Crème Brulee with Creamy Coconut

I’ve had an obsession with crème brulee since the first mouthful. The creaminess, the sweetness and the crunch! But now, all the creaminess and sugary goodness leaves me feeling not all that great. So, to soothe my addiction craving I’m making a healthier alternative. But my, oh my! This coconut hybrid might be better than the original – dare I say it! I doubt life can get any better than this.

Coconut Cream - Homeology

Here is my Crème Brulee with a Tropical Touch:

  • 5 Egg yolks
  • 1 can Coconut cream (400ml)
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • Salt
  • 3 tsp vanilla

The great thing about making your own cream custard base is that you can use it as you would a normal custard, or make a crème caramel or crème brulee.

 

 

For the top:

  • Strawberry
  • Passion fruit
  • 2 Ginger Cookies
  • 1 tbsp Castor sugar

Coconut Creme Brulee with Ginger Cookie Crumble and Passion Fruit - Homeology

 

 

To Make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Separate the eggs. (Keep the egg whites to make something meringue-y or a to make a fluffy Frittata)
  3. Beat the egg yolks and honey until creamy.
  4. Heat up the coconut cream, vanilla and salt on a low heat. Once it starts to simmer remove from heat.
  5. Slowly (teaspoon by teaspoon) blend ½ cup of the warm cream into the egg mixture.
  6. Slowly add the rest of the cream to the egg. Don’t blend it too vigorously because it will cause bubbles that you don’t want.
  7. Boil the kettle.
  8. Pour the custard into clean ramekins.
  9. Place the ramekins on a deep oven dish.
  10. Add enough hot water until it covers the ramekins up to half way.
  11. Put in the oven for 40 – 60 minutes. Or until the custard is just set – still wobbly. (Mine took 55min).
  12. Once they’re done, refrigerate for 1 hour minimum.

 

The Crunchy Top:

  1. Finely crumble ginger cookies and mix with castor sugar.
  2. Give the custards a light dusting.
  3. Use a blow torch to caramelize the sugar top or place the ramekins underneath a broiler for 5 minutes.

Coconut Cream Creme Brulee with Ginger Cookie Crumble - Homeology

Serve with fresh strawberry, passion fruit or as it is!

 

Happy Eating!

 

Cheeky Thai-inspired Chicken Corn Soup

In an attempt to try and up our culinary craftiness while eating healthy, we’ve been keeping to themed menus for the past few weeks. Each week we select a different country to learn from – but due to popular demand (read – because the other half said so) Thailand is featuring for the second time in one month! But I’m out of some of the essential Thai ingredients so I decided to make a “Thai-inspired” dish instead, a fusion if you will.

Immune Booster Thai Chicken Corn Soup

This healthy and wholesome soup is a classic with a twist – chicken corn soup done the Thai green curry way.

healthy vegetable soup ingredients

INGREDIENTS:

For the Soup

  • 2 cooked chicken breasts – shredded*
  • Corn from 2 corn cobs/1.5 cups frozen corn or 1 can sweetcorn
  • Green curry paste **
  • 400ml Coconut Milk (or cream)
  • 750ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Shallots or other onions
  • 10ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper

*Fry the chicken breasts until just cooked then shred by using two forks. Or, leave out the chicken altogether if you’re vegetarian.

**I made my own salsa-like green curry mixture, but you can use store bought paste – scroll to the bottom of the page for my home-made version.

shredded cooked chicken for healthy soup

Additional Extras

The great thing about this soup is that you can add pretty much any vegetable you like. This is what I used:

  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup asparagus
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1 small cabbage – shredded (Bok Choy is a lovely alternative)
  • 1-2 raw scrambled eggs

chopped mushroom for healthy soup

Garnish

  • Coriander leaves
  • Chopped spring onion
  • Chopped raw carrot

METHOD:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot then fry the shallots until translucent.
  2. Add the green curry mixture and sweat for 3-5 minutes until fragrant (the part where you feel the chilli and garlic tickle your nose) 😉.
  3. If you’re using carrots or starchy vegetables add them first (the other veggies will be added later).
  4. Mix in the rice vinegar, and let it reduce for a few minutes before adding the stock, water and soy sauce.
  5. Add the corn and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Swirl the soup mixture with a spoon then add the raw egg slowly. Watch it do its magic and move on to the next step.
  7. Now you can add the softer veggies, mushroom, asparagus, broccoli, and the chicken to the soup.
  8. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Place the cabbage on top of the soup, close the lid and let it sit for 3 minutes.
  10. Turn off the stove and mix in the coconut milk/cream.
  11. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  12. Pour the hearty mix into soup bowls, garnish with coriander leaves, carrots and spring onion. Drizzle with lemon juice and dig in!
  13. Sit back and enjoy the sizzle of a strengthening immune-system!

Optional: Thai Green Curry Salsa/Paste

The reason behind salsa is that I use a food blender and not a food processor, which is still do-able because the flavour is spot-on! But! A food processor is better, because it’ll create a paste that will add a lovely pastel green tint to the soup.

home made green curry salsa in black bowl

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 chillies of your choice – the smaller they are, the hotter the curry (feel free to add more)
  • 1-2 inch ginger, peeled
  • 2 lemongrass sticks
  • 4 sprigs of spring onion
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Bunch of coriander/cilantro leaves

easy home made thai green curry paste ingredients

METHOD:

  1. Clean and peel the ingredients, chop off the woody bits of the lemongrass and spring onion.
  2. Add all ingredients (including fish paste) to a food processor and blend. Fine chopping will also do.
  3. Refrigerate until needed for the main recipe.

home made green curry salsa in black bowl

 

Happy Cooking!

tenille

How To Make This Fabulous Melting Ice Cream Cake

You know the lovely long summer holiday you’ve been looking forward to for ages?  Well, don’t look now, but it’s all over!  Is it just me, or does it feel like that flew by quicker than you can say “flip-flops”?  But, fear not… school starting doesn’t mean the summer has gone!  I’ve got the perfect bake for a lovely hot January… a fab, funky Melting Ice Cream Cake with a surprisingly speckled inside! I baked this for a friend’s little girl – adapting the recipe & instructions from a similar cake on Pinterest.

YOU WILL NEED

EQUIPMENT

An electric mixer, 3 disposable foil trays (or equal sized baking tins if you have them) two piping bags, an icing scraper (or similar tool) and a long wooden / bamboo skewer

 INGREDIENTS

For the cake:

  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • 350g soft unsalted butter
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 6 large free range eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Up to 65ml milk – any kind
  • 120g Icing-based sprinkles of your choice (normal sugar-based sprinkles like vermicelli or 100’s & 1000’s will melt away during the baking process, but icing-based ones retain their shape & colour)

For the frosting:

  • 200g butter, VERY soft but not melted
  • 250g medium fat cream cheese
  • +- 800g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • Purple gel colour

For the “melting ice cream” pink ganache:

  • 200g white cooking chocolate (large blocks, chopped up, work better than chocolate chips)
  • 85ml cream
  • Pink powder colour
  • Sprinkles to decorate

For the ice cream cone:

  • One sugar cone
  • 1 cup Rice Krispies

METHOD

Preheat oven to gas mark 4/170ºC/360 ºF

Prepare your disposable foil tins by spraying with Spray & Cook and cutting a circle of baking paper for each one

 

Instructions for the cake:

  • Cream your butter and sugar until combined, light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs one at a time.
  • In a separate bowl, mix baking powder & flour, then add little by little and mix well (with the mixer now on slow).
  • Add vanilla extract.
  • If your batter is a little thick as mine was, add up to 65ml of milk – adding a tablespoon at a time and stopping when you get to a consistency that you’re happy with.
  • Add your chosen sprinkles to the batter and mix well.
  • Using a spatula, divide your batter equally between the disposable tins. Use the back of a spoon to smooth down each cake – this will help them to bake flat.
  • Pop them into the oven and keep a close eye on them – you don’t want them to get browned. Take them out as soon as a skewer to the centre comes out clean (25-30 min depending on your oven).
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Once cool, level the tops of all 3 layers, reserving the scraps for later use.

Instructions for the frosting:

  • Mix the butter and cream cheese
  • Add icing sugar gradually and mix well
  • Add lemon juice
  • Refrigerate to firm if necessary, or add up to 60ml hot water if too firm
  • Remove ⅔ of the white frosting from the mixing bowl and transfer to a separate bowl – cover with a damp towel to prevent the frosting from drying out.
  • Tint the remaining frosting, with the purple gel food colour, using a few drops at a time.
  • Transfer the purple frosting to a piping bag with a 12mm round tip. (If, like me, you don’t have the widest selection of piping tips, just using the coupler on its own works equally well! You could even just snip the tip off a disposable piping bag.)
  • Fill the second frosting bag with white frosting.

To assemble:

Use the remaining white frosting to sandwich the cake layers (I prefer to assemble my cakes directly on to a flat cake plate) and cover the entire cake in a thin crumb coat. You will have a little frosting left over and this should be reserved for later use.

After the crumb coat has been applied, use the piping bags with white and purple frostings to apply alternating lines of frosting around the sides of the cake, making them as even as possible. Using a cake turntable is recommended here, as it makes the job much easier.

 

Place your icing scraper vertically to the side of the frosted cake and carefully scrape away some of the frosting in a single motion until stripes are revealed. You may need to make several passes before the frosting is completely even – wipe excess frosting away from the scraper after each go. Set the cake aside while you prepare the ganache. (*See note below)

 

Instructions for the ganache:

  • Heat the cream until it’s about to boil, then add the chopped chocolate.
  • Allow to stand for 2 minutes, then stir until the chocolate has fully melted into the cream.
  • Whisk until smooth and glossy. When you start to stir it, you think it won’t come together, but it will.
  • Add pink powder colour, little by little, until the desired hue is achieved.
  • Allow to cool slightly to a pourable consistency.
  • Using a spoon, drizzle some of the ganache onto the centre of the cake, then gently push the pooled ganache over the edges of the cake to create a drip effect. Reserve the unused ganache.

 

Instructions for the ice cream cone:

  • Crumble the reserved cake scraps into a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the remaining buttercream.
  • Mix until thoroughly combined and firm enough to pack into a ball. Roll the ball as smooth as possible, then set aside.
  • In another bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of icing with the Rice Krispies. Pack this mixture into the sugar cone and insert the bamboo skewer into the centre.
  • Thread the ball onto the skewer and press it on to the top of the sugar cone.
  • Use a spoon to cover the ball with the leftover pink ganache. If the ganache is too firm, reheat at 10-second intervals in the microwave until smooth and pourable. Allow the excess ganache to drip back into the bowl.
  • Turn the ice cream pop upside down and insert it into the cake at a slight angle.
  • Pour more ganache over the ball portion, if needed.
  • Cover the ice cream ball and pink ganache with sprinkles.

*The Pinterest post called for refrigerating the cake at this stage, which I did, but I found it made the smooth application of the ganache more difficult as it tended to set too quickly.  It was, therefore, difficult to spread/smooth it, so I wouldn’t recommend it. Luckily I had my little blowtorch handy so I could heat & blend some of the messier bits!

Happy baking!