Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Coconut Cream Pie - Random Recipes 12

Of all the food blogging challenges out there, Random Recipes from the delightful Dom of Belleau Kitchen is my absolute favourite - excluding We Should Cocoa, of course. I love the way it makes me discover new recipes or cook something I might never normally get around to or even think I want to make. I've been unable to participate in the last two challenges and this has left me feeling somewhat bereft. However, it's a new year and I am determined to apply myself more effectively. This month, it's a new year, a new book, in other words we're to pick a random recipe from our newest book or in my case books.

I had two food books given to me for Christmas this year: Tea with Bea and Cooking with Chocolate. I was very happy to have either of these picked. CT did the honours and it turned out to be Tea with Bea. Page 63, CT announced when I asked him to pick a number. At this point, my heart sank a little, page 63 was the chapter heading for tarts, but pastry really isn't my forte. Well, I mused, I can't very well make a chapter heading, I'll get CT to pick another number. Feeling my resolve weakening, I gave myself a stern talking to and went for the first tart that involved chocolate. This was the ultimate coconut cream pie and not only did it sound superb, but it didn't involve pastry - yeah!

This is how I did it:
  • Smashed up 400g of digestive biscuits in a large mixing bowl with the end of a rolling pin.
  • Melted 100g unsalted butter. Bea had stated somewhere between 75g and 100g would be needed, but I was rather dubious how such a little amount would stick the biscuit crumbs together. My normal recipe is for half the butter to biscuit, so in this case would expect 200g butter. But, I thought I'd try it and hoped for the best.
  • Stirred the butter into the biscuits and divided the mixture into two tart cases (I didn't have the recommended 23cm pie dish).
  • Pressed the crumbs as best I could into the bottom and sides of the dishes.
  • Baked for 15 minutes at 150C then left to cool.
The instructions for the coconut pastry cream were overly complicated, so I ignored them and used a standard custard method instead.
  • Whisked 2 eggs yolks with 3 tbsp vanilla sugar (caster sugar) and 1 heaped tbsp custard powder until well incorporated ( should have added 1 tsp coconut extract, but I didn't have any).
  • Brought 250ml coconut milk nearly to the boil with 50ml coconut cream.
  • Poured the hot milk onto the egg mixture and whisked thoroughly.
  • Poured the whole lot back into the pan and stirred over a low heat until the mixture was thick and just starting to bubble.
  • Took off the heat and stirred in 50g unsalted butter.
  • Stirred until all incorporated and the custard was smooth.
  • Left to cool.
  • Combined 300ml (was meant to be 500ml, but I had misread recipe and didn't buy enough) with 100ml coconut cream (not in the recipe), 1 tbsp icing sugar (meant to be 50g), 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tbsp orange rum (meant to be a shot of malibu, but I didn't have any of that either).
  • Whipped until peak forming stage.
  • Toasted a handful of coconut flakes in the oven for a few minutes until crisp but not burnt (rather overdid mine, but they were still delicious).
  • Melted 50g 38% milk chocolate in a bowl over hot water.
  • Whisked the cold custard then divided between the two tart cases.
  • Spooned the cream over the top.
  • Scattered over the coconut flakes.
  • Tried to drizzle the chocolate over the top, but as it didn't melt properly (I invariable have problems with melting milk chocolate), I soft of dolloped rather than drizzled!
Looking nothing like the elegant creation depicted in the book, this was nonetheless delicious, or as CT said, ambrosial. It was all about the cream and coconut, the sweetest thing being the chocolate. It had a great mix of textures with the chewiness of flaked coconut, the crunchy biscuit base and the smooth cream. The overall effect was of a very light dessert, but very moreish. Even without the coconut extract and malibu, it tasted very coconutty.

Unfortunately, it was as I feared and the base was way too crumbly as it didn't have enough butter to hold the mixture together. This combined with the soft custard & cream meant I had to spoon the mixture into bowls rather than cut a slice and serve on a plate.

All in all, I wasn't very impressed with Bea's recipe writing skills, but I was impressed with her concept and ultimately taste will always win out over presentation with me.

Nice antidote to all that We Should Cocoa healthiness! Thank you Dom.

57 comments:

  1. Wow it looks fabulous and stunning presentation. I keep meaning to try a cream pie myself, but something keeps holding me back. Looks divine, well done

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    1. Katie, it's probably all those calories ;-)

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  2. Well firstly, you are too kind. Can you believe Random Recipes will be one years old in Feb!?! Secondly, WOW what a pie. I have often settled on this page in Bea's book but never had the guts to make it but it looks and sounds heavenly! Nice picking CT!! Thank you so much for taking part this month, it's lovely to have you back on board xx

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    1. Thanks Dom. Do give this a go sometime, it's sublime. Mind you, CT has a lot to answer for.

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  3. Oh my.. what a lovely stunning pie!! My hubby loves coconut & I'm certainly going to try this recipe. Well done :)

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    1. Thank you. If your husband likes coconut, do make him this one - a Valentine's treat perhaps?

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    2. Hahahah... Wow, you can read my mind! I was planning to bake this recipe for him on Valentine's day :)

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    3. Oh how lovely. And I know you'll make it look really beautiful too.

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    4. As promised I've made this coconut cream pie yesterday for Valentine's day. Oh WOW... it was deliciously yummy! My hubby love it! I don't even have time to take any photos that my hubby & sons finished the pie!! Sincerely, this is a great recipe & a winner! Thanks for sharing your recipes! :)

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  4. That looks so good- lovely entry for Dom's challenge! :))

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    1. Thank you Anna, I was very pleased with it.

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  5. Great entry! I'm a bit afraid of pastry too but have also tacked it for random recipes this month, although not quite as successfully as you. This sounds so indulgent!

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    1. MCB - it's not so much that I'm afraid of making pastry, I just find it too fiddly.

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  6. What a wonderful recipe for Dom's RR! It really looks lovely.....I am okay with pastry, but I know it is feared by some! Karen

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    1. Karen, it's not even that I can't make nice pastry, I just don't like making it. Not that my best pastry has ever been as good as my grandmother's - made with lard!

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  7. What a delightful pie, it sounds , and looks, so delicious.

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    1. Thank you Jude, it was a revelation. One of the most delicious things I've had in a while - which is saying something!

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  8. Your pie looks incredible! I'm drooling.
    Thank you for the honest review of the recipe book, also.

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    1. Hi Hannah, thanks for your comment. I do try and give honest feedback - mostly about my own shortcomings ;-)

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  9. The pie with cookie crust looks fantastic!

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    1. Thank you Angie, it tastes fantastic too.

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  10. What a delicious looking pie! I love the idea of the creamy coconut filling with a crumbly biscuit base.

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    1. Thanks Jo. If you really do like a crumbly base, then follow this version, it's certainly crumbly.

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  11. This looks amazing!! I have the same book too but have never baked with it! I just like looking through it :) One day I will drum up the courage ;)

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    1. This probably wouldn't have been my first choice if it hadn't been for Dom, but I'm really glad I had a go. I shall be making this one again for sure.

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  12. Any pie that has a buttery biscuit base a la Gregg Wallace gets my vote!!

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    1. Is GW famous for his biscuit bases?

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  13. This is making my stomach rumble. Om nom nom nom

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    1. Thanks Juliet, I know I'm doing a good job when I get that sort of comment ;-)

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  14. Looks great - I too am not keen on pastry making, so a crumb crust would be great. I love the way you've adapted it to suit what you had available.

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    1. Well I did try and buy some malibu from our local co-op, but they didn't have any and I had no idea where to get coconut extract from at all.

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  15. Greetings! Thanks for trying one of the recipes in the book! A note about the custard and the amount of butter. The reason there is so little butter in the crust, is because the custard in my recipe (which doesn't use custard powder), is loose and soft enough that it seeps into the crust, and holds the crusts shape. By substituting a different custard recipe you kind of change of the result. Pie looks great though and I'm sure very yummy! Sincerely, Bea

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    1. Thanks for dropping by and for leaving a comment. Much appreciated. I'd hate you to think I don't like your book, because I very much do. I would just say, however, that the custard powder I use is just cornflour with vanilla flavouring, so it shouldn't have made any difference to the custard's consistency.

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  16. What beautiful tarts.This sounds delicious and just begs to be tried. Thanks for sharing this one with us. I'll be trying it real soon. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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    1. Thanks Mary. If every you do try it, I'd love to hear how it went and what you thought.

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  17. I'm loving that coconut cream. I'm rarely without malibu but that's mainly because I love it on melon.

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    1. Thanks for that tip Phil, will have to get my hands on some.

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  18. Brilliant pie, it looks very USA!

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  19. That looks divine! What a perfect dessert!

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    1. Thank you Anita, it was very tasty if not very elegant looking when dished up ;-)

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  20. This looks lovely. I love the way the chocolate is drizzled on with fat and thin bits - looks like. it is supposed to be like that even if it isn't. I'm a real fan of biscuit bases even though I don't often make them.

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    1. Thanks Corina - glad you liked my messy drizzle. Drizzling melted chocolate is something I have yet to master - clearly!

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  21. Wow! That looks so good! Yeah to Dom and Random Recipes for making you cook something so delicious and of course yeah to you for doing such a fantastic job!! : )

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    1. Yeah Lynds, thanks for your lovely comment - that Dom has an awful lot to answer for!

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  22. I'm putting weight on just looking at those pics!!

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  23. Ha ha Chele, your weight is virtual, mine is real!

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  24. That looks delicious - just a shame it doesn't count as one of your five a day, otherwise it really would be perfect!

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    1. Oh really. couldn't it count, just this once?

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  25. What a delicious looking cream pie. I've often looked at recipes for this type of thing but never attempted it. I've got Bea's book so I think I'll give it a go. GG

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    1. Well if you have the book, there really is no excuse AND it really is quite delicious.

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  26. I love coconut cream pie, it is in my top 2 desserts of all time! Sorry to hear yours didn't turn out as you had wanted, I have a recipe for a chocolate coconut cream pie on my blog that turns out perfect every time, the crust always holds together and the fillings are always firm so if you ever want to have another go I'd definitely recommend it! I've made the Key Lime Pie from Bea's book and that turned out pretty well :)

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    1. I'm coming over to have a look - right now!!!

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  27. nice opinion.. thanks for sharing...

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  28. A pie with no pastry brilliant and coconut too my favourite

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  29. I actually like the presentation and Im sure it will taste good too!!

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