Cakes & Bakes: Coconut macaroon hearts

Home-made coconut macaroon hearts | H is for Home

You may remember that we had a glut of eggs when we looked after our neighbours chickens whilst they went on holiday. Well, we had a freezer rearrange last week and realised that we had some egg whites that needed using. We also have a huge 1 kilo bag of dessicated coconut (not in the freezer!), two of the main ingredients needed for macaroons.

Coconut macaroons mixture | H is for Home

Seeing as it’s also Valentine’s Day we thought we’d make them a little extra special and made some coconut macaroon hearts drizzled in dark chocolate.

Coconut macaroons mixture formed into hearts | H is for Home

They probably take 10 seconds or so longer to make into hearts than the traditional dome shapes but don’t they look pretty?

Cooked coconut macaroons hearts | H is for Home

If you prefer, you could also dip each heart into the melted chocolate instead of drizzling it… or omit the chocolate altogether, if you prefer.

Cooked coconut macaroons hearts drizzled with dark chocolate | H is for Home

I never realised that they were so quick and easy to make – just throw all the ingredients into a bowl, stir then spoon them on to a well greased or tray or parchment paper. A quarter of an hour in the oven, and they’re done!

Cooked coconut macaroons hearts drizzled with dark chocolate | H is for Home

Click here or on the image below to pin the recipe for later!

Pin this coconut macaroon hearts recipe for later! | H is for Home

Coconut macaroon hearts
Yields 40
It probably takes 10 seconds or so longer to make into hearts than the traditional dome shapes but don't they look pretty?
Ingredients
  1. 200g/7oz dessicated coconut
  2. 200g/7oz caster sugar
  3. 4 medium-sized egg whites
  4. 1tbsp cornflour
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 2tsp vanilla extract
  7. 75g/2⅔oz dark chocolate
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas mark 2
  2. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut, sugar, cornflour, salt, vanilla extract and egg whites
  4. Form the mixture into little heart shapes using a small cookie cutter placed on the baking tray
  5. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes until the macaroons begin to turn golden brown Allow to cool for 5 minutes before lifting the hearts off the greaseproof on to a wire rack
  6. Break the chocolate up into chunks and melt by putting it into a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water
  7. Lightly drizzle over the macaroons
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Cakes & Bakes: Panipopo

Portion of home-made panipopo torn form the loaf | H is for Home

I’ve been seeing recipes for panipopo sweeping by on my Pinterest feed for quite a while. I’ve never really stopped & clicked because I thought that the sweetened coconut bread would be too wet and sickly.

Panipopo dough | H is for Home Risen panipopo dough | H is for Home

How wrong I was! I’m glad I read some of the comments remarking on how delicious it is and how ex-pat islanders hanker after it when they’re away from home.

Rolled & sliced panipopo dough | H is for Home Panipopo dough in a rectangular baking tin | H is for Home

Panipopo (or pani-popo or pani popo) is a Polynesian bread originating from Samoa or Hawaii – depending on who you believe.

Risen panipopo dough in a rectangular baking tin | H is for Home Pouring sweetened coconut milk on the risen panipopo dough | H is for Home

I thought that all that liquid would make for a soggy bread, but most of it is absorbed by the dough in cooking. The liquid that is left turns into a thick, unctuous, syrupy sauce. We weren’t sure what to eat it with – I chose to have it as it comes, dunking it in more of the  sauce that I’d reserved. Justin went all adventurous and had his with a little bit of Cambozola…  he reckons it’s a winner.

Cooked panipopo on a oven cloth | H is for Home

Here’s the recipe – why don’t you have a go? Let us know what you think!

Cakes & Bakes: Coconut loaf cake

Home-made coconut loaf cake | H is for Home

If you remember, for last week’s Cakes & Bakes recipe, I was meant to bake a coconut loaf cake but I didn’t have any of the main ingredient.

Creamed sugar & butter

Justin enjoyed the resulting almond loaf so much that I had to make good on last week’s previously planned bake.

Coconut loaf cake batter in a loaf tin

Once again, this was a quick and easy cake to make. Cream the sugar & butter, mix together the wet ingredients, add together. Mix together the dry ingredients, add together. Bake. That’s it!

Cooked coconut loaf cake in its tin | H is for Home

Nothing quite beats the aroma of coconut cake baking in the oven… and if we thought the last loaf cake was delicious, this one raised the bar even further – coco-nutty (of course!), moist, sweet – just scrumptious!

No bake double choc nut tart
Serves 8
Ingredients
  1. 250g/9oz dark chocolate digestive biscuits
  2. 100g/3½oz butter, cubed &softened
  3. 300g/10½oz dark chocolate, broken up into pieces
  4. 200ml/7fl oz double cream
  5. 1tbs mixed nuts, toasted
  6. 8 pecansNo bake double choc nut tart ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Add the digestive biscuits to a food processor and grind until fine crumbs
  2. Add the softened butter to the biscuit crumbs and pulse until combined
  3. Pour the mixture into a tart dish (I used a cm diameter round one) and press evenly into the base and up the sides using the back of a spoon
  4. Put the base into the fridge for 20 minutes to harden
  5. Put the broken up dark chocolate and double cream into a heatproof bowl. Put the bowl into a saucepan filled with water to a level where it doesn't quite touch the bowl
  6. Heat the saucepan until just boiled then turn down low
  7. Stir the chocolate & cream mixture to combine well and remove any lumps
  8. Remove the base from the fridge, pour over the chocolate sauce and shake slightly to level it out
  9. Return to the fridge for 20 minutes before sprinkling with the chopped nuts and placing the pecans evenly around the edge
  10. Serve as is or garnish with a few strawberries, blueberries and/or mint leaves
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Cakes & Bakes: Coconut shortbread

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Home-made coconut shortbread | H is for Home

Shortbread is my favourite biscuit. Sweet, crumbly, buttery and great with a cup of tea. What could be better? This coconut shortbread gives an old classic a bit of a twist.

Just take the basic shortbread recipe – butter, flour and sugar – and add an egg, dessicated coconut and a little cold water.

Coconut shortbread being mouldde | H is for Home

A great effort to reward ratio. Sweet, crumbly, buttery and now coconutty… and still great with a cup of tea!!

Jiucai you bing
Chinese spring onion pancakes
Ingredients
  1. 500g/18oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
  2. 1tbsp baking powder
  3. 2tbsp sesame oil
  4. Half a bunch of thinly sliced spring onions (about 6 stems)
  5. 2tsp chilli flakes
  6. ½tsp cracked peppercorns
  7. 1tbsp sea salt
  8. vegetable oil for fryingJiucai you bing ingredients
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Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a food mixer, combine the flour, baking powder and sea salt. Make a well in the centre
  2. Add 315ml/11fl oz water into the well and, using the dough hook attachment, mix until the dough comes away from the sides and forms a ball (less than a minute)
  3. Cover the bowl with cling film and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for about an hour
  4. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface, divide into halves, putting one back into the bowl and recovering with cling film
  5. Roll the first ball of dough out into a rectangle ½cm thick
  6. Brush the rolled out dough with 1tbsp sesame oil
  7. Sprinkle 1tsp chilli flakes, ¼tsp cracked peppercorns and half the sliced spring onions
  8. Roll up the dough tightly along the long side into a cigar shape and cut into 3 equal pieces
  9. One by one, gently stretch each piece before rolling it into a spiral and tucking one end under
  10. Flatten each spiral into a disc of about 1cm thickness
  11. Repeat stages 5-10 with the second half of the dough
  12. Put a heavy bottomed frying pan or skillet over a medium flame and add vegetable oil
  13. Once hot, fry the pancakes for 5-8 minutes on each side until browned
Notes
  1. Serve hot with soy sauce and/or sweet chilli, garlic, ginger dipping sauce
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Cakes & Bakes: Coconut brownies

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stack of home-made coconut brownies with mug of coffee | via @hisforhome #recipe #chocolate #brownies

Justin and I share similar tastes in a lot of things, desserts are not one of them. He prefers lemon tarts & drizzles – cream cakes too. I adore chocolate fudge cake, death by chocolate, chocolate brownies… you get the picture! We do occasionally have common ground; we both like carrot cake and baked vanilla cheesecake.

coconut brownie ingredients | via @hisforhome #recipe #chocolate #brownies

Last week I was lamenting his lack of love of brownies when he said, “Coconut brownies might tempt me”. That was all the encouragement I needed to whip up a batch.

coconut brownie dry and wet ingredients | via @hisforhome #recipe #chocolate #brownies

I made it with cocoa instead of the usual dark chocolate and used less butter than would be usual as I wanted a dryer, less dense and chewy texture.

coconut brownie dough | via @hisforhome #recipe #chocolate #brownies

He hasn’t said whether he liked it or not. All I know is that it didn’t hang around for long! 🙂

sliced home-made coconut brownies | via @hisforhome #recipe #chocolate #brownies

Click here to pin the recipe for later

Coconut brownies
Yields 9
Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 75g/2½oz cocoa
  2. 75g/2½oz dessicated coconut
  3. 150g/5⅓oz caster sugar
  4. 50g/1¾oz plain flour
  5. 1tsp baking powder
  6. pinch of salt
  7. 175g/6oz butter
  8. 3 eggs
  9. 1tsp vanilla essence
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas mark 2
  2. Grease a 20cm² / 8inch² cake tin
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and make a well in the centre
  4. In a small bowl, microwave the butter for about 15-20 seconds to just liquefy but not cook. Allow to cool slightly
  5. Lightly whisk the eggs in a measuring bowl before adding the vanilla essence
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the well of the dry ingredients and combine well using a spatula
  7. Pour the batter into the greased tin and bake for 25-30 minutes
  8. Allow to cool in the tin before slicing into squares
  9. Can be stored in a cool place in an airtight container for about 3 days
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Cakes & Bakes: Coconut ladoo

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Home-made coconut ladoo in a vintage tin | H is for Home

Justin cooked a curry for visitors between Christmas & New Year. We figured it would be the ideal flavour contrast to all the other seasonal fayre – and judging by the crowds we’ve noticed in our local curry house this week, we weren’t alone!! I usually make some type of cake for dessert, but following a hearty curry that option would likely prove too filling.

Dainty Indian sweets would be the perfect end to the meal. I chose to make coconut ladoo (or laddu) because we already had all 3 ingredients in our store cupboard. 

Cardamom pods with a wooden mortar and pestle

It’s the flavour of the pungent ground cardamom which gives this sweet its Indian taste.

Coconut ladoo cooked mixture

There are other kinds made with chickpea flour or semolina instead of coconut and fried in ghee. They are also be made with the addition of dried fruit and/or nuts such as pistachios or cashews.

Rolling coconut ladoo balls

They’re make a great little alternative present to the more usual box of chocolates.

Coconut ladoo
Yields 30
A treat often served at celebratory events such as the Hindu festival of Diwali
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tin (397g) condensed milk
  2. 250g dessicated coconut
  3. 5 cardamom podsCoconut ladoo ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Remove the cardamom seeds from their papery outer shell and grind finely using a pestle & mortar
  2. In a large saucepan add 220g of the dessicated coconut, condensed milk and powdered cardamom
  3. Heat over a medium flame stirring constantly until just before the mixture begins to colour (about 5 minutes) and most of the liquid has evaporated
  4. Allow the mixture to cool slightly before forming into balls the size of marbles using the palms of your hands
  5. Roll the balls in the reserved 30g of dessicated coconut
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