Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Friend, the Coconut

I didn't want to muddy up Jade's birthday post with my love for the coconut, but I had to tell you about it! I've always liked coconut but we've reached a new level in our relationship. I made Jade's birthday cake & ice cream almost entirely out of coconut products.

Coconut flour is gluten free and bakes up moist and fluffy with a lovely crumb. Coconut milk is a good substitute for milk in baking and in ice cream! Coconut oil is a good sub for butter and has numerous health benefits!

I found recipes online, and was pleasantly surprised by the outcomes. Here is the cake recipe. I made the yellow cake. The muffins from that page are also very good. I used coconut oil instead of butter, and sucanat instead of sugar. We all agreed that this was the best Jade-safe cake that I've made yet. Not a hint of grainy texture that usually accompanies GF cakes. And look at that moist crumb! It looks just like a real cake.
Don't look too close though... the frosting came from a can...

I made ice cream as well. The recipe is found here. I used honey instead of agave nectar and it worked just as well. The only problem I had was freezing it. I didn't read all the directions for the ice cream machine before I started, so it was my bad. I had read online that adding vodka to ice cream would prevent it from turning into a impenetrable brick in the freezer. What I didn't read was that you shouldn't add the vodka until the ice cream was mostly frozen in the machine. Oopsie! However, it was about soft serve consistency by party time thanks to my deep freezer. Everyone agreed that the ice cream was great! Jade wasn't crazy about it, but might have gone for a fruit flavor instead of the chocolate. I will make it again, probably with strawberries or raspberries next time.

I need to buy more coconut flour! It's expensive, but a little goes a long way. I buy it at the local health food store. The coconut milk is widely available, thank goodness. I found mine at Walmart in the Asian food section. And I got 10 pounds of coconut oil from my food co-op this month at a very good price. Otherwise it can be found at the HFS as well. Go try some coconut! You'll thank me. :-)

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