I guess the biggest question we are all asking ourselves is, why? Well maybe you aren’t but I definitely am. And the simple, if not obvious answer is, because I like chocolate. But more to the point, I persevered because I am an obsessive, perfectionist weirdo when it comes to food. It may not always be the healthiest attitude but I have high standards, especially in the cooking department. If it’s not restaurant quality, why bother? Meanwhile everyone else is asking, can we just eat already? Luckily you have some leeway when you are the one doing the cooking. So spend as much time making things exactly the way you want them to be. If you aren’t happy with the final product, no one else will be. Which is a complete lie because when you feed people, 99% of the time they will eat it, no questions asked. More aptly, if you aren’t happy with the final product, you better do something to fix it. Because if you are anything like me, you will stew over those little imperfections and they will drive you crazier than making the food did in the first place. It puts a whole new meaning into “The Joy of Cooking”, doesn’t it?
Chocolate Coconut Tarts
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
2-3 tbsp. melted coconut oil
Stir together to form a wet, sandy mixture. Divide the crust evenly between 2 mini tart shells and press it into the base, into the corners and up the sides. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before filling.
Adapted from the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook
1 cup light coconut milk
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1 tbsp. flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. coconut oil
Bring the coconut milk and coconut to a boil over medium high heat. Meanwhile whisk together the egg, flour and sugar. Once the coconut milk mixture reaches the boil, gradually temper it into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return everything to the pot and cook over medium heat until the pudding begins to bubble, whisking constantly. Turn the heat down to low and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Then remove the pudding from the heat and pour it into a bowl. Place this bowl in a sink filled with ice water to help cool down the pudding as quickly as possible. Once it has cooled at least to room temperature, cover it with plastic wrap (directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin) and refrigerate until completely chilled before filling the tart shells.
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tbsp. heavy cream
Put the sugar in a small pot with a splash of water (just a couple tablespoons). Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Don’t stir it. Allow the sugar to dissolve, swirling the pot occasionally to help it along. Continue to cook on high until the sugar caramelizes. Once it achieves a rich, brown colour, remove it from the heat and add the cream, stirring with a wooden spoon to mix it in. Allow the caramel to cool slightly before drizzling it over the tarts.
Fill each tart shell with coconut pudding (I left them in the molds as they were quite delicate). Drizzle caramel sauce on top of the pudding. Eat up!