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Entries in coconut milk (8)

Sunday
Jul142013

Coconut Sorbet

Coconut Sorbet

When I was teenager, I suffered from horrible bouts of insomnia. I would lie awake at night for hours, watching the numbers on the clock change, wishing I was somewhere else. Eventually, I did start daydreaming of that somewhere else—my own deserted tropical island. Each night more details of my island emerged. The colors of the sunset, the grains of sand on the beaches, the gradual intensity of the colors on the rocky cliffs. I invented a story for how I arrived on this island. Sometimes I envisioned myself on the island with others, though often I was by myself.

In this sleep-starved state of my mind, this island became my paradise.

Coconut Sorbet Coconut Sorbet

As the fitful nights progressed from weeks to months, the elements of my island grew greater in detail. I imagined building a shelter from coconut palms to block out the blistering sun. I imagined fishing with makeshift poles, struggling to find a meal. I imagined the sleepless, hungry nights, when the rain leaked through the roof and the fish weren't biting. I imagined battling with the hard husk of coconut shells, knocking them down from trees, trying to reach the sweet fruit within. I imagined the loneliness that would build up inside me from my little island, the fear and the desperate wishing to go home. The longer I thought about it, the more stressful my tropical paradise became.

Eventually I let go of my island fantasies, abandoning them once the stress of my paradise began to overshadow my sleepless state.

Coconut Sorbet

Though my short-lived tropical daydreams were years ago, fragments of my imagined adventure pop up whenever I encounter sandy beaches and ocean waves. Landlocked as I am, my curiosity towards coconuts became a way to bring those daydream adventures to light. Eventually, that curiosity turned into a love for the multi-purpose fruit.

Nowadays I like to imagine myself on a sunny, crowded beach, eating coconut sorbet beneath a large umbrella, and watching children play in the tide. I find there is far less stress when modern conveniences are involved.

Coconut Sorbet

Coconut Sorbet is a refreshing, cool treat to enjoy whenever the mood strikes. Coconut milk is sweetened with pure maple syrup and vanilla bean before whirling in an ice cream maker. Small pieces of shredded coconut are added to give a chewy texture to the smooth sorbet. While the sorbet can have the tendency to be icy straight from the freezer, if you leave it out for 10 minutes before scooping, the sorbet transforms into a creamy texture.

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Sunday
Mar172013

Coconut Whipped Cream

Coconut Whipped Cream

Since becoming both a baker and a blogger, I have noticed an intrinsic change in the way I approach, prepare, and appreciate food. In many ways, I anticipated that a small evolution would take place when I carefully typed out my first post, but I could not have imagined how much it would affect (and continue to affect) my life.

When I started blogging, it was out of desperate desire to find a passion for myself, a need to express the confused emotions and excitement of growing up and coming into my own. I latched onto the idea that baking was where I should be, clutching onto the hope as if it was the only life saver in my ocean of feelings. There was no evidence to support these feelings—I did not bake often and knew very little about it—but I was so frantic to find something to call my own that this indomitable mountain did not seem to matter. When I began blogging, I started from scratch. I taught myself how to create desserts through trial and error. I experimented with yeast, rolled out pie crusts, and stumbled around the kitchen, sharing these moments of discovery with you.

Coconut Whipped Cream

I have met people who have changed the way I think about food. While I lived in Montreal, my roommate unknowingly shared her philosophy of cooking and eating over the dinner table each evening, as she consistently prepared fresh and healthy foods (a feat I had yet to master). She took me to the local farmer's market and shared her thoughts about fruits and vegetables, as we wandered through the colorful, vibrant aisles with our market bags growing increasingly heavier. Though her wisdom was disguised as everyday conversation, she unconsciously taught me to treat my body with respect. Looking back, it was a lesson I needed to learn more than I understood.

By chance, I once listened to a segment on the radio in which Nigella Lawson talked about her perspective on summer fruits. Her passion was so evident and her descriptions so vivid that I was swept up in her approach to food. Her words affected me so deeply that I can recall them several years later.

Coconut Whipped Cream

In those early months of discovery, when I could not have anticipated what my approach to food would become, I imagined myself making colorful cakes and using sprinkles on everything from cookies to ice cream cakes. My real evolution has taken me by surprise—a mixture of rusticity, homespun flavors, and what I hope to be honesty. I am driven by the seasons and fall prey to my whims and cravings. What started as a desperate compulsion to find a passion has matured into a journey of butter, sugar, and self-discovery.

Any path that leads to something so simple and elegant as coconut whipped cream is a path I deem worth following.

Coconut Whipped Cream

Coconut Whipped Cream is a dairy-free/vegan alternative to traditional whipped cream. The natural fat content of coconut milk makes it possible to whip it up with a mixer, creating soft peaks. While coconut whipped cream is not as stiff as whipped cream, the flavor is immaculate and can be spooned over any dessert of your choosing. The natural subtlety of coconut, along with a few vanilla bean seeds, makes this whipped cream memorable.

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Sunday
Dec232012

Chocolate (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream

Chocolate (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream

I've missed ice cream. It seems like a silly thing to say, but it's true. Growing up, rarely a week passed by where I didn't have a bowl of vanilla ice cream covered with chocolate sauce or a banana split for dessert. I come from an ice cream-loving family, where chocolate syrup is an anchor in the kitchen cupboard. As I grew older, I'd often mix my own blended ice cream coffee shop drinks, enjoying my own twist on a mocha. However, after I discovered I'm lactose intolerant this summer after taking on a month long vegan challenge, I haven't had more than a few spoonfuls of ice cream since.

While the absence of ice cream was easy to handle at first, the cravings have slowly crept up on me until it finally became time to do something about it. I actually put dairy-free chocolate ice cream on my holiday list this year.

Chocolate (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream Chocolate (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream

A few months ago, I was really struggling with my newly required dairy-free eating habits. I shared my difficulties with you, a mixture of confusion in how to approach eating and lamentations at the loss of my old lifestyle. Looking back, I realize now that I was grieving. Grieving for the loss of milk and cream, for butter and for cheese. I had moments of denial, when I'd order a cheeseburger instead of a hamburger at a restaurant. I was angry and upset at my body, telling anyone who talked about my favorite dairy-filled foods to wash their mouths out with heavy cream. I tried to justify my actions, telling myself the pain I would feel later was absolutely worth that piece of caramelized bread pudding (and, of course, it never was).

While some people can embrace new eating habits with ease, I needed time to sort my feelings out, to let go of the foods I had eaten and loved my entire life. Over the last few months I have been in the process of acceptance, but I finally, finally, feel like I've reached it.

I never knew such feelings could arise out of food.

Chocolate (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream

While some baked goods are effortless to convert to dairy-free, ice cream is one of those sneaky desserts that is difficult to make without its namesake—cream. I've tried several of the dairy-free brands in the stores with disappointing results. With an unpronounceable ingredient list and a texture that resembles marshmallow cream or shaved ice, they leave much to be desired. As is the case when the supermarket fails me, I look to the kitchen and my own ingenuity to make something better than I can find.

Oh, let me tell you, this is exactly what I've been craving.

Chocolate (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream

Chocolate (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream is bright, satisfying, and perfect for those in your life with a milk allergy or intolerance. The richness of the ice cream comes from full-fat coconut milk. Do note, however, that the final product will have a subtle coconut aftertaste which cannot be avoided (but for me, a coconut lover, it was an added bonus). The ice cream isn't too sweet, with a deep chocolate flavor coming from cocoa powder. This ice cream is the real deal—smooth, creamy, and an excellent dairy-free ice cream alternative.

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