Monday, 10 March 2008

Chocolate Cocount Tarts

I have been out of commission the last several days with what would politely be called a stomach bug but was most probably some form of particularly nasty food poisoning. I have very bad luck with getting sick - I'd point out at this stage that it has never before been from my own doing - and am usually the one in the group who gets served the bad oyster or the contaminated sandwich. This latest round might or might not have been my doing, having tasted some uncooked batter in which I'd used eggs from chickens that hadn't been salmonella-protected. After that lick I realized it was risky, now I think it was plain stupid.

So woe is me, but now that I can look at food again, let's get back to the cooking (presuming you all still trust me around food).

The chocolate coconut tarts Marita Says chose for the last round of Hay Hay It's Donna Day made me sit up and say yes please. These seemed like a ma
ture sort of coconut macaroon with the clever twist of turning the macaroon into the shell of the tart. I can never turn down, and often deliberately turn to, coconut macaroons, probably since it's one of the few things I remember my grandmother making for me. My mother spoke of her mother's macaroons in awe, telling me how my grandmother had learned the recipe in cooking school and that my mother was too intimidated to attempt them herself. It wasn't until I was older and thought of rectifying years of home-made macaroon deprivation that I realized how easy macaroons were to make and wondered why I had done without them for so long.

I made these as the dessert to please the kiddies when we played host to some toddlers a couple weeks back. The children absolutely loved them and
did their best to consume the generous 5 mini-tarts I had placed on each of their plates (ignorant non-parent thinks: They'll never finish them all but let's give them some fun; in-the-know parents in the room think: Good god, this woman isn't fit to feed children).

It was, of course, wonderful to have the children be such eager consumers, particularly because these tarts were little buggers to make. The tip to wet your fingers with water in-between pressing the coconut into the muffin tins was essential: the egg-white coated coconut bits were indescribably sticky and the two doze
n tarts took me the best part of an hour to make and did not leave me in a pleasant mood at the end. The threat of bad language continued once the baking of the tarts was done and I was supposed to remove the casing from them. All the extra moisture from pressing the coconut into the muffin paper sealed the paper layer and edible layer together in a horrible, anger-inducing immutable bond. After letting them set in the freezer and then relax in the fridge for several hours, the paper gave up its death grip on the tart and I was able to peel most of the casings away and feed it to small children without them accusing me of trying to poison them.

Once the agony was put aside, the tarts were excellent
and an excellent new way to enjoy the simple pleasures of coconut and chocolate together - even if I did miss the submission date for the Donna Day event. For all the effort they took, though, I would be more tempted to enjoy some chocolate-dipped macaroons next time, and in fact plan on making some of those later this week.

Donna Hay Coconut Chocolate Tarts

For the shell:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups dessicated coconut

For the filling:

  • 1 and 1/4 cups cream (or soya cream)
  • 300g dark chocolate, chopped
  • (optional: 1 Tbs seedless raspberry jam)

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C /350F.
  2. Mix the egg whites, coconut and sugar well.
  3. Scoop the mixture into muffin tins and with wetted hands (works best this way) press it out to create a base and sides for a cup.
  4. Put into the oven at bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until it begins to lightly brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for one minute.
  5. Gently remove the cups from muffin tins and let it cool more.
  6. While this is happening, heat the cream in a saucepan until almost boiling.
  7. Remove from heat and throw in the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted into the cream and you have a decadent and rich looking chocolate liquid. If using jam, stir in at this point.
  8. Carefully, fill each cup with the liquid.
  9. Put the cups on a plate or tray in the freezer and leave it for 10 minutes or until set.
  10. When set, remove from the freezer.
  11. (If, as I did, you use paper muffin cups rather than tins and have trouble removing the paper from the shells, allow to sit in the freezer for longer and try to remove it after that)


jasmine said...

Oh Annemarie!

I truly feel for you--I've had foodpoisoning several times (twice from the same restaurant) and it is absolutely pun intened...okay...maybe a little pun was intended.

Glad to read you are feeling better. The tarts look lovely...


Gigi said...

Ah! I just recovered from a bout of food poisoning. I bought a hotdog from a street vendor. I know dumb. I hope your feeling better and the tarts look delicious!

Naomi Devlin said...


Sometimes you just can't tell where these things come from can you? Nick is the one who's prone to that sort of thing in our family. He's even been poisoned by hummous twice!

The first time was valentines night - when he was too hungry to wait for the supper I had lovingly cooked and had a 'quick snack' that he regretted for a few days. The second time was our graduation ball when he looked positively gothic, but still managed to get dressed up and drift around looking peaky.

Of course, now a days he is ultra conservative - whereas I just sniff things and maybe scrape off the mold! I know my comme-up-ance is long overdue.

I'm glad you got the tarts out of their shells. I made an alternative version of this recipe using agave syrup and coconut flour - a much better behaved dough I assure you!

x x x

tinymango! said...

ohhh food poisoning. not good.

however, your coconut tarts look delish.

Kevin said...

Those look good! Coconut and chocolate is a great combo. I imagine that those coconut shells would be a bit difficult to assemble.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

I was already tempted to make tarts like these after seeing Naomi's pics and recipe. Now, I have absolutely no excuse not to do so! I'll pass on the food poisoning, though, if you don't mind... Hope you're feeling much better now.

joey said...

Your tarts came out fabulous! I must try them with the original crust at some point...

Chocolate dipped macaroons sound amazing!

Tartelette said...

Hope you are feeling 100% better now! The tarts look fabulous!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

My heart goes out to you, Annemarie. That's terrible. I'm glad you're on the mend, though. Lovely looking tarts though. :) Take care, Susan.

White On Rice Couple said...

Ouch, food poisoning can certainly put down a food blogger for days! The frustrating part must be trying to figure out exactly where it came from.
You are way to kind to pass these beautiful, time consuming delicacies to little kids. I'd probably give them some cookies and save this good stuff for me! Can you tell we don't have any kids? :)

Hannah said...

Oh, I hope you're feeling better now...! But with these lovely little tarts, I'd imagine anyone would regain their appetite very quickly. ;)

Lisa said...

Well, they may have been a lot of work, but they look and sound heavenly. Take care!

Kate / Kajal said...

oh i'm so sorry !
Hope u feeling good now. U must have a really sensitive stomach.

As for the coconut tarts they look yum.saw this on a couple of other blogs for the same event , and every time i see them , i know i have to make these. Your shells have come out really good.

Annemarie said...

Hi Jasmine- I feel like I've had food poisoning so often that people are beginning to look at me like I have Munchehausen syndrome when I claim I've been sick again. But really, I guess I'm just stupid/unlucky. :)

Hi Gigi - ooh, hot dogs on the street. Yup, it seems obvious now you say it, but at the time, I bet it was very tempting and good...

Hi Naomi - oh dear, hummous getting you? Nick really must be a delicate sort. I think your tarts looked fab and really want to ty what you've done.

hi tiny mango - no, not good with the food poisoning, but the tarts were great. :)

Hi Kevin - See, you have the right perspective knowing that the tarts would be tough. I was naive, and so I think my frustration grew exponentially. You'd be much better mentally equipped for the job. :)

Hi Joey- The chocolate dipped macaroons *were* great - just had my last one this morning (and made them last night!).

Hi tartlette - Thanks, and thanks. :)

Hi Susan - Thanks very much. :)

Hi White on Rice - I was questioning feeding these to the kids, I'll admit. I could have just laid a melted bar of chocolate in front of them for the same effect/appreciation, but then I wouldn't have been justified blogging about that, would I (I melted chocolate! In a double boiler!!!11!)

Hi Hannah - the tarts were the food I aspired to eat on my recovery. :)

Hi Lisa - they were a lot of work, but there were worth it, too (well, once the work was behind me).

Hi Kajal - I am a delicate type, can't you tell? ;)

Bron said...

I completely agree, the tarts were little @#$!'s to work with, quite cute and yummy though! Hope you're feeling lots better!

ChichaJo said...

So sorry to hear about the food poisoning...hope you are feeling better!

Your tarts came out fantastic! :)