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Coconut Infusion

Posted Wednesday, Apr. 02, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

Serves 4-6

For the crêpes:

 2 large eggs

 1 1/4 cups whole milk

 1 cup flour

 3 tablespoons melted butter

 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

Crème Pâtissière (recipe, right)

Crème Anglaise (recipe, right)

1. Place all crepe ingredients in a blender and mix for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides and repeat. Let rest in blender for 15 minutes, then mix one more time for 30 seconds. Refrigerate batter for a minimum of 1 hour, or up to 24 hours. Stir to combine before using.

2. Heat a small nonstick pan and brush lightly with butter or oil. Pour just enough batter into the center of the pan to enable you to tilt it quickly and swirl batter, evenly coating bottom. Cook for 1 minute until bottom is slightly browned and top looks dry, then carefully turn over. Cook for another 30 seconds and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan.

3. Continue cooking crêpes, layering with waxed paper in between each crêpe.

To serve:

Alternate layers of crêpes and Crème Pâtissière on a plate and serve with Crème Anglaise.

— 2100 Hemphill St.,

Fort Worth, 817-913-6972,


 2 cups coconut cream

 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

 6 large egg yolks

 2/3 cup sugar

 2 tablespoons cornstarch

 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Whisk together coconut cream, whipping cream, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture simmers and thickens to a pudding consistency, about 3 minutes.

2. Remove from heat, add vanilla extract and press through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface of mixture. Chill 3 hours.

 2 cups whole milk

 7 tablespoons sugar

 6 large egg yolks

 Pinch of salt

 2 tablespoons Myer’s Dark Rum

 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Whisk together milk, sugar and egg yolks in a medium saucepan, then add the salt. Over medium heat, whisk mixture constantly until hot to the touch.

2. Change to a heatproof spatula and stir from bottom of the pan and around sides constantly keeping sauce in motion until the custard begins to thicken and coats the spatula.

3. Remove from heat and add rum and vanilla extract. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, cover tightly and refrigerate for two hours.

Makes 24 cookies

For the Macaron Shells:

 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

 3/4 cup almond meal

 2 egg whites,

  room temperature

 1 teaspoon egg white powder

 2 tablespoons

  plus 2 teaspoons

 granulated sugar

 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 or coconut extract

 1 teaspoon blue gel

 food coloring

 Egg Paint

 (recipe, right)

 Coconut Ganache Filling

 (recipe, right)

 Toasted Coconut Filling

 (recipe, right)

1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and prepare a piping bag fitted with a medium-sized round tip.

2. Using a food processor, process the confectioners’ sugar and almond meal until smooth.

3. While the almond mix is processing, whisk the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer on low until frothy. Slowly add the powdered egg white and granulated sugar, gradually picking up speed with the mixer. Mix at medium/high until the egg white mix forms glossy, almost-stiff peaks. Add the extract and gel food coloring and mix until thoroughly combined.

4. Sift half of the processed almond mix into the meringue and gently fold just until combined. Sift in the remaining half of the almond mix and gently fold, making sure to mix in all of the dry pockets, until the mixture is a thick, smooth batter. Do not under-mix or over-mix. (To test desired consistency: Scoop up a bit of batter and drop back into the bowl. It should create a ribbon effect and dissolve into the batter within 30 seconds.)

5. Fill pastry bag with batter and pipe 1-inch rounds of batter onto the lined baking sheets. The piped sheets will then need to rest on the counter undisturbed for 30-60 minutes depending on humidity.

6. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. When the batter looks dry (it should not stick to your fingers when lightly touched) bake one sheet at a time in the middle of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The macarons are fully baked when you gently press the tops and they do not move at all. (If you see any movement, continue to bake for another minute or two.)

7. Remove from oven and let cool.

8. Paint with Egg Paint.

 1/2 ounce brown culinary color dust (Wilton brand available at Michaels

 or cake supply shops)

 1 teaspoon vodka or clear vanilla or coconut extract (Vodka dries most

 quickly and is tasteless)

 1 small-tipped clean food paintbrush

1. Using a very small dish, mix the color dust with the vodka or extract until a thick liquid brown paste forms.

2. Liberally dip the paintbrush into the brown paste, and using quick conductorlike motions over the macaron shells at a distance of about 6 to 12 inches, fleck or splatter the paint onto the tops of the shells. Let dry about 10 minutes.

 2/3 cup good-quality white chocolate chips (Callebaut or Valrhona brand)

 1/4 cup heavy cream

 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

 1 teaspoon coconut extract

1. Place chocolate chips into a shallow glass or metal bowl and set aside.

2. Add the cream and butter to a small saucepan over low to medium heat and bring to a simmer. Immediately pour over the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.

3. Add the extract and whisk the mix together until the white chocolate is smooth and shiny.

4. Once cooled, let firm up in the refrigerator for several hours. The ganache should become a solid but workable paste.


Macaron Assembly:

1. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small round tip with the Coconut Ganache. Pipe rounds of ganache onto half of the painted macaron shells.

2. Immediately sprinkle Toasted Coconut Flakes onto the piped ganache. Sandwich the cookies together.

3. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours to let the macarons “mature,” or soften via osmosis. Macarons are best enjoyed 24 to 48 hours after assembly and refrigeration. They will keep for up to five days in the refrigerator, or up to a month frozen.

— 817-291-1129, www.cakewalkhome.com

 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and top with an even layer of coconut flakes. Bake for about 10 minutes, checking and tossing, until coconut flakes are golden and toasty. Remove from oven and set aside.

Coconut Bars

Makes 2 dozen bars

For the crust:

 1 cup butter, softened

 1 cup sugar

 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 1/2 teaspoon salt

 2 large eggs

 2 cups all-purpose flour

 Blueberry-Chocolate Ganache

 (recipe follows)

 Coconut Filling (recipe follows)

 Blueberry Topping (recipe follows)

 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 10-by-10-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper or foil with a 1-inch overhang to make removing the bars easier.

2. Beat butter, sugar, vanilla extract and salt in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended. Gradually beat in flour until blended.

3. Using an oiled off-set spatula, pour evenly into prepared pan.

4. Pour 3/4 cup of Blueberry-Chocolate Ganache mixture over bar mixture in pan and chill while preparing Coconut Filling.

5. Spoon Coconut Filling evenly over blueberry-chocolate layer in pan. Sprinkle with coconut flakes.

6. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes in preheated oven.

7. Uncover and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool completely.

8. Prepare Blueberry Topping and immediately pour and arrange blueberries over baked bars.

9. Chill 1 hour, add remaining Blueberry-Chocolate Ganache if desired; slice and serve.

— 126 Taylor St., Keller, 817-562-2500,


 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate

 1/2 cup heavy cream

 1 tablespoon butter

 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, thawed

1. Place chocolate in medium metal bowl and set aside.

2. Bring cream and butter to a simmer in a small saucepan over low heat and pour over chocolate. Let sit 3 minutes, then whisk to combine.

3. Place mixture in the bowl of a food processor and blend in blueberries until smooth.

 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

 (recommended: Eagle Brand)

 5 ounces cream cheese, softened

 1 tablespoon lemon juice

 1 egg

 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes, divided

In bowl of electric mixer, beat sweetened condensed milk, softened cream cheese, lemon juice, egg, flour and coconut extract on medium speed until smooth. Stir in coconut flakes.

 2 cups frozen blueberries, thawed

 1/2 cup sugar

 1 tablespoon lemon juice

 1/4 cup cold water

 1 tablespoon cornstarch

1. Combine blueberries, sugar and lemon juice in medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until juices of berries begin to simmer and release.

2. Mix together cold water and cornstarch and then add to blueberry mixture. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil and thicken slightly.

Makes two 8-inch layers,

or a 9-by-13 sheet cake

 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil

 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

 3/4 teaspoons salt

 3 eggs

 4 ripe bananas, mashed

 1 cup pineapple, finely chopped

 1/2 cup shredded coconut

 2 teaspoons baking soda

 1 teaspoon cinnamon

 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

 1 cup toasted chopped pecans

 or walnuts, optional

 Cream Cheese Frosting

  (recipe follows)

1. Place oil, sugar, salt, eggs, banana, pineapple and coconut in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix well.

2. Sift the dry ingredients together and mix into the batter just until combined. Add toasted chopped nuts, if desired.

3. Pour batter into greased molds and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or just until firm to the touch. Ice cake when cooled.

— 2869 Crockett St., Fort Worth,

817-916-5300, www.afandbfortworth.com

Makes 3 cups

 1 pound cream cheese, softened

 1 stick butter, softened

 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Pinch salt

Place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until light and fluffy.

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

After a wicked winter with more freezes than we care to recount, we’re welcoming spring with open arms and an appetite for lighter flavors, including sweet and versatile coconut. In the fall, we toast its flakes to sprinkle atop spiced pumpkin pies; in the summer, its milk (also used in our homemade piña coladas) makes a delicate ice cream base that pairs perfectly with key lime. For this season’s baby and wedding showers and our upcoming Easter gatherings, we went to four local pastry queens for coconut-infused desserts that will have you making coconut your springtime staple for sweet treats.

Chandra Ricetti

Owner, The Bastion Restaurant

After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Chandra Ricetti went on to become the pastry chef at Paris’ Hôtel Plaza Athènée, where she honed her classic French techniques. She says her coconut cream-filled crepe recipe is inspired by her time in France and her childhood travels to visit family in Maui, where coconuts are bountiful. “It is very light and not too sweet,” she says. “The subtle flavors really appeal to my 6-year-old, Luca, because he’s isn’t fond of desserts in general but loves this cake.”

Laurel Wimberg

Pastry Chef, AF+B

Perhaps Fort Worth’s most buzz-worthy pastry chef right now is AF+B’s Laurel Wimberg, who built a reputation for the divine desserts at Craft Dallas and more recently Lark on the Park before she was recruited to Fort Worth. Here she provides her take on the pineapple and banana-based hummingbird cake, a Southern favorite that that will appear on AF+B’s dessert menu this spring. Wimberg adds shredded coconut to her batter and ices with traditional cream cheese frosting.

Melody Fitzgerald

Pastry Chef, Sugar & Frosting

While we won’t ever turn down a homemade coconut bar, we find many can be gooey and cloying. Not Melody Fitzgerald’s version, which incorporates a layer of blueberry-chocolate ganache and lemon juice, both in the filling and in the blueberry compote topping that adds vibrant acidity. “The lemon juice, blueberries, chocolate and the coconut combine beautifully and create a bar that’s not overly sweet,” she says. Fitzgerald, who’s worked under Dean Ferring and created Julia Child’s 88th birthday cake, closed her Southern Breeze Café in Keller last fall to focus once more on her wedding cake business, her real passion.

Emily Allen

Owner, Cake Walk Bake Shop

Though she doesn’t have a storefront, Emily Allen is well known in wedding and special event circles for her whimsical desserts with handmade details, inspired by her love of vintage baking. She says creating these robin’s egg-inspired coconut macarons can be tricky, as factors like humidity and under- or over-mixing play into getting the shells just right. “But if you can get that down, the rest of it is super easy and fun,” Allen says, adding that splattering the macarons with culinary “paint” is a great way to involve children in the process.

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