Pavlovas: Mango + Coconut & Caramel Banana

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Lesson yesterday: don’t make assumptions or let anticipation hold you back.

My lesson of course comes from food, it’s part of my self-expression.

I’ve told myself for a long time I don’t like meringue. And although I was excited to make these pavlovas today, it was not because I wanted to eat one but because I thought they were beautiful.

My anticipation was that I wasn’t going to like them. How often do we do this? Judge something/someone/an experience before we try it? I can think of countless instances in my life where I’ve done this, where I have held off on something because of my anticaption of how something was going to taste or feel or how a conversation may go. It is very often self inflicted and limiting.

Because these were delicious and my anticipating thoughts would have denied me of trying and enjoying this. Just as anticipating thoughts can hold us back from our dreams and potential. Or we deny ourselves friendships and connections because we are quick to judge or have a pre-conceived notion of how someone might be.

Sometimes we just have to stop anticipating and step fully into and embrace what is happening.

What made these so good?

I think the texture, I can’t even fully describe it, plus the flavor of the maple sugar, it all was just amazing.

IMAG4118Have fun. Play around. Try out different flavor profiles. Like:

Lemon Curd + Fresh Blueberries

Chocolate Ganache + Raspberries

Cherries + Toasted Almond Slivers

Caramel Apple

Lavender Blackberry

Get Creative!

Paleo Pavlovas

Pavlovas

  • 5 oz. egg whites (about 4 eggs)
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Whipped Cream: 

  • 1 can coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Topping: 

  • Mango Curd (click the link for recipe) +
  • Toasted Coconut Flakes (bake @ 350 for 5 to 10 minutes)
  • Honey Fried Bananas (cook in a skillet, drizzle with honey, brown) +
  • Paleo Caramel

IMAG4114Let’s Make it happen: 

Separate eggs while cold, then allow them to hang out until they reach room temperature.

Preheat oven to 300.

Beat the egg whites on high. Once peaks start to form, slowly add in the maple sugar, a little at a time. Keep beating until it is glossy and the meringue doesn’t feel gritty to the touch. Add the vanilla and tapioca flour. Mix briefly, just until incorporated.

Lay a piece of parchment down on a baking sheet. I used an angled spatula to make four different meringues. I smoothed each into a circle. Then put another layer on top and smooth it out, as well as building it up on the sides to make a well in the center (so the topping could fit in). I repeated this with all four.

Place in the oven and bake at 225 for an hour and a half. Turn the oven off. Leave the pavlovas in the oven to cool down.

While they were baking I made the whip. Simply remove the solids from the coconut milk and beat with vanilla and honey.

Make the mango curd. Toast some coconut.

Fry up the bananas. Make caramel.

Now you are ready to assemble!

Dollop whip cream into the center of each. On two of them, smear mango curd and sprinkle on some toasted coconut. On the remaining two, drizzle caramel, layer on bananas, drizzle a little more caramel.

Just like that you’re ready! Eat and enjoy! Have fun

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Continue reading “Pavlovas: Mango + Coconut & Caramel Banana”

Gluten-Free Mango Curd Tart

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I have been loving some fruit curd lately!

If you’ll recall, last week I featured a Gluten-Free Grapefruit Meringue Pie.

That same day I also made a Mango Curd Tart.

Lately I have also been loving some mango and I am always down for some tropical flavor profiles. So I but some big, beautiful coconut flakes on the top.

Delicious!

It’s amazing how my husband and I work, though. I instantly gravitated towards the mango, whereas he claimed the grapefruit. Just like today I made pavlovas. Again I leaned into the mango and he Claimed the banana caramel for himself.

I think I like the refreshing quality the mango curd provides.

What is nice about this recipe, is that you may choose to break it up. You may want to top it differently. Add coconut into your pie crust dough.

OR

You can just use the mango curd in different things.

Fill a cupcake with it…………

Smear it on a bagel…………………

Put it on your pancakes ………………..

Use it on a fruit pizza……………………….

Put it on a pavlova (more on this later this week)……………

Use it to top your ice cream (I am thinking a Blueberry Goat Cheese- something I’ve conceptualized, which I will eventually make)…………………………………………

Get creative. Continue reading “Gluten-Free Mango Curd Tart”

Crispy Coconut Chicken with Cilantro Lime Jicama Rice

IMAG3936.jpgI love coconut.

I think I have started each post this week with a food that I love (or have loved previously, as with potatoes). But I really do love coconut, which I have found in my years of baking, is a hit or miss. Often people love it or they hate it.

But I do a pretty good job of using different coconut products with turning people off. Because I bake with a lot of different coconut products: coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut sugar, coconut cream, and shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut. Usually the flaked and shredded are the ones I get the most feedback for, although I do with coconut flour sometimes. But I’ll confess I like the nutritional value of coconut flour more than almond flour, but it is tricky to work with. It can get chalky or dense. I have found it lends itself well towards cakes.

This last year I have done a decent amount of coating chicken in different flavors. I’ve made chicken tenders. Parmesan chicken. And my personal favorite, buffalo chicken strips.

So why not make a coconut chicken?

What pairs better with coconut than lime?

I’ve been wanting to play with making some jicama rice for awhile now. Why not now? Why not add some lime zest and juice? Maybe a little cilantro…..

Granted I ate this one solo, my husband is a trooper in my recipe experiments (I can’t tell you all the ways I am blessed to have such a man by my side), but there are certain things he doesn’t like. Coconut is one, he’s not a big fan. So I can respect that. Buffalo for him, coconut for me.

This was AWESOME. I loved the flavor combination. The crispiness of the coconut. It was pretty easy to make. And it was filling.

I will definitely be playing with this jicama rice more in the future as well! Continue reading “Crispy Coconut Chicken with Cilantro Lime Jicama Rice”

Gluten-Free Coconut Cake

IMAG3749.jpgThe first cake I posted this week (Lemon Rosemary Naked Cake, click the link to check it out), had all the bells and whistles, as far as naked cakes goes. So I wanted to make something even simpler. Hence this beautiful, understated coconut cake. I know coconut is hit or miss on people taste preferences, but I am a BIG fan. I have always enjoyed the taste of coconut. And I will confess my mind was racing with pairings. I could make a mango curd to fill this with. Maybe pineapple, I’ll make it tropical. I’ll toast the coconut. My head was racing with ideas. I could have went wild. But something in my mind said: restraint. Restrain yourself for once Brittany. Let the cake stand on its own, you don’t need all those extra things. Just make a GOOD, simple cake.

And that is what I have done.  A nice pairing to go with the lemon cake I made for Easter. You are free to add more to this recipe, this is what I chose. Feel free to toast the coconut. Drip some caramel on the top. Dress it up with fresh flowers. Fill the layers with mango or pineapple. Let your creativity run free. Design cake representative of you, your tastes, and soul-fitting. Do just make the coconut cake, though, it really amazing (and that is coming from a cake skeptic).

IMAG3766.jpgNaked Coconut Cake Continue reading “Gluten-Free Coconut Cake”

Gluten-Free Samoa Brownies

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Last of the brownies I dressed up the other day!

First I started with plain old brownies, nice and gluten-free (I made them with coconut flour). Next I made caramel and topped them off with that. Finally I added toasted coconut, drizzled some chocolate and made Samoa ones.

I will confess, as a child I loved some girl scout cookies. My favorite? Hands down my favorites were Samoa. Actually I think they were the only ones I ate, quite sure I refused to eat any other kinds. Regardless they were good and I was satisfied.

Now I obviously don’t eat girl scout cookies, but that doesn’t mean, I can’t use their tasty cookies as inspiration, right?

Absolutely! After already making caramel, these were a breeze to make and assemble. If I were to do these over, I could dip the bottoms of the brownies in melted chocolate. Make them a little more legit.

And I’ll admit I am also a weirdo on chocolate. I like chocolate in candy and that’s about it typically. I hate chocolate cake (actually I dislike all cake, it’s never been my thing, note as a child my granny made me a cherry cheesecake on my birthday instead of cake). I don’t really like chocolate ice cream. And I am not really a fan of brownies, which is why I finally figured out is the reason I’ve never posted any. Regardless, I was on a mission. And these were freaking amazing, but I probably could have just nibbled on the coconut caramel. I love toasted coconut. Zach had me put some on a banana for him. I personally would dip an apple in some. Feel free to play with and use the coconut caramel in other areas.

Gluten-Free Samoa Brownies Continue reading “Gluten-Free Samoa Brownies”

Gluten-Free Brownies

IMAG3652You know you are in the right profession when you have withdrawals. I haven’t baked anything in a week. I’ve been hard at work on my computer designing my 8-week program and cookbook. I felt great accomplishing my goals for these things, but there is the creative part of me that yearns to make things. Luckily, I have two markets this weekend and Zach and I have a brunch for the SAE mothers. I had a hard time not baking anything for my market today, the urge was definitely strong, however, I do like to make things as fresh as possible. So that will have to wait until Friday (I did measure all my dry ingredients out into containers though with notes, so all I have to do is add a few wet ingredients and mix. I have become a master at prepping ahead of time so I am not over-worked and stressed on Friday’s. Being able to take my time, not feel rushed, and do my best is essential to the taste of my products). I was excited to realize I had a little extra flour left over. Granted it was coconut flour. I was determined to make to it work. I really wanted a new recipe to blog. And I really wanted to make something. And I’ve had my heart set on making brownies. Its been on my to-do list for a month now, ever since I realized I do not have any brownie recipes, here, on my website.

Also I couldn’t just settle for making plain brownies. Yes, they’re good, but I have been creative deprived for a week, I needed more. So I decided to make two with caramel. To make the last two into Samoa style brownies. And to save one of the plain brownies to make a little brownie ice cream. Plus a brownie in a mug. That was my mother’s inspiration. She has been into making little mug cakes for my nephews, so why not a brownie in a jar. It’s easy and perfect for one solo person to make. A little indulgence, without having a whole tray of brownies in your face, taunting them to eat them. The pressure to eat them would be real.

So sit back and enjoy this week of brownies! Time to fix their void on this page!

(note the Samoa are my favorite, but they are also my favorite Girl Scout cookie from childhood).

Gluten-Free Brownies

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (if I did this again I would use almond flour, but the coconut was still good)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (or coconut oil or ghee, I had more butter than extra oil), melted
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch sea salt

Continue reading “Gluten-Free Brownies”

No-Bake Cookie Cheesecake Jars

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Apparently I spoil people completely. Or my cheesecakes are so good, they are in HIGH demand. My friend Julie’s mother gave me back a mason jar to refill, like it is bottomless. Although the jar was conveniently larger than the original one. Weird! My boyfriend didn’t help matters, when he popped in with gifts, including spring pans so I can make more cheesecakes and feed my addicts.

After my nephews came in last week and my co-workers were crooning about there cuteness, I told them I love Trenton’s cuddle cuteness. How he loves to tell me I make the BEST no-bakes. And I am such a good baker. I was surprised when I asked my co-workers if they had ever had my no-bakes before. What?!?! I had to correct this……IMMEDIATELY.

……….But why not combine the two? Hmm, this could be interesting.

No-Bake Cookie Cheesecake Jars

No-Bake Cookies

  • 3/4 cup sunbutter
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/8 cup organic coconut oil
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Continue reading “No-Bake Cookie Cheesecake Jars”