16 March 2013

Coconut tops 2

I was originally planning to make these on Tuesday already, however, I was quite tired and then other things came in the way, so I ended making these early this morning.


This is a slightly more advanced recipe than the one I've done before. It is from my Swedish book "277 types of cakes".

First, I had to make "vaniljkräm" or "vanilla cream", which is basically crème pâtissière or pastry cream. I made half of the given amount, as I was low on eggs by this point. The cream turned out very nice, even though I made some minor alterations to it. I think it would work rather nicely as filling for macaroons too.

Pastry Cream
Ingredients 250 g full milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
60 g egg yolks (about 3, from medium sized eggs)
62 g granulated sugar
20 g cornflour
12 g unsalted butter

  1. Place the milk in a thick-bottomed saucepan and add the vanilla essence, then bring to the boil. As soon as it boils, remove from the heat and let stand for 10 - 15 minutes.
  2. In the mean time, beat together yolks, sugar and cornflour until pale and fluffy.
  3. Once the milk has completed its "rest", pour it into the egg mixture and whisk together until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan, place it back on the hob and bring to the boil again, while stirring constantly.
  5. Once it comes to the boil, add the butter and stir it in, then remove from the heat. At this point the cream will thicken dramatically.
  6. Continue to whisk until completely smooth, then transfer to a shallow large dish, cover the surface with cling film and cool as quickly as possible - place in a fridge or in cold water.

According to the book, the pastry cream is good for 1 - 2 days if kept in the fridge, the quicker it is cooled down, the longer it will last. Freezing is also good, and should be done as soon as possible. Once thawed, it will most likely split, this is fixed by heating it up in the microwave and stirring it through.

Ingredients 90 g pastry cream
450 g dessicated coconut
150 g eggs (about 3 medium sized eggs)
75 g unsalted butter at room temperature
225 g granulated sugar
300 g dark chocolate (optional)

  1. Line 3 baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. Stir together all ingredients until well combined.
  3. Using your hands, form balls about the size of golf balls (or 30 g), then shape into cones and place on the baking sheets.
  4. Leave to dry for at least 1 h.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 210 degrees and bake until they go golden brown on top, about 15 - 18 minutes.
  6. Leave to cool completely on the baking sheets.
  7. Optional: Melt and temper the chocolate, then dip the bottoms of each cone and allow to set.

As I mentioned, I was low on eggs and had 3 whites over from the pastry cream, so instead of 3 whole eggs in the recipe above, I used two and topped up with egg white to reach the required 150 g. I think this meant the coconut tops were a little paler than they should have been. But I have come across recipes with only egg whites, making the coconut tops completely white.

The book states that each cone should be 50 g, but I tried this and I think that was too much, 30 g size is better. This resulted in 32 coconut tops.

I skipped the chocolate - I have yet to master the art of tempering. Besides I was running out of time. An alternative, you can put the melted, tempered chocolate in a small piping bag and drizzle over the coconut tops.

These were very nice, but not as sweet as I expected. Lundulph liked the texture and he does like coconut. I'm thinking that perhaps some lemon zest mixed in there might be nice. Lundulph wrinkled his nose.

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