Tag Archives: coconut

Recipe: Coconut Macaroons (Gluten Free)

OK, these are *marginally* trickier than my other super-easy cookies, but only marginally, and they are awesome, because I think I may have actually reverse-engineered the macaroons my Oma used to make when I was a child.  They are perfectly chewy and delicious, and basically, I just love glacé cherries, so any excuse to use them is a good one for me.



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2 egg whites
100 g sugar
150 g shredded coconut (not the evil desecrated kind, the kind that comes in long strands)
150 g almond meal
glacé cherries


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Recipe: Cherry Ripe Cookies (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Look!  It’s a slightly different (but still dead easy) biscuit recipe!  This time, it’s vegan!


I love the idea of two ingredient cookies, where you get a sweetened nut butter and some flour – or chocolate tahini and rice flour and make a biscuit and then bake it.  But let’s face it, sometimes two ingredients isn’t enough.   I found myself eyeing off one of those chocolate and coconut butter spreads in the supermarket and thinking, you know, add a glacé cherry and you’re kind of half way to a cherry ripe here.  And then I thought, yeah, but you need a bit more coconut.

And… that was it, really.  So here you have them – cherry ripe cookies that are vegan and gluten-free.  They are a little chewy and only just barely sweet – most of the sweetness comes from the cherries – but they are nicely chocolatey and coconutty.  (There is a definite air of chocolate crackle to these, too.  That whole coconut and chocolate thing will do that.)

Ooh, and I just realised how you could make vegan gluten-free LAMINGTON cookies, by replacing the cherry with jam!  The possibilities are endless…


Your shopping list

150g chocolate coconut spread (I used Pure Harvest Coco2Almond spread, which purports to be a health food, but don’t worry, there’s nothing healthy about these cookies)
100g almond meal
50 g shredded coconut
12-16 glacé cherries

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Recipe: Vegan Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream

The trouble with hot days like this is that all the really *easy* desserts involve dairy.  So if you have someone visiting who can’t eat dairy, then you have a problem.  In the hope of solving this problem, I recently bought The Vegan Scoop, an entire recipe book devoted to dairy- and egg-free ice-creams.  There are some beautiful flavour ideas in there, but there’s just one little difficulty – all the recipes rely on soy creamer, which is relatively hard to get in Australia.  Also, I really don’t like the taste of soy.  Fortunately, almond milk and oat milk make lovely soymilk substitutes, and there’s always that standby, coconut cream, to provide that little extra bit of fat that makes ice-cream properly creamy.

The rhubarb crumble flavour was pretty much a matter of what I had on hand.  I’d made a sort of oat, almond and coconut granola to go with my breakfasts this week, and I’d roasted a lot of rhubarb to make Foolish Mess, so bringing the two together in an ice-cream was irresistible.  Also, I figured that the oat, almond and coconut flavours of the crumble would bring out the subtle flavours of these ingredients in the milk – and that way I could pretend I planned it all along!

The results are very pleasing, if I say so myself – rhubarb flavoured ice-cream with bits of chewy, slightly crunchy, sweet almond and coconut and oats throughout.  In fact, it tastes exactly like frozen rhubarb crumble, which is a little strange, actually. Weirdly wholesome for an ice-cream.  Which does allow you to pretend it’s healthy, of course…


Your shopping list

500 g rhubarb
75 g vanilla sugar
2 tbsp honey or agave nectar or maple syrup
50 g rolled oats
50 g flaked almonds
25 g shredded or flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups almond milk
2 tbsp tapioca or arrowroot powder
1 cup oat milk
1/2 cup coconut cream
150 g sugar

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Recipe: Passionfruit Cupcakes with Lemon Coconut Butter

I wasn’t going to bake anything for the Movember morning tea.  I mean, really – I’ve donated to all the Mo Bros on my floor, and surely, surely in the name of men’s health the boys can take a turn at baking?*

Well, it turns out that some of them can, but not enough for our purposes.  And when it comes down to it, faced with a conflict between ‘really, why should the women be baking for all the men’s health days *and* all the women’s health days too?’ and ‘but what if there isn’t enough food?’, well, there really can be only one answer in the land of Cate.

Besides, I bet none of the boys were going to bring anything that was vegan.  And I have friends who are vegan.  So there.

Anyway, having not intended to bake, I then certainly didn’t intend to post a recipe, largely because I really wasn’t in a cooking mood (yes, it’s true I baked a fruitcake today, and made a hot lunch, and made dinner for tonight *and* started dinner for tomorrow, but most of this was about the fact that our heating has been broken and baking keeps the house warm), and also because I didn’t plan to do anything fancy. Aside from using the passionfruit powder I ordered from TasteBom and have been looking for a use for.

Also, when I did start making these cupcakes, I swapped them around in the oven too early, so most of them sank in the middle. 

Also, the icing came out beige.  And when I went to fix it, it wound up mustard-coloured. Which probably is a masculine colour, at least.  Most of the ugly ones seem to be, if you believe the clothing shops.

And yet… the crumbs of cake that were stuck to the tin were *amazing*.  Properly tangy and full of passionfruit flavour.  And then, the ugly, ugly icing is rich and lemony and smooth with a coconut creaminess to it… and altogether, my ugly duckling cupcakes… taste like swans?  Only vegan.  And not kind of tough and unpleasant-tasting, which I gather swan meat is.  And that right there, folks, is why some people shouldn’t be licensed to use metaphors.  Especially the clichéd kind, though I don’t think anyone can claim it was still a cliché by the time I was done with it.  Unappetising, yes.  Cliché, no.

Have I put you off yet?  I hope not.  These really are delicious cupcakes.  And you can’t see how ugly they are once they are in your mouth…

(Even that came out sounding vaguely unappetising.  I think I’d better stop with the describing and just give you the recipe)

(Also, unsurprisingly, there are very few photos, and they aren’t that good – this is because I wasn’t documenting as I went, and the light in the kitchen is bad…)

photo 2

* I strongly suspect that the appeal of Movember has nothing to do with men’s health and everything to do with growing the most gross moustache one can.  And I say this as someone who is actually mildly in favour of facial hair.  But some of the shrubbery currently to be seen in our lab should really not be encouraged.

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1 1/3 cups caster sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
400 ml (1 standard tin) light coconut milk
3 lemons
40 g freeze-dried passionfruit powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

2 – 2 1/3 cups raw icing sugar

90 g virgin coconut oil, melted (you want the virgin stuff because it has a strong coconut taste – the refined version is too neutral here)

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Recipe: Vegan Coconut Caramels That Taste A Bit Like Popcorn

This recipe has been haunting me for nearly a fortnight.  Actually, my kitchen has been haunting me generally.  “Caaaaaatherine!“, it has moaned in the dread hours before dawn “Why have you forsaken me?  Why is my oven cold and empty?  Why are all the candy thermometers broken?  Where, oh where, is the frivolous baking of days gone by?”

Actually, I don’t think it was really asking about the candy thermometers.  My kitchen knows as well as I do that candy thermometers don’t last a month in this household.  Sometimes, they don’t last a week.  If my kitchen were saying anything about candy thermometers at all, it would only be to taunt me.  Which is, admittedly, a possibility.

Anyway, judging it foolish to meddle with caramels when I did not, in fact, have a working candy thermometer, let alone a working brain, I’ve been ignoring my kitchen’s siren song, but yesterday at lunchtime I decided the time had come.  I went into town and bought a digital thermometer which I am assured will not die within 48 hours like the last one did.  And then, because I did not actually believe this, I also bought an analogue one.

And last night, I shuffled zombie-like into the kitchen after dinner and finally – finally! – gave these caramels a try.


Not to put too fine a point on it, they are weird.  Not so much in taste – they taste quite good, actually, though they don’t really work for my palate – it turns out that I really don’t like coconut *that* much. However, extensive scientific testing (on real scientists!) suggests that this really is a personal taste thing – people who like coconut-ish sweets really loved these, and the extremely large batch (approximately 125 caramels, I think) had mostly disappeared by the end of the day.  And this on Cup Day, when very few people are at work.

You can tell I’m tired, because this post rambles even more than usual.  What I was actually trying to tell you here was that from start to end, this recipe looks as though it isn’t going to work.  It starts of with a mixture that is quite unappetisingly grey, and this then goes through various stages of unpleasantly opaque white to reach a not-particularly-caramel-coloured beige.  I put this down to the fact that coconut milk and coconut cream already have a much more greyish-white tinge too them than the faint yellow tinge of dairy products, and when you add specks of black vanilla, this is only accentuated.  Seriously, these are absolutely unsightly in all stages of preparation, so don’t worry if your batch looks awful – you are probably doing it exactly right.

You probably could cook these caramels longer, to reach a more traditionally caramel-coloured stage, but I like my caramels chewy (think a Columbines sort of texture), so beige is what you get.  Having said that, I might have taken them a little further if I’d known what I was doing.  (Which, really, I didn’t.  It’s astonishing I ended up with anything edible at all, really…) It’s also tempting to try making these with brown sugar, to see what sort of effect that would give.  Maybe next time.

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375 g coconut milk
160 g coconut cream
350 g sugar
1 vanilla bean
300 g glucose syrup
50 g cocoa butter
20 g flaky salt

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Recipe: Tangy Apricot Energy Balls with Blueberry, Lime and Sunflower Seeds

1ballsI’ve been having a chocolate week.  One of those weeks where the only thing – absolutely and utterly the only thing – keeping me going has been chocolate and sweets.  Not even good, dark chocolate either – just the sort of chocolate that is 100% about the sugar and not about anything else…

Now that I’ve hit a weekend, it’s clearly time to try to claw my way back from the brink, and the first step is filling the house with food that will give me energy but isn’t absolutely full of things that are terrible for me.  In other words – it’s time for more raw truffles, though these ones are more closely related to the average muesli bar than to anything rich and chocolatey.  Which might be a mistake, come to think of it, but never mind that. 

Anyway, these little snacks contain a whole alphabet of vitamins from the fruit, not to mention all sorts of proteins and minerals and omega 6 fats (to make your brain happy!) from the sunflower seeds, and a bit of low-GI carbohydrate from the oats.  They are positively *offensive* in their healthiness, but they are so tangy that I don’t mind.  Mmm, tangy…

Your shopping list

80 g sunflower seeds
20 g rolled oats
20 g coconut sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
20 g freeze-dried blueberries
150 g dried apricots
3 dates
20 g coconut oil
juice and zest of 1/2 a lime

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Recipe: Raw Raspberry Truffles of Extreme Yumminess

doneYeah, I think we all knew that I wasn’t going to miss Raw Food Day just because I’m not supposed to stand or walk much on this silly possibly-broken toe.  Besides, I needed chocolate.  And I had freeze-dried raspberries!

Like tinned snails on Bastille Day, some things are inevitable (though I still blame the person who threatened to come to dinner wearing an Eiffel Tower hat for that particular inspiration).

These raspberry truffles are based on Amber Shea Crawley’s Cacao Truffles, but as usual, I’ve messed with the proportions and changed the flavours, and now they are mine, mine, all mine, my precious!

Really, though, all you need to know is that they taste like raspberries and chocolate, take about five minutes to make, and are vegan, gluten-free, and almost good for you.  What more could you want from a truffle?

Your shopping list

1/4 cup coconut butter, melted
1/4 cup cocoa butter, melted
1/4 cup agave nectar (but maple syrup will work, too)
scant 1/2 cup (about 100 ml) cashew butter or almond butter
1/3 cup cacao powder
30 g freeze dried raspberries

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Product Review: CoYo Coconut Yoghurt

I don’t know what is wrong with me at the moment, but I seem to be getting tireder and tireder (and last night’s exceedingly vivid nightmares did not help), and every few days this flicks over into being ill and virusy again.  I’m not enjoying it.  And it’s doubly annoying, because I’m doing all this virtuous walking for the GCC walking challenge so I should be getting healthier, not more miserable!

Combine this with an internet speed that is currently working in geological time, and one doesn’t get too many blog posts happening.  Sorry about that.  I will try to do better, once I can upload pictures without it taking all evening.


Anyway.  I was pottering around the Radical Grocery Store yesterday, looking, as it happens, for coconut oil and coconut sugar, when I discovered that they had coconut yoghurt, something I’ve heard of, but have never tasted.  Naturally, I had to give it a try.  Which meant that I then that this 100% coconut-themed shopping basket, but these are the risks one must sometimes take.

The yoghurt I bought was CoYo, and I have to say, it’s rather gorgeous. Continue reading

Recipe: Somewhat Healthy Tropical Chocolate Crackles

crackleI’ve been sick for the last few days, that awful, depressing kind of virus where bodily aches and pains are joined by a general feeling of misery and hopelessness.  Not fun.  Normally, I’d solace this with soup, but I tried that, and it hasn’t helped.  Mostly because I want chocolate.  Which doesn’t make good soup.  Though now I’ve written that, I have an almost irresistible urge to find out whether one can, in fact, make chocolate soup.

Anyway, I’ll write up the soup recipe once I manage to figure out how much of everything I used – it was all a bit approximate.  OK, I’ve just read what I wrote, and I want to just make it clear that I am no longer talking about chocolate soup.  There is no chocolate soup.  There is, apparently, a certain feverish delirium, but that’s a separate issue.

Back to the chocolate.  Today, I woke up feeling lousy, but with the most intense urge to bake.  Baking really wasn’t a plausible idea, so I decided to amuse myself by trying out Amber Shea Crawley‘s recipe for coconut butter, which boils down to ‘put a lot of dessicated coconut in a food processor and wait for it to turn into butter’.  This requires no more effort than pouring the coconut into the food processor, and one can sit on the floor of the kitchen to watch it.  Definitely my speed.

Only then one is left with all this coconut butter, which one must find a use for.  Raw cooking looks like an invitation to germ warfare when you’re coughing as much as I am, so those recipes are out.  And then there is the aforementioned chocolate craving.  At which point it becomes clear that the only possible way to progress at this point is toward the easiest chocolate treat recipe ever invented – the chocolate crackle.

Only we have this dried mango we want to use.  And the coconut butter isn’t all that sticky.  And that’s way too much sugar.  And why does nobody ever put chocolate in chocolate crackles? And do you seriously expect me to spoon this into paper cups?

And before you know it, you have a surprisingly light-tasting but chocolatey crackle slice, that fulfils all the chocolate cravings of my virus-ridden heart, and leaves me with an aftertaste of dried mango.  Lovely…

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4 cups of rice bubbles, or other crunchy popped cereal of your choice
100 g dark chocolate, chopped
50 g dried mango
50 g dried cranberries
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup coconut sugar, if you happen to have it (if not, just use more of the white sugar)
1/2 cup white sugar or caster sugar or icing sugar
pinch of allspice
200 g coconut butter or coconut oil (or 220 g dessicated coconut and a good food processor)
100 g almond butter

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Recipe: Plum Crumble with ANZAC tendencies

This recipe came out of a happy conjunction of two things.  The first was the presence of black plums at the Farmers’ Market today, just crying out to be stewed and eaten with love and nostalgia.  The second was, of course, my pantry challenge which has left me completely out of white flour, golden syrup or almond meal, all of which are staples of my various usual crumble toppings (not all together, you understand, but if I can’t do my almondy crumble, I do my golden syrupy one).

I could, I suppose, have been all healthy and used wholemeal flour (something that you will note I’ve managed to totally avoid using during this challenge to date), but I was thinking about my lack of golden syrup and my mind naturally fell to ANZAC biscuits and their coconut-ish flavour.  I could mimic golden syrup somewhat with brown sugar, and of course, I’m still possessed of quite a bit of coconut flour…

The combination was rather divine, actually.  Two childhood treats that go so well together!  But the best part of this whole recipe, I have to tell you, is the *smells*.  The plums simmer gently for an hour or two, until the whole house smells of cinnamon and jam.  The coconut flour hits the warm melted butter and brown sugar and the cook’s nostrils are instantly hit with the most glorious, fresh ANZAC biscuit scent.  And then there’s the smell while it all bakes.

Even if this dessert tasted of cardboard, it would just about be worth making it for the way it makes the kitchen smell.  And it tastes a lot better than that…


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1 kg plums, any kind, but I do recommend a non-clingstone variety if you can get one
3-4 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
50 g butter
50 g brown sugar
50 g coconut flour
150 g rolled oats

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