Tag Archives: coconut

Manjar de coco

27 Oct

Two weeks ago or so, I was browsing through my flickr® contacts’ photostreams when I came upon what looked like a coconut flan.I was intrigued and thusly (and speedily) sent an email to Renata Demasio asking for the recipe—mostly for Ryan’s benefit.That coconut fiend.

According to Renata, manjar de coco (coconut flan) is a traditional Portuguese dish, in which the sauce is commonly made with prunes.Renata promptly replied to my email and kindly shared the recipe.

To all coconut fans out there, here it is:

Manjar de coco – from Renata Demasio, Brazil

300ml milk

300ml coconut milk

80g cornstarch

100g sugar

12g gelatin (no flavor, no color)

Put all the ingredients in a pan (except gelatin) and let the mixture cooks in medium heat until thick. Add the gelatin, already mixed with 5 tbsp of water and heat on the microwave for 10 seconds (or using according to the package). Put the cream in a mold and allow it to cool down. Put the pudding in the fridge and remove it from the mold when it is really cold.I made a caramel sauce with dried bananas. Originally it’s only made with sugar, water and the prunes, but I like to do a little different:

Sauce for the Manjar:

50g of dried bananas cut in small pieces (or prunes)

100g sugar100ml water

juice of 1 lemon

1 cinnamon stick,

3 cloves,

1 star anise,

4 whole blackpeppercorns,

4 coriander seeds and

3 whole allspice, heated in a small pan to intensify the flavor.

Melt sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and stir until golden caramel. Pour in water, lemon juice, prunes or dry bananas and the spices and bring to boil.Lower the heat and boil until it has a light syrup consistency.

Using Renata’s recipe as the basis and inspiration, I took liberty in tweaking the recipe to my taste by using dried pineapple instead of dried bananas, along with replacing the coriander seeds with cardamom seeds and eschewing allspice since I don’t have it available.Moreover, I used a different measurement for the main ingredients:

2 cups milk
1 can coconut milk
4 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup sugar
4 packets unflavored gelatin

I followed the instructions from Renata’s recipe except for the sauce part.What I did differently is that I heated everything minus the fruit.When the syrup became aromatic, thanks to the lovely spices, then I removed the spices and added in the fruit, which I left to simmer for 15 minutes before turning off the heat.

The photos are self-explanatory.

Note: Set aside 1/2 cup (of the 2c milk) in a separate bowl and leave in the fridge

Sprinkle the contents of 4 packets of unflavored gelatin onto the 1/2c milk that you previously set aside

Mmm.Nice, light, and satisfying.Make it and see taste for yourself.

Cheers Renata!Muito obrigada!

Mango Almond Macaroons

30 Jul

Or Mango-Almond Macaroons for long.

Last Tuesday, Eva, a longtime girlfriend, her Mom, and her one year old plus baby girl named Gabriella flew in for a one-week visit.  Unfortunately, Teppo, her husband, wasn’t able to join them for the trip. Something about work. Again, unfortunately.  They lodged in Seattle but spent an overnight with us in Redmond.  When I visited Eva and her family many, many full moons ago, Gabriella was only three months old.  So it has been quite a while since I’ve seen them.  Their long awaited visit is mainly a bite from the traveling bug which Eva has been afflicted with for years, and partly from my constant cajoling that she should get out of San Francisco to see the Northwest and visit me.

Eva & company’s itinerary included a weekend trip to Victoria, Canada which Ryan and I got willingly pulled into.  We would have gone to Vancouver but Eva preferred Victoria.  Given that she was the one who came up for a visit, I think it’s only fair that she call the shot on the Canada trip.

Growing up, when my familiy went on long trips, my Mom would pack snacks for us: fruits, crackers, and sandwiches, so we would have a choice of healthy eats and not rely on fast food junks.  So it’s no surprise that I’d pick up the habit of packing snacks for long trips too.  For our trip to Victoria, aboard the Victoria clipper vessel, I packed mini coconut bun rolls and mango-almond macaroons.  Perfect munchies for Ryan, the coconut lover, and for Gabriella, the budding coconut lover.

Here’s the easy breezy recipe for the macaroons:

Mango-Almond Macaroons

4 large egg whites
4 tbp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 c sweetened flaked coconut
¼ c dried mango chips
¼ c sliced almonds
Pinch of salt
Butter and flour for baking sheet and/or foil

Put oven rack in middle position.  Preheat oven to 300°F.  Butter a baking sheet, then line with foil and lightly butter and flour foil.  Knock off excess flour. Combine the egg whites, sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.  Then mix in coconut, mango chips, and sliced almonds.  Divide coconut mixture into size of your choice onto the baking sheet.  Make sure the mounds are about 1 inch apart.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tops are pale golden.  Carefully peel off the macaroons from the baking sheet and transfer them onto a rack to cool.

I’ll let Gabriella be the judge of the coconut bun roll (recipe not included).

Gabbe eating coconut bun

I hope you enjoy your macs as much as Gabriella bella enjoyed her coconut bun roll.

Mango-a-go-goes again

16 Jul

It would be obvious by now that I like mangoes. Perhaps “like” is too much of an understatement. All right, I confess I love mangoes. Love, love, love. Just as Ryan loves coconut.

Well, maybe I love mangoes a tad less than Ryan loves coconut.

I haven’t done anything really fancy with mangoes other than my Hawaiian Chicken, which I haven’t made since last summer. Before this season is through, I’ll make it happen.

We came upon some beautiful Atalufo mangoes over the weekend that were hard to ignore. So we didn’t.

You’ve heard of the expression “food pornography.” If not, here’s Wikipedia to the rescue:

Food porn is a sarcastic term variously applied to a spectacular visual presentation of cooking or eating, in advertisements, infomercials, cooking shows or other visual media, foods boasting a high fat and calorie content[1], exotic dishes that arouse a desire to eat[2] or the glorification of food as a substitute for sex.

Now you know. And now, here’s some mango porn for you. Parental discretion is advised. Hehe.

So choo-choo! Get ready for some yummylicious fun! (Photo and drawing by Ryan)

Oh-la -la. Mmm, mmm, mangoes.

Getting up-close and personal.

Here’s one sun-bathing, undressed, and showing off its flesh topped with coconut and brown sugar! Oh sweet mango!

Cover those innocent eyes!

Ooh, more!

And that’s all, folks!


What? You want another? Fine. Here’s one more look.

Seriously, that’s the end of the show.


Oh, okay, why not another for the road.


Coconut craze

3 Jul

Coconut is happiness to Ryan. He loves coconut. Any dish in which coconut is an ingredient makes Ryan—happy. Coconut is all there is to it. His obsession with coconut baffles my sisters to no end. When they’re getting him a food present, the food present in their mind is coconut, which to them presents a challenge because there are only so many (somewhat) imperishable processed food products that contains coconut. Primarily cookies and chocolates. And I think my sisters have exhausted themselves of ideas.

Unsurprisingly, Ryan isn’t the only coconutaholic in his family. His Mom and younger sister are as well. I won’t be amazed to hear if Nancy craved coconut when she was pregnant with Ryan and Kara. Because of this coconut craze, I’ve been tweaking recipes and adding coconut milk or cream then changing its name to “Kara Coconut -fill in the blank-“. I decided on “Kara Coconut” versus “Ryan Coconut” because the former is more pleasant sounding. Coincidentally, there’s a coconut product line called kara® (photo taken by Ryan). So it makes perfect sense to use a kara® brand coconut product when making my “Kara Coconut” recipes.

As I write this article, Ryan’s plane is flying over the Bay Area and should be landing soon. He’ll be spending July 4th weekend with his family. I promised Kara that I’ll be sending over a Coconut Cream Bread with Ryan so I spent part of yesterday making two batches: one for Ryan’s family and another for us.

Kara Coconut Cream Bread

1 packet active dry yeast
¼ cup water
2/3 cup coconut cream
4 cups bread or all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
¼ lb melted butter

6 tablespoons desiccated coconut
5 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar

Prepare the yeast with the water (see manufacturer’s instructions).
Sift the flour into a large along with the salt and sugar. Make a well in the center then add the yeast mixture, coconut cream, melted butter, and beaten egg. Gradually bring the mixture together until a soft dough is formed. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, shiny, and elastic.

Put the dough in a clean, lightly greased bowl, and coat its surface with oil. Cover with a clean, damp towel and allow it to rise in room temperature until its size has doubled.

Cream the butter then add the desiccated coconut and sugar.

Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for two minutes then roll (with a rolling pin) and stretch it into a rectangle. Spread the creamed butter mixture onto the surface. For the next process, think of rolling a rug. Close the dough by rolling the edges closest to you onto itself towards the opposite edges. Shape the rolled dough into a coiled spiral

Alternatively, you can shape the dough as buns instead of a coiled spiral. In which case, divide the dough into 8 even-size pieces, stretch into a square, add a teaspoon of the creamed butter mixture, then pinch close the corners together and smooth the dough into a ball. Do this process to the other 7 pieces.

Butter a baking sheet or pan and place the dough on(/in) it. Cover with a damp towel and let it rise again until nearly doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 400⁰F.

Mix the sugar into the melted butter and brush the dough with the mixture.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove the bread/buns from the baking sheet/pan and set aside to cool on a wire rack.

Here it is, awaiting Ryan’s approval. Notice the caramelized top. That’s intentional and due to the sugar from the glaze, and gives a nice subtle crunch.

Mmm. Enjoy!

After all this talk about coconut, I now have Harry Nilsson’s Coconut song in my head.

“…Put de lime in de coconut, and drink ’em both up…”

“…Put de lime in de coconut, and drink ’em both up…”

“…Put de lime in de coconut, and drink ’em both up…”