Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chocolate Banana Cinnamon Infused Jam

I feel like i won't be able to say enough how this makes my mouth water, but.. just think: opposite reaction of avocados ;)

BY COCO COOKS [*adapted from French Pastry School] (
(makes 6 half pint jars)
1 1/2-2 lbs bananas very ripe( black)
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup dark chocolate
3 1/2 - 4 cups sugar
1vanilla bean or 1/2 tsp extract
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp rum
1) In a heavy bottomed sauce pan combine sliced bananas, orange juice,sugar , vanilla( pod split open and scraped), & cinnamon stick.
2) Cook until translucent(make it either lumpy or more refined).
3) Add chocolate( break it up a bit and melt a bit in microwave).
4) Remove from heat and cover & let rest overnight.
5) The following day bring to a boil. Jam should hit 65Brix (or for us home cooks until it forms like a raindrop on car rather than tar).
6) Place in sterilized jars/lids, seal and turn over. Let rest & cool overnight.
7) Process according to your canner instructions. (In class we learned you can process in a dishwasher. Just run it through the first wash cycle - not the complete one. Its an effective method method that has enough heat to seal the jams)

Avocado Shake

To be honest, i loathe avocadoes. HOWEVER, i have plenty of friends who think that makes me crazy. so for those Advocado Aficionados... enjoy :)

Condensed Milk
1) Add avocados into a blender, add condensed milk, ice (to make the shake cold), and enough milk to make the blender's job easier. It's a thick concoction; almost thick enough to be able to hold over one's head. Almost.

**NOTE: A spoon is needed. A straw isn't cut out for the job.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fruit-Filled Chocolate Meringues

adding a fruit concoction to delicious meringues = brilliant! i love that they're strawberries in chocolate meringues as well; although, i am sure you could do any mix of flavors :)

(makes 6 servings)

2 egg whites at room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Dash salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
3/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
3/4 cup fresh or frozen whole raspberries
1 Tbsp. superfine or confectioners' sugar
1) Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
2) Line cookie sheets w/parchment paper.
3) In mixing bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar, vanilla & salt until soft peaks form (tips of peaks will curl over when beaters are removed).
4) Beat in sugar a little at a time until soft peaks form (peaks will remain upright when beaters are removed).
5) Sprinkle cocoa over top & fold in gently.
6) Drop meringue by 1/4 cup portions onto parchment paper that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.
7) Indent center of each with back of tablespoon.
8) Bake 45min or until dry to touch. Remove & cool.
9) When completely cooled, store in air-tight container to prevent meringues from becoming soggy before serving time.
10) Fill center of each meringue with mixture of fruit so berries mound slightly.
11) Lightly dust fruit with sugar to garnish. If confectioners' sugar is used, sift lightly over berries using small strainer & spoon to move sugar through strainer. This technique achieves light dusting desired.

Figs in Wine

One of these days I will own a fig tree, until then I'll dream & find wonderful figgy recipes :)
2 Cups dry white figs (12oz) (These should be soft, not hard and dry)
2 Cups red wine (merlot or pinot noir)
1) Place the figs in a deep glass or ceramic bowl.
2) Pour the wine over the figs, covering them.
3) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap & place in the refrigerator for at least 24hrs.
4) Cool before serving.
5) Slice the figs in halves & quarters.
*NOTES: - If you are in a hurry, poach the figs in the wine for 20min or so, instead of putting them in the fridge for a day, until the figs swell
-You can fancy this recipe up by adding a cinnamon stick or vanilla bean to the wine.

Sweet Fruit Kabob

Simple & Perfect for outdoor summer bbq. & won't hurt that beach body either :)

(makes 6-8 servings)
3 bananas, thick slices
2 Bartlett pears, sliced into thick wedges
2 granny smith apples, sliced into thick wedges
2 peaches, sliced into thick wedges
1 fresh pineapple cubed
1 cup grapefruit juice
1/2 cup honey
3/4 tsp chopped fresh mint
1) Combine juice, honey, & mint.
2) Marinate fruit for at least 30min.
3) Place fruit on skewer, alternating types.
4) Grill or broil for 6-8 min.
5) Baste with marinade as needed.

**NOTE: The family has fun assembling. Little ones will need help cutting. Other juices can be substituted for marinade & the mint left out.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Gluten-Free Cheesecake Crust

Try using Macaroon Crumbs instead of GF version of Graham Crackers for your Cheesecake Crust :) a fabulous idea from Dorie Greenspan @

Slippery-Slidey Cinnamon-Espresso Cup Custard

Creamy desserts are totally wonderful, & for those coffee nuts, i'm sure you'll love this flavor :)

(makes 4 servings)

1 3/4cups whole milk
2-3tsp espresso powder (2tsp gives you a mild espresso flavor)
1/2tsp cinnamon
3 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
1/2cup sugar
1) Center a rack in the oven & preheat the oven to 325F.
2) Butter four 6-oz custard cups (or coffee cups) & find a roasting pan that's large enough to hold them; line the roasting pan w/a double thickness of paper towels to keep the cups from sliding. Have a kettle of very hot water at the ready.
3) Bring the milk just to the boil & stir in the espresso powder & cinnamon, stirring until they are dissolved.
4) Remove the pan from the heat & keep at hand.
5) Whisk together the eggs & sugar until the sugar is dissolved & the mixture is pale. (You can do this by hand or w/a mixer.)
7) Mixing without stop, add just a little of the milk—you don't want to the heat to shock the eggs.
8) When you've got about 1/4cup of the milk in (& the eggs are tempered), you can add the rest in a slow, steady stream.
9) Mix gently so you don't create too much foam.
10) Strain the custard into a measuring cup w/a spout & skim off all the foam that's on the top (even though you mixed gently); divide the custard evenly among the four cups.
11) Place the cups in the prepared roasting pan, set the pan in the oven & very carefully fill it w/hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cups.
12) Bake the custards about 45min, or until they're jiggly only in the center when you tap them lightly.
13) Remove the cups to a rack & cool to room temperature. Chill, covered, for at least 2hrs before serving.
14) Serve the custards in the cups or unmold onto small plates by running a knife around the edge of the cup to break the seal.