Thursday, 27 March 2014

We Should Cocoa March 2014 Round Up

Well. It has certainly been a good month to guest host one of my favourite blogging challenges. No matter what else this month has thrown at me it has been lovely to see all your wonderful entries and each time I saw a new one added to the list I got excited all over again. I now have lots more ideas of how to use coconut in baking and after seeing all of these entries I hope you all will have too. So here goes.

Our very first entry comes from Janet at the Taste Space. This Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie is a raw dessert featuring a crust made from almonds, coconut and dates and a super looking filling made from coconut milk, chocolate and peanut butter. It looks so elegant and extremely indulgent but it is one of those recipes that hides lots of goodness in the nuts and fruit - the perfect treat. It is pretty quick to put together too. 

All coeliacs out there can rejoice with these gluten free Chocolate Banana Coconut brownies by Kate from The Gluten Free Alchemist. An alternative way to use up over ripe bananas if you aren't fancying another banana loaf recipe, these brownies are moist and gooey with an intensely chocolatey flavour to complement the right coconut. 

My own (first) entry were these Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Coconut Cookies. They weren't an intentiaonal bake but were born out of an opportune moment. The original recipe called for lots of oats but these cookies proved a theory that dessicated coconut can replace oats and still give a crisp cookie to go with the other textures from teh sweet chocolate and chunky hazelnuts. They're also perfect with a coup of tea, just as a biscuit or cookie should be.

Dom shared with us his Pineapple and Coconut Chocolate Upside Down Cake as well as the warning that a loose bottomed tin might not be the best choice for this cake. No matter though because it still turned out to be a beauty with its classic buttery fruit on top of a chocolatey coconut sponge. A delicious result in a quick to mix cake.

Linzi from Lancashire Food is up next with her Date Sweetened Gluten Free Brownies. Good quality chocolate, a little coconut oil and a food processor make these quick to make and delicious to eat. I can certainly see why they would make a good addition to a lunchbox and with that many dates in there they are full of fibre and another example where you practically get one of your five a day in treat form - guilt free!

Jill from Lapin d'Or and More came up with these brilliant White Chocolate and Coconut Panna Cotta complete with coconut tuiles and blackcurrant coulis. Born out of trying to use things up that had been hanging around, these delights have a creamy layer to complement the fruity topping and the crunch of the delicate biscuits. A pretty good finish to a meal.

Angela from My Gold Pear gives us an indulgent breakfast recipe now with this Chocolate Granola. Made healthier than shop bought granola, this one has less sugar and oils yet remains delicious enough for anyone to snack on repeatedly throughout the day. I know I'd be exactly the same but that hasn't put me off wanting to try it. All that goodness from the oats, seeds, nuts and coconut balances out the remaining sugar right?!!!

Catherine from Cate's Cates demonstrates how an odd sounding combination of ingredients can still provide you with something which you simply cannot leave alone in these Weirdly Addictive Mostly Raw Peppermint Raspberry Truffles. Made after another recipe went awry, these sweets are shaped as little adorable teddy bears and after an initial taste you won't remain sceptical about the mix of flavours at all.

Another raw recipe now from Frances at Bake Club - Chocolate Goji Slice. Coming from an unlikely source, these slices are full of goodness from the coconut, cashews and dates while being full of texture and flavour with a crunchy base and chewy topping. Mmmm.

Lesley from eat, etc shares with us her Fudgy Chocolate Macaroons now. I've made coconut macaroons a fair few times myself and they have always been popular when I've shared them but for some reason I've never done a chocolate version. I'm going to have to correct that soon though because I've been missing out on the meringue based chewy brownie like texture of these beauties.

Suelle from Mainly Baking combines a chocolatey biscuit base with a fruit layer and finally a chewy topping which is heavy on the coconut in these Chocolate & Coconut Bars. Designed after a recipe search didn't reveal quite what she was after, Suelle combined an adapted recipes making good use of recipe books and making my mouth water in the process.

Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary shares with us some Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies now. By only very loosely sticking to the recipe (I've never done that, ahem) these were created for packed lunches. However, the coconut base and chocolate chunks meant that not all of them ended up where intended - though they were certainly enjoyed anyway!

Angela from My Golden Pear is back again with this Chocolate Coconut Mousse and what a beautiful, indulgent treat it is. Thick, creamy, intesely chocolatey and even safe for those who can't eat raw eggs - perfect.

Choclette, the creator of We Should Cocoa obviously wasn't going to disappoint with her entry so I wasn't surprised in the slightest at how yummy these Coconut and Ginger Cake Pops are. Containing coconut oil, sugar and flour these defintely fit the bill and the inclusion of ginger makes them extra intriguing because I wouldn't have thought of the combination. The high ratio of chocolate covering to cake has won Choclette over her aversion to cake pops - I only wish I had some with me now to eat!

Lucy from The Kitchen Maid has baked a delicious treat this month in these Chocolate Pani Popo. I hadn't heard of such a thing before but I was hooked from the first photo - a Samoan classic, these are a sweet yeast dough and this version has a caramel sauce made with coconut milk and a chocolate chip filling. where's mine please?!

Alexandra from The Lass in the Apron has provided us with a very indulgent, lovely treat in the form of this German Chocolate Cake now.  Made for her Mum's birthday, this eggless layered cake is filled with a fudge icing and covered in a glorious coconut pecan frosting. What's more is there is a tutorial on how to make your own chocolate roses too.

Caroline from Caroline Makes has made these Peanut Butter and Coconut Cookies after inspiration came from a particular film and having only a limited supply of ingredients accessible, proof that yummy recipes can come of of such restraints. What makes these really interesting is the heavy use of peanut butter instead of a mixture of peanut butter and normal butter. Plus, these biscuits are very adaptable and Caroline gives us three options as a kickstart.

I don't know how Rebecca from BakeNQuilt has achieve it but somehow she has managed to make the neatest and most perfect Lamingtons I have ever seen. Giving a little history as to their origin and clear instructions on how to get such a good finish, even messy-in-the-kitchen me might be able to give these a go. The raspberry option looks just as good as the chocolate ones too. It's ok to be supportive and jealous at the same time right?!
With so many blondie and brownie recipes out there that call for masses of sugar it is really refreshing to see these Lemon, White Chocolate and Coconut Blondies from Natalie at Hungry Hinny. Don't worry though, the amount of white chocolate in there keeps them sweet and the lemon curd swirled into the mix gives a lovely contrasst and pockets of strong lemon flavour to balance everything out. Mmmmm.
Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe gives us a myriad of complementary flavours and textures now in this Vegan Bacon and Seed Chocolate Bark. Not something I would have thought of myself, it sisn't take me long to realise that this sort of thing would seeon become addictive and disappear. Deliciously smokey with hints of bacon and spices and lots of nutty textures, this bark is rounded off with lots of chocolate. 

Linsy from Home Cook Food gives us a recipe next that is both quick and easy so it is no surprise that these Cocoa Fig and Date Rolls have proved so popular with everyone who gets to try them. If I got a taste I would feel almost virtuous with all those fruit and nuts then the cocoa would give another level.
The theme of this months challenge meant that these Coconut Chocolate Mini Cupcakes were a very convenient bake from the Nutty Tart.  There is nothing better when you get to test out a new piece of kitchen kit, save for perhaps when the experiment is a success which these wonderfully chocolatey bites were, complete with a coconut cream frosting and a very clever tip for reducing coconut milk.

Our final entry is another from Alexandra at The Lass in the Apron with these Coconut Easter Eggs.  Simple, quick and fun to make, these would lovely presented in a box or cellophane bag as a present, though as beautiful as they are with the piped decorations, I don't think they would last very long once the first one was tasted! Check out Alexandra's blog for some wonderful news too which I'm sure we'll all wish her the best of luck with.

Oops, maybe not. I'm pleased to update the round up with these Coconut Meringue Gems from Hannah at Corner Cottage Bakery which were submitted before the deadline but I forgot to check Twitter for non-linky entries! Sorry!  Made to recreate the Iced Gems of childhood, I think these would be far more gorgeous with their meringue topping, chocolate layer and coconut biscuit base. And yet they're still suitable to pull apart and eat separately in the same way it was so popular to eat the originals if that's your thing. Don't be ashamed now. Most of us have done it with something!

Wow, I'm certainly hungry now after writing about all those delicious recipes. I hope you are as inspired as I am and don't forget to let me know if you end up baking anything from the selection. It's been wonderful to host We Should Cocoa so thank you once again to Choclette. Next month Rachel is hosting so check out her blog at the start of next month to see the next theme and enjoy!

20 comments:

  1. Wow, what a mammoth round up! Well done! There's some fantastic recipe inspiration in here for sure!

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    1. Definitely! I was really pleased with the number and variety of recipes, they were ovely to see

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  2. It looks like coconut was a popular choice with so many delicious looking entries. Great round up Laura.

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    1. Thank you, and I agree, they look so yummy =)

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  3. Fabulous round-up Laura. Isn't it interesting what a healthy one it is too - so many raw or gluten free or reduced sugar recipes. Truly inspiring. Thanks so much for hosting.

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    1. Thank you for having me! And yep, I was surprised at the number of 'reduced' recipes, if that makes sense but they certainly aren't less in flavour!

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  4. Delcious round up , lots of gorgeous recipes to try.

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    1. For sure, I have my eye on some =D

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  5. What a fab round up! I have my eye on the White Chocolate and Coconut Panna Cotta........ Coconut was definitely an inspired choice.......... I have been using it in just about everything this month as a result!!!

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    1. Fingers crossed you get to try it out!

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  6. I was so disappointed that I didn't manage to get mine done in time - I love coconut and had a couple of ideas in mind! But everyone has created some delicious treats here so I'm sure my contribution won't be missed too badly ;)

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    1. Awww, that's a shame time went too quickly. I'm sure your entry would have been lovely though!

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  7. Wow, amazing roundup - loads of great stuff there!

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  8. Thank you for including me on the end, I have a sieve-esque brain sometimes! Lovely round up - always so many inventive ideas!

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    1. I'm sorry I wasn't sensible enough to check the #WeShouldCocoa tweets, especially as I had already seen your entry! Silly of me, and it is a lovely entry too =)

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  9. So much chocolate and coconut deliciousness and a well written round-up. I'd forgotten all about Iced Gems until I saw them here.

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    1. Thank you =) the iced gems really are nostalgic aren't they?!

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  10. well this was certainly a combination that had me excited - so many of my childhood favourite treats had chocolate and coconut - and the round up didn't disappoint - lots of yummy food and a pleasure to read - I had so many ideas but only time for one entry and one slice that didn't quite succeed but I must revisit - I am going to enjoy visiting and bookmarking these recipes for lots more coconutty inspiration

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the round up and that's brilliant news you've found some you want to revisit later. I've had coconut on the brain since writing this!

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