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Monthly Archives: December 2012

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Okay, so by “first snow” I mean “first real snow,” because we’ve had other, less “real” snowfalls earlier in the year.  But shredded coconut looks a little bit like snow, so this loaf (cake? bread? it’s kind of in between) was totally appropriate.

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I’ve been wanting to try using coconut oil for a while, and this recipe was a good opportunity.  It also calls for coconut milk and shredded coconut, but it somehow manages to have only a subtle coconut flavor, which is perfect.  It’s just coconutty enough (is that a word? who knows), without being too loud about it.

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I was intrigued by this recipe, but wasn’t really sure what to expect from it.  Turns out that it might be one of my new favorite loaves of the sort-of-cake, sort-of-bread variety.  It has a really nice crumb and good additional texture from the shredded coconut in the batter.  The glaze on top might seem unnecessary at first, but it does add a nice bit of sweetness and some moisture (although I didn’t use all of the glaze the recipe made).  It’s really quite an unassuming but sneakily delicious loaf.

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The recipe suggests serving slices toasted, with fresh blackberries alongside.  I can tell already that it will be great toasted, although I haven’t tried that yet.  In the absence of blackberries, I tried spreading some raspberry jam on top, which was nice, although a little overpowering in flavor at times.

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Coconut Loaf (from the Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook)

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted, plus more for the pan

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

3/4 cup turbinado sugar [I used granulated]

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8.5-inch loaf pan with a thin coat of coconut oil.

Spread the shredded coconut on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 4 minutes.  Set aside 1/2 cup for topping the loaf.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the toasted coconut and the sugar.  Sift in the flours, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and stir to combine.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs together, then whisk in 1 cup of the coconut milk, the coconut oil, and the vanilla.  Gently stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined.  Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.

While the loaf is cooling, combine 1/4 cup of the remaining coconut milk and the powdered sugar [it helps to sift it] and mix until there are no lumps.  Add more sugar or coconut milk to taste, depending on the consistency you prefer.  Pour the glaze over the cooled cake and sprinkle the remaining toasted coconut on top.

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Hello, blog.  It’s been a while.  I never meant for this little hiatus to happen.  But let’s move past it, shall we, and talk about ice cream.  I’d originally wanted to come up with a Hanukkah ice cream that would be made with sweet potatoes (instead of the standard latke potatoes), sour cream, and applesauce.  But while I was doing some research to figure out what ratios of ingredients to use, I came across this recipe in The Perfect Scoop that I couldn’t not make instead.

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This ice cream doesn’t have any cream or eggs in it, just whole milk, but it is still perfectly creamy thanks to a whole sweet potato’s worth of puree.  (And it’d be really easy — and delicious — to make it vegan by substituting coconut milk).

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But, in some ways (or maybe a lot of ways), this ice cream is really just a vehicle for the maple-glazed pecans, which are amazing.  I’m surprised we managed not to eat all of them before they made it into the ice cream.  I almost want to put them in every single ice cream I make from now on, or just keep a giant vat of them around at all times for general snacking… would that be too extreme?

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Basically, this tastes like pie filling in ice cream form.  I meant to make Hanukkah ice cream and somehow ended up with Thanksgiving ice cream instead, but I’m totally okay with that.

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Sweet Potato Ice Cream with Maple-Glazed Pecans (from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz)

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled

1 cup plus 2 tbsp whole milk

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

A few drops lemon juice

For the nuts:

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp dark amber maple syrup

1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

Big pinch of salt

Heat the maple syrup and salt in a small saucepan until it just begins to come to a full boil.  Stir in the pecans, then cook until the syrup returns to a full boil.  Stir the nuts for 10 seconds, then remove them from the heat and let cool completely.  They will still be wet and sticky when cooled, but the remaining syrup will have solidified a bit more.

Cut the sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes, place them in a medium saucepan, and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until tender when poked with a sharp knife.  Drain the sweet potatoes and let cool to room temperature.

Put the milk, brown sugar, sweet potato pieces, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt in a blender.  Puree until very smooth, at least 30 seconds.  Add lemon juice to taste.  Press the mixture through a mesh strainer.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in an ice cream maker.  Add the pecans near the end of the freezing time.