This has been a sweet week, in every sense of the term. For one thing, Heathy's new 'Just Desserts' ebook is virtually finished. (Yippee!) I am beyond excited that it will be available soon (should only be a few more days now) so that you, too, can start preparing her scrumptious recipe creations.
Speaking of Heathy, she just booked her tickets yesterday for a 3 week visit with us. (What can I say, we're becoming inseparable! lol) We're looking forward to spending more time together, and with the release of her book, we'll be free to try other chefs' recipes. (I have the new Matthew Kenney's and Cafe Gratitude's books on their way!) Knowing us, we'll probably also come up with some of our original creations. Fun! Fun! Fun!
Which brings me to my Recipe of the Week... I was hard pressed to pick which one to feature as we got to enjoy a number of awesome new recipes in the last few days. I'd been toying with the idea of creating a raw version of a charlotte, ever since Mosaica and I made lady fingers in the course of our last sweet D day. I served it for dessert last night and it was a hit; it turned out even better than I imagined!
With the Holidays approaching, persimmons (that oh-so-delicious treat!) have reappeared on the shelves of our local supermarket. And to top it all off, they were on sale at 3 for a buck! Needless to say that we loaded up. I also found some pretty cool glasses at a great little thrift store, so a parfait seemed to be called for. I whipped up two different variations that are simply too yummy not to share.
Persimmon & Coconut Cream Parfait
Variation 1 - Tropical Pudding
Flesh of 4 very ripe persimmons
1 cup mango, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup dried mango, ground in coffee grinder - optional
1 tbs gogi berries
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 generous pinches allspice
Blend all ingredients until smooth.
I used frozen mangoes that were not the tastiest so I decided to add some dried as well so as to deepen the flavor. However, if you can lay your hands on some good fresh or frozen mango, you could omit the dried stuff.
I find that persimmons have a very delicate taste that sort of get lost when blended along with other ingredients. If you prefer, make a simple pudding by blending the persimmons on their own.
Variation 2 - Simple Persimmon Pudding
Flesh of 4 very ripe persimmons
Blend until smooth.
Take your pick between the following two decadent creams and you got yourself a lovely and light, not to mention visually stunning, dessert!
A coconut variation of my famous Whipped Cream...
1/4 cup young coconut meat
2/3 cup coconut water
1/4 cup + 2 tbs cashews
1/8 - 1/4 cup honey or agave, to taste
1 tsp lucuma
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 tsp lecithin powder
Blend all but last 2 ingredients until smooth in high-speed blender. Add coconut oil and lecithin and blend some more. Chill to firm up.
Carmella's Note: This would also be really yummy as an ice cream.
The second time I made the parfaits, I used Elaina Love's awesome Bavarian Custard. There seems to be two versions of this recipe floating around; one that calls for young coconut milk and one for young coconut meat. I opted for the one posted on her site.
Recipe by Elaina Love
2 cups young coconut milk
1/2 c. coconut water
2 Tbs. orange juice (1/2 orange)
1/8 tsp. Himalayan Crystal Salt
1 pinch-1/8 tsp. turmeric for color
1 vanilla bean, chopped or scraped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup agave nectar or more to taste
1 Tbs. lecithin
1 Tbs. coconut oil or coconut butter
Blend on high until the mixture is creamy. Refrigerate until cool and serve.
~ What I did was blend 1 cup meat with coconut water to obtain the 'coconut milk'. I used a little less than the 2 cups called for, yet it wasn't very firm even after chilling in the freezer.
~ For a firmer texture, I would recommend skipping the 1/2 cup coconut water and/or throwing in some cashews or dried coconut. You could also simply replace the coconut milk by coconut meat.
Crumble Layer and/or Topping (Optional)
1 tbs gogi berries
2 tbs dried coconut
1 tbs dried mango
Finely grind the gogi berries, coconut and mango in coffee grinder.
~ The topping idea came to me when I was almost done assembling the parfaits, but layering some of the mixture between layers would also be lovely; it's so colorful and pretty.
~ I like to grind the gogi and coconut together; try it and you'll understand why. ;-)
In a nice glass, put a couple of spoonfuls of pudding of choice, followed by some Coconut Cream or Custard. Alternatively, for a different visual effect, you could start with the Cream, followed by the pudding.
If desired, sprinkle a layer of gogi/coconut mixture and ground dried mango.
Repeat layers, finishing off with more gogi/coconut mixture and dried mango (optional).
But what about the charlotte recipe you ask? Not to worry, I won't be keeping this one to myself. I'll be posting it in a few days, along with detailed photos of how to assemble this luscious dessert.
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