The other day, while hunting for a tin of coconut milk, I came across condensed milk. It can be tricky to find here so I grabbed one and then stuck it in the grocery cupboard and promptly forgot all about it.
Then last weekend while looking for something yummy to snack on, I pulled out the tin. I also spied a bag of desiccated coconut and an idea struck.
I remember the white and pink sugar overload from my childhood quite fondly and decided to whip up a batch and introduce it to my children. Faith was dutifully impressed, Aaron took one sniff and said no way!
Its really, really easy to make and took no time at all. The hardest part was the mixing, its really good for toning your arms!
Traditional Coconut Ice
Super sweet, super sticky, coconut treats.
3dropsred food colouringyou can use any colour you like and even add flavouring if you want
Pour the condensed milk into a large bowl.
Add the icing sugar and the coconut and mix together. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl to get all the condensed milk.
Keep mixing. The mixture will be very stiff. Keep going.
Line a square or rectangular, deep sided dish with baking paper.
Scoop out half the mixture and using your hands or the back of a spoon, press the mixture into the dish. It doesnt have to be perfect but the more uniform the thickness is, the better it will look when you cut it into squares.
Add your colouring (and/or flavouring) to the remaining mixture and mix well until the entire mixture is coloured to your liking.
Scoop out the coloured mixture and using your hands or the back of a spoon, spread it over the first layer in the dish and press it down.
Once everything is smoothed out to your satisfaction, place the dish, covered, in the fridge for a few hours.
Once cold and set, remove the coconut ice from the dish, peel off the baking paper and slice into small squares with a sharp knife.
Store in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.
You can add a bit of cocoa powder to the 2nd half of the mixture instead of food colouring to make a vanilla chocolate ice.
Recently I have been trying to make more things from scratch. Not only is it healthier but most of the time its far more cost effective than buying ready made.
I posted about my pasta sauce the other day. The total cost of that was under ₪10 (about R35). It was also sugar and preservative free and was totally delicious.
I also want to start making my own burger patties and pizza bases.
One of the things I’ve been making myself each week is our Shabbat challah. I started off making it because I got myself a stand mixer with a dough hook and it is just so easy but now I make it because its cheaper, healthier, tastes amazing and its really special to have homemade challah on a Friday night too.
I have reduced the original recipe to make 2 small medium sized challot but the original recipe makes enough for 4 challot or 2 challot and a dozen cinnamon rolls. Here is my amended recipe.
sesame seeds/kosher salt/herbsfor topping
Place water, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl.
Leave for about 5 minutes or until it starts foaming.
Add eggs, oil, salt.
Add 3 cups of flour and start mixing.
Slowly add the 4th cup of flour until the dough becomes smooth and not sticky.
You may need more or less flour, go by feel.
Either kneed by hand or with a dough hook on your mixer until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
When the dough is ready, lightly oil your bowl and place the dough inside.
Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let the dough rise for about an hour or until double in size.
Kneed down and divide the dough into 2 equal parts.
Form 2 challot, either by plaiting or forming rounds.
Turn the oven to 180C and let the challot sit, covered until the oven is ready.
Brush challot with beaten egg and top with desired topping.
So I mentioned that I bought a stand mixer the other day. Well, it arrived and so far I have made 2 batches of challah using the dough hook (NEVER kneading dough again!) as well as a batch of cinnamon muffins and on Friday I made an apple and banana bread/muffin recipe.
I have absolutely no idea what prompted me to add apples into the mix but I’m glad I did. They were amazing!
3 large grated or finely chopped apples (I used 2 green and 1 red and left the skin on)
3 large ripe or overripe bananas, mashed
2 cups sugar (I used sugar replacement)
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
2/3 cup of oil
2 teaspoons vanilla (I didn't have so didn't add and it was absolutely fine)
Preheat your oven to 180C and grease 2 loaf pans or like I did, 1 loaf pan and 2-3 muffin trays (12-18 muffins).
Add all the ingredients into a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer.
Mix well, ensuring all the flour is incorporated.
Separate batter into the desired pans and place in the oven.
For loafs, bake for about 1 hour.
For muffins bake for between 30 minutes and 45 minutes.
The original recipe called for half a cup chopped nuts and half a cup raisins. I had neither on hand so didn't add them and the recipe came out fine. You could also add craisins or even chocolate chips to this recipe and it would be delicious.
1 cup full cream (or high fat percentage) plain yogurt
pinch of course salt
cheesecloth (or a pair of new knee high stockings - I used 20 denier)
a colander or large sieve
a bowl big enough to fit the colander/seive
Place your colander into your bowl and then your cheesecloth over your colander.
If you are using stockings, double them up and get someone to hold them open for you.
Mix your salt and yogurt together.
Spoon or pour your yogurt into the cheesecloth/stockings.
Tie the top of the cloth/stockings closed at the top, squeezing the yogurt towards the bottom as you go.
Now you can either leave the cloth/stockings in the colander as is or you can hang them above the colander and let gravity help (I hung mine from the kitchen tap).
Leave your yogurt to drain for at least 24hrs, the longer you leave it the firmer the cheese will be.
You can leave it out on the counter (in winter) or in the fridge if its too warm.
When you are ready to unveil your cheese, give it one last squeeze to remove any residual liquid and then, over a plate, unwrap the newly formed cheese.
There are a few options once your cheese is ready
You can place it in an airtight container in the fridge and use it as a plain cream cheese spread.
You can roll the cheese into small balls and then roll the balls into various herb and spice mixes before placing in an airtight container in the fridge.
You can roll the cheese into small balls and then place them in a glass jar with a well sealing lid. Top the balls of cheese with a high quality olive oil to preserve them. You can also add various herbs and spices to the oil to infuse the cheese with flavour.
You can also add your herbs and spices to the yogurt before draining if you like which will give you a flavoured cream cheese when you are done.