sized loaf for a neighbor.) These are the moistest chocolate cupcakes you’ll ever eat! Even if you’re not a coconut fan, don’t worry, the flavor is slight.

I upped the flavor of the coconut in the frosting with coconut extract.

Recipe

Prep time: 30 minutes + baking

Servings: 28 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

3/4 cup vegetable oil plus more for greasing pans
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process) plus more for dusting pans + 2 tsps. dark cocoa powder (you can also use Espresso powder or my favorite, Black onyx powder)
1 cup water
3/4 cup well-stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk (I use the 14-oz. Light Coconut Milk can from Trader Joe’s)
3 large eggs, warmed in shell in warm water 5 minutes
1 1/2 tsps. pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. salt

Frosting

Remaining canned coconut milk (about 1 cup)

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. coconut extract (opt.)

4 tbsps. butter

Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, water, eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla.
  3. In another bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Blend the wet ingredients into the dry until smooth.
  5. Fill cupcake holders 2/3 of the way full.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.

Frosting

  1. Microwave all of the frosting ingredients except the vanilla in a glass measuring cup for 1 minute on high.
  2. Stir and continue microwaving at 30-second intervals until the chocolate is smooth; stir in the vanilla.
  3. The frosting will be thin; cool it in the refrigerator until it gets thick enough to spread on the cupcakes.

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Thai grilled corn lollipops

Forget grilling a whole corn on the cob when it’s so much easier–and fun–to make corn lollipops. And with corn in season right now it tastes so sweet it could almost be candy! You don’t have to add much to it to make a tasty dinner side dish. But you know me, I had to do a few tweaks. We were making Thai chicken satay. So to meld the Asian flavors, I soaked the corn ‘pops’ in coconut milk spiked with fresh lime juice, soy and honey. Yes, coconut + corn + lime = tasty.

I have to thank Bobby Flay’s Throwdown for this one. I finally got around to watching the ‘rematch on the grill‘ episode that’s been sitting on my DVD for weeks. He gave me the idea for the ‘pops’ and his competition the idea to soak the corn in milk. But the coconut milk is all my idea. Wait, back up, actually Mr. Squid may have come up with it while I was piecing off kernels and eating them raw (seriously sweet corn right now).

Ready for the recipe?

Thai grilled corn lollipops

Ingredients

1 corn cobs (the fresher, the better)

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 juice from a lime

1/2 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

10-12 bamboo skewers

Directions

  1. Soak the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes so they won’t burn on the grill.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the corn into disks about 1-1/2″ thick. Add them to a mixing bowl with the coconut milk, lime juice, honey and soy sauce. Marinate for around 20-30 minutes.
  3. Using the sharp end of the bamboo skewer carefully poke it into the side of the corn pop.
  4. Heat your outdoor grill to medium high. Mr. Squid also places a band of heavy duty aluminum foil where the ends of the sticks will be so  they don’t burn.
  5. Place the corn pops on the grill for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Warning: some of the kernels will pop.
  6. FYI: The leftover corn kernels are great in salads and fried rice. Remove the kernels with a sharp kitchen knife.

Check back in tomorrow I have a contest ready for those of you sending kiddos back to school!

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