Thursday, 20 March 2014

We Should Cocoa: Coconut Meringue Gems

This month's We Should Cocoa is hosted by Laura at I'd Much Rather Bake Than... who has challenged us to use coconut in our confections. Last month's round ups can be found on the hosts blogs of the respective challenges - Choclette's blog and Dom's blog. You can read all about We Should Cocoa and how to enter by clicking here

I pull my food apart before eating it* **

(*not in public)
(** not all my food)

Some items of food have a certain order in which their components should be eaten. 

For example: 
Jaffa Cakes: Chocolate -> sponge -> flabby orange jelly bit (bonus points if you wiggle this all up in of someone's face so they say "ERGH, STAPH, that's disgusting")

I'm not going to list any more or go into great detail, because I'm pretty sure you'd think less of me... 

My favourite one to do, when I was younger, was iced gems.  The biscuit bases would come off first and the piped icing tip would go back in the bag.  Then you'd have a bag of pretty much pure sugar nubs that dissolved when you sucked them. 

I tried to recreate them but with meringue and chocolate. Because they are two of my favourite things. Plus they are a little bit less tooth achingly sweet.


Meringue Tops
2 egg whites
100gr caster sugar
2 drops white wine vinegar

Biscuit Bottoms
120gr room temperature butter
140gr caster sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp coconut extract
200gr plain flour
20gr toasted dessicated coconut
Tiny pinch of salt


1, First, make the meringue.  These can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container somewhere cool for a week. Or you can freeze them. Meringue magic. 
2, Beat the egg whites until they start to foam up and double in size.  With the beaters running, slowly add in the caster sugar and drop in that vinegar.  This now needs to be beaten until it is a thick glossy white.  See beater for reference.  
3, Decant into a piping bag fitted with a star tip (size is up to you, you could make giant ones) and pipe little rosettes onto lined baking sheets. Mine were roughly 1.5cm across. 
4, Preheat your oven to 100o/c and bake these for an hour.  When the timer has gone off, turn off the oven and leave it to go completely cold with the meringues still inside.  

5, Make the biscuit based next by creaming the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. 
6, Beat in the egg and coconut extract.
7, Sift in the flour and salt, and add in the toasted coconut bring together into a ball of dough.  
8, This needs to rest in the fridge for at least an hour before rolling out.  It may seem a little sticky but will firm up in the fridge. 
9, Preheat your oven to 190o/c and line two more baking sheets with greaseproof.  
10, Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to around 3-5mm and cut out the biscuits that are just a bit bigger than the bases of the meringues.  I used a Diet Coke bottle lid. 
11, Place these onto the lined baking sheets and bake for 5-7minutes or until they are just going golden brown.  These biscuit bottoms barely spread so will keep their shape quite well whilst baking. 
12, Transfer the cooked biscuits onto a wire cooling rack and leave until completely cold.

13, To assemble, melt the chocolate, dip the flat base of the meringue in the chocolate and then stick onto the centre of a biscuit. Leave to set somewhere cool (but not the fridge). Store in an airtight container.  

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Seven on Sunday: 16.03.14

Bathing kittens, blue skies, bossy bags, monster hooks, snoozin', explorin', exposed floorboards

Monday, 3 March 2014

Honey & Vanilla Penny Pancakes

In the past four weeks I have broken the following: two pairs of boots, one pair of ballet pumps, my iPad cover, my iPhone, a mug, a zip on a skirt, the little pouch in my running gloves that holds a key, the lining of one of my coat pockets and (of course) that pudding

I've been like a one woman hurricane of devastation. 

But there is one thing that is hard to mess up.  One thing that will make you feel better if all of a sudden you realise your superpower is destroying things. 

That thing is tiny pancakes. And buying replacement shoes.  We'll stick with pancakes here though. 

Serves 2 hungry people

150gr plain flour
1tsp baking powder
150ml milk
3tbsp honey (plus extra for serving)
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 tbsp melted butter (plus a little extra)

1, Sift the flour and baking powder together into a bowl.
2, Beat the remaining ingredients together until smooth and then pour into your flour. 
3, Whisk until completely smooth.
4, In a large non-stick frying pan, melt a little more butter (or cooking oil) and place over a medium heat.  
5, Drop scooped teaspoons of the mixture into the pan and gently edge them into a circle around 4cm across. 
6, Cook until golden on one side and their are bubbled popping on the top. Flip them over carefully and cook until that side is also golden brown. Repeat until you have used up all your batter.
7, Keep warm in a low oven until you are ready to serve with more honey.