Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Eight or Less is a plus!

Photo © 2003 Tim Turner. All rights reserved
Yesterday's post has awakened my sweet tooth. I want chocolate. I want coconut. I want them now. And, I don't want to slave over a hot oven (it is summer after all). 

In 2003 Gale Gand and Julia Moskin created a wonderful book -- "Gale Gand's Short and Sweet: Quick Desserts with Eight Ingredients or Less". There on the cover is exactly what I've been dreaming of. (In fact, I'm such a state of bliss I just dangled a participle).


Chocolate-Coconut Macaroon Pies Recipe

For the coconut cups
  • Heaping 3/4 cup sugar
  • Scant 1/2 cup egg whites (from about 3 large eggs)
  • Scant 2 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, such as Baker’s

For the ganache filling
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • A few toasted almonds, chopped


Make the coconut shells
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

2. Stir the sugar, egg whites, and coconut together until completely combined. Place a spoonful into each of 24 nonstick mini-muffin cups or individual tart molds and press the “dough” into the molds to create little coconut cups. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let the coconut cups cool completely in the pans, then gently remove. You may need to run a knife around the rim of the cups to loosen. (The coconut cups can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days.)

Make the ganache filling
3. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan just until boiling, then pour it over the chocolate and let it rest for just 1 minute. Whisk gently until the chocolate is completely melted, and then keep whisking until the mixture is smooth and glossy. (The ganache can be covered with plastic wrap pressed directly against its surface and refrigerated for up to 5 days; rewarm the ganache in the microwave or in a bowl set over simmering water until it’s pourable.)


It doesn't stop here. Think of the possibilities! Instead of the chocolate ganache, perhaps lemon or coconut cream pudding. Or fresh fruit.

Just one word of caution -- don't fill these crisp coconut shells and then refrigerate them overnight. They'll become a little less crisp. If you don't plan to use them immediately, just cover and set them aside for a day or two, and then fill just before eating.

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