Spiced Coconut Fudge

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I adore coconut. I love chocolate. I am crazy about almonds. I am one of the few who relish over an Almond Joy candy bar. So, I figure, if I make coconut fudge with chocolate and almonds for dessert Saturday night, I’ll get to eat the pieces rejected by coconut dislikers! They don’t know what they are missing!

This is a three-part layered concoction. First you make the coconut fudge, then you toast the almonds and when the whole thing is ready to assemble, you melt the chocolate. Line a pan with parchment and stack the stuff. After it cools, cut the fudge into squares and serve. Watch out! It’s super sweet.

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Spiced Coconut Fudge Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 bar semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup chopped almonds, toasted

Directions: Place evaporated milk, coconut, sugar, vanilla and spices in a sauce pan on low heat. Bring to a simmer and stir until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is fairly thick. Stir in 2 Tbs. of butter and turn off the heat and let the mixture cool. Once it has cooled to room temperature, you want to give it a good mixing until it is thick and shiny looking.

Meanwhile toast the almonds in a shallow pan on medium heat. Keep them moving so they don’t burn and pour them out onto a plate once you are able to see that they are beginning to brown.

This recipe fits a small square pan 8 x 8 or so and you’ll need to line it with parchment paper. I lined my pans north – south, east – west and left some parchment sticking up so it will be easy to pull the fudge out to cut.

Melt the chocolate on medium heat in the microwave. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t begin to boil or burn. Once it is hot add the other Tbs. of butter and mix it into the chocolate.

Now you are ready to assemble. Pour the coconut fudge into the bottom of the pans and flatten with a spatula. Next drizzle or spread the chocolate over the fudge. Last, cover with toasted almonds. Use the spatula to flatten the top and press the almonds into the mix a little so they don’t fall off the top when the fudge is cut into squares.

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Coconut Cilantro Chutney

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I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I left you hanging yesterday with only a page number for this amazing sauce to scoop up with your spicy green beans and brown basmati.

This fabulous Indian recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian and can be found on page 663. It’s another mustard seed popper – I love that! I also love cilantro more than any other herb in the world, but have heard that some people don’t – I can’t imagine! This sauce is fresh and enormously flavorful and despite the fact that it has chiles in it, does not burn. In fact, it’s a great cool down accompaniment for spicy Indian dishes.

This recipe is so perfect that I do not improvise, but I do, of course, cut a few corners here and there. You know me.

Ms. Jaffrey states at the beginning of her recipe:

You may use 1 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut soaked in 3/4 cup of hot water for 30 minutes instead of fresh coconut, if you prefer. Use the soaking water as you grind.

First shortcut – I will absolutely use unsweetened dessicated coconut because I’ve lived in Latin America and I know how tricky it is to remove fresh coconut flesh.

Second shortcut – Put the coconut and water in a bowl and zap in the microwave for 2 minutes. While it’s cooling down, mix the other ingredients in the food processor or blender.

Coconut Cilantro Chutney Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened coconut

3/4 cup water

1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger

2 medium shallots

2 fresh serranos

3 cups (or two bunches) cilantro

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp. peanut oil

1/2 tsp. whole brown mustard seeds

Directions:

Heat coconut with water in a microwave for two minutes. Let it sit until you mix all the other ingredients. In the food processor, pulse to chop the ginger, serrano peppers and shallots. Next add the cilantro and pulse. Scrape down the sides if you need. Add salt, sugar and lemon juice. Process until everything is chopped and starting to create a paste. Add the coconut and blend again. If it seems dry, you can add a drizzle of water.

In a saute pan heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they start popping, pour the oil and seeds into the coconut chutney and mix again. This chutney is served cold, so should be chilled in the refrigerator. According to Ms. Jaffrey, it should last 3 to 4 days and can also be frozen. Oh, heavenly deliciousness!