Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Baked Apples with Whipped Coconut Cream

I have made an exciting new discovery.

Whipped. Coconut. Cream.

Yes, that's right.

It is extremely delicious, lighter on the digestive system than normal whipped cream (at least, that's how it feels for my rather sensitive tummy) and full of healthy fats.

Bring on the healthy fats, I say!

Here is what you do:

Grab a can of coconut cream/milk and pop it in the fridge over night.
Do make sure that it doesn't have any additives (e-numbers and stabilizers etc). Not only is that better for your health in general, but the coconut milk doesn't separate the way it should for this recipe.

I personally use this brand:

The only ingredients are coconut solids (70 percent, so it's amazingly creamy and sweet) and water.

Once it's been in the fridge for at least 24 hours, open the can up and scoop off the top layer.
(A harder, thicker top layer should have formed: that's the fatty and creamy part)
Put that into a bowl and whip it up just as would with whipped cream.
Pour the runny coconut water left in the can and save it for later. It's yum. You can add it to smoothies, or drink it by itself. It's quite light, since all of the coconut solids have separated into the top layer.

For the whipping: the easiest way is to do it with an electric beater (which I am unfortunately currently not in possession of) but with a hand whisk also works fine, it just takes a bit longer.

I added a dash of vanilla essence, which added an extra warm, "desserty" flavour, but the whipped coconut cream is delicious by itself.

Baked Apples:

Quick note... I got a bit too enthusiastic when taking the apple cores out, and scooped out more apple flesh than I probably should have (in order to stuff more of the yummy filling inside. I thought: The more filling, the better. This is not true!)

Too much flesh scooped out results in a weakening of the structural integrity of the apple... Which ends in collapse! My apples, while tasting superb, split and collapsed and didn't look too pretty.

Also the ratio of apple to filling was a bit off... My initial thought "the more filling the better" was also not quite true. The filling on top was lovely and crispy and caramelized. However, the stuff in the middle which had not been directly exposed to the heat of the oven, was a bit too much of a good thing.

Solution? Don't take out as much of the inside of the apple. Take out JUST the core, and slice the top centimetre off the apple so that more of the filling is sitting on top, ready to be caramelized.

I have also adjusted the amount of apples in the recipe from original three I used to five, to accomodate the filling.


5 firm tart apples (granny smith for example)

50g walnuts, chopped
Large handful of raisins, chopped (sorry, I forgot to measure how many raisins I put in! But it was approximately one handful)
2 tbsp dark sugar
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp rolled oats
Grated rind of half a lemon
Grated rind of half an orange
Juice of half an orange
1 tsp cinnamon
Dash of vanilla essence

If you have other spices handy such as cloves or allspice, add them! A dash of brandy would be delicious too I think...

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Mix all of the ingredients together (not the apples) and set aside. This is the filling.

Cut only the core out of each apple, leaving the rest of the apple intact, then slice about 1 cm off the top.

Fill the apples with the filling mix: Don't be afraid if most if it is sitting on top of the apple, on the flat bit that was sliced off. This gets crispy and caramelized (delicious).

Put the apples on a baking tray and then into the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the apples are soft and the topping is golden brown and crunchy.

Serve with a dollop of whipped coconut cream.

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