Chocolate Espresso Coconut Mousse with Almond Crumble

Chocolate Espresso Coconut Mousse with a crunch Almond Crumble - this is what dessert is supposed to look like!

coconutmousse.jpeg

So I, like so many other people, LOVE Trader Joe’s. I mean seriously, how can you not go into one and get excited about your cooking potential! Plus it’s so cheap and who doesn't love that!!!

So during a recent visit, I picked up some of their coconut cream with absolutely no plans for it. I was just one of those items I needed to have for 2 very good reasons.

  1. I rarely see coconut cream rather than coconut milk

  2. the label was just so pretty

So after having it for a few days, I started doing a little brainstorming and that is where this mousse was born. Now, I love a good chocolate mousse but sometimes just having straight mousse doesn’t cut it. While it is yummy and has a great texture I tend to like when textures are mixed. That’s why cheesecake is so delicious, a crunchy crust with smooth creamy filling = a match made in heaven!

Now, this crumble is a bit reminiscent of one of my all-time favourite desserts - Butter Brickle. If you have never tried it you are soooo missing out, it’s crumble, caramel and ice cream - perfection on a hot summer day. So while this isn’t exactly the same it gives the same crunchy element to complement the smooth creamy mousse.

So do yourself a favour and keep a few cans of coconut mousse in your fridge at all times because you can never be too prepared when it comes to dessert!

coconutmousse3.jpg

prep time 20 minutes

cook time 10 minutes

total time 30 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

1/ 3 cup slivered almonds

1/3 cup oatmeal

3 tbsp cold butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 oz dark chocolate

2 cans coconut cream (refrigerated a minimum of 12 hours)

2 tbsp espresso or dark coffee

4 tbsp white sugar

2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl combine almonds, oatmeal and brown sugar. Using a cheese grater grate in butter and mix together until crumbly. Press onto a small cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

In the bowl of your stand mixer add in your cans of cold coconut cream - being sure to only use the cream that is on the top and not any of the coconut water. To the cream add in sugar, vanilla, coffee. Beat on high for 2-3 minutes or until it is light and fluffy like whip cream.

While the coconut is whipping melt your dark chocolate using a double boiler or microwave. Once the coconut cream is fully whipped carefully fold in the chocolate.

To assemble layer divide 1/8 of the crumble in the bottom of 4 glasses or dessert bowls. Divide mousse between each cup then top with remaining crumble. Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving.

coconutmousse2.jpeg

Classic Strawberry Shortcake

Treat yourself to one of the most classic spring desserts. It’s light and fresh and the most perfect way to finish any meal.

shortcake.jpeg

Now I must admit that my first introduction to strawberry shortcake was that little sweet smelling little doll of my childhood. Do you guys remember her? If you were a child in the mid 80’s I’m sure you do because that girl was everywhere!!! Plus, how many dolls came smelling extra yummy and sweet!

But now back to the actual Strawberry Shortcake because honestly, it’s a classic. It’s one of those desserts that evokes memories of the past yet can totally stand up to the test of time.

There is just something about a sweet flakey biscuit, tart strawberries and whip cream that makes for one of the best combinations of all time. Arguably you could also say that this could make quite a lovely brunch as well. I mean it’s a biscuit, fruit with some cream - It’s basically like you had a classic waffle and that’s appropriate morning food right?

So whether you think of a delightful little doll or a delicious springtime dessert Strawberry Shortcake is full of happy memories that deserve to be treasured.

shortcake3.jpg

prep time 30 minutes

cook time 18 minutes

total time 38 minutes

servings 8

Ingredients

Biscuits

3 1/2 cups flour

2 tbsp white sugar + more to dust the top

1 tbsp baking powder

1 cup cold salted butter

1 cup buttermilk + more to brush the top

Strawberries

6 cups fresh strawberries sliced

2 lemon

2 tbsp white sugar

Whip Cream

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

3 tbsp white sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl combine flour, 2 tbsp of sugar and baking powder. Grate butter into the flour mixture and toss so that it is fully incorporated. Using a fork stir in buttermilk until just combined.

Turn the dough into a floured surface and form into a 16x8 rectangle then cut into 8 squares. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the top of each biscuit with buttermilk then sprinkle liberally with sugar. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Remove for the oven then allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

While the biscuits are baking prepare your strawberries. In a large bowl place sliced strawberries then sprinkle with sugar and the zest of 2 lemons. Stir to combine then set aside to allow the juices of release from the strawberries.

To prepare your whip cream combine all ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat until stiff peaks form.

To assemble slice each biscuit in half then to the bottom half add a dollop of whip cream then a large spoonful of strawberries and top with the biscuit top.

shortcake2.jpeg

Double Chocolate Mexican Hot Coco Cookies

These double chocolate cookies are kicked up with a hit of cayenne pepper, perfect to finish off any Cinco De Mayo feast!

mexicancookies.jpeg

So it’s sunny and bright today but in typical Alberta fashion this past weekend it snowed!!! It’s almost May and I know, I know snow happens often May in Alberta, but for some reason, it’s still always really shocking especially when it was sunny and beautiful the week before and people were talking about starting to get their yards ready for summer.

So since it’s almost May it’s totally Cinco De Mayo time which always means a little bit of spice. It’s always easy to add spice into your savour dishes but often times the sweet ones get left behind, except for Mexican Hot Chocolate.

That hit of cayenne is the perfect kick with chocolate and translated perfectly into these cookies. The double chocolate gives an extra rich flavour and the slight burn of the cayenne give a surprise that you don't expect.

so if your hosting a Cinco de Mayo party with weekend finish it off with these little treats, your guests will love you for it!

mexicancookies2.jpg

prep time 15 minutes

cook time 12 minutes

total time 27 minutes

servings 12 - 14 cookies


Ingredients

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup dark chocolate

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1/2 tsp baking soda

2/3 cup flour

pinch of salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. In a small saucepan add in butter and melt. Remove from heat then add in finely chopped dark chocolate and stir until chocolate is completely melted and incorporated into your butter.

Pour butter/chocolate mixture into a medium bowl then add in cayenne, brown sugar, and egg and beat to combine.

In a small bowl combine baking soda, flour and salt. Stir then add 1/2 of mixture into the dough and stir using a wooden spoon. Add remaining flour and stir then add in chocolate chips and mix until they are evenly distributed.

Bake for 9-12 minutes then allow to cool on a cooling rack.

mexicancookies3.jpg

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Nothing screams summer more than strawberries and whip cream! This pie brings those yummy ingredients together in one amazingly fresh and delicious bite!

strawberrypie.jpeg

Ok, so this pie is a blast from the past for me! As a kid, we had strawberries in our back yard and from time to time we would have fresh strawberries pie, it is one of those desserts that I hadn't had in years yet thought about often.

The only problem is the pie we use to have had a glaze on it that was, gasp, store-bought and unfortunately, I haven't spotted that lovely little package since I was a child. So I knew that I needed to figure out how to recreate that delicious pie but sadly most recipes I was finding in my research involved jello. Now here is what you need to know, in my opinion, it should not be a jello consistency but rather more of a glaze. The strawberries need to be the star of the show with this one and I worry that by using jello it would take away from that.

So I finally found a few recipes that were thickening with cornstarch and I finally felt like I was on the right track, the only thing was is that they were putting the mashed strawberries through a fine sieve leaving all that strawberry pulp which just seems so wasteful to me. So, as usual, I pulled out the ever-versatile food processor and it luck for me, perfection!

I also wanted to make this pie as easy as possible so I used a store bought crust but feel free to make a homemade crust if you have the time/inclination to do so.

Now to the outcome - this pie is just as good as I remember and I wanted to make a second one the minute it was gone. It would be the perfect dessert for Easter or basically any bbq or brunch all summer long!

strawberrypie3.jpg

prep time 15 minutes + 3 hours to set

cook time 10 minutes

total time 3 hour 25 minutes

servings 6 - 8

Ingredients

1 pre-made pie crust

8 cups strawberries (washed, hulled and quartered)

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp corn starch

1/2 lemon

Instructions

Cook pie crust according to directions then allow to cool.

In a medium saucepan place 2 1/2 cups of the strawberries then mash using a potato masher. Add in water and simmer for 5 minutes allowing the strawberries to completely break down.

Transfer the strawberries to a food processor and blend until smooth. In the pot combine sugar and corn starch and using a whisk. Add in the strawberry puree and bring to a boil for 1 minute, reduce heat then simmer until thickened (approx. 2 minutes) stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice.

In your cooled pie crust layer in 1/2 of the remaining strawberries then pour over 1/2 of the glaze and repeat with remaining strawberries and glaze. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours to set. Top with whip cream.

strawberrypie2.jpg

Coconut Carrot Cake Scones

Easter is coming and brunch needs to be served so why not treat your family to delicious coconut carrot cake scones.

carrotscones.jpeg

Easter is coming up so quickly I can’t even believe it! It’s the time of year for pastel coloured eggs, tulips and daffodils. The thing about Easter that makes it so much fun to host/cook for is that it’s also spring and fresh flavours really are key! Plus, it’s been a few months since Christmas so you're ready for another big family holiday!

For me, Easter is also a really great time to experiment with new recipes. Thanksgiving and Christmas are for the classics, Easter is time to be new and inventive - plus can we talk about decor! A couple of years ago I found these great stone bunnies that were perfect centrepieces and now are doing double duty as decor in my guest room.

So now onto these scones. If you haven’t already noticed I LOVE scones. To me, they feel more special than muffins yet are honestly just as easy. And honestly carrot cake - who doesn’t love it slathered with cream cheese frosting. These scones give you all of those classic flavours for breakfast, because who doesn't want to kick off a big day of yummy food with dessert for breakfast!

carrotscones3.jpg

prep time 45 minutes

cook time 20 minutes

total time 65 minutes

servings 12 small or 8 large scones

Ingredients

2 3/4 cup flour

1/3 cup white sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tbsp pumpkin spice

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup butter cubed

3/4 cup shredded carrots

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

3/4 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

Ingredients

In the bowl of your stand mixer combine flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin spice, salt and baking soda and stir to combine. Add in cubed butter and using the paddle attachment turn onto low the butter to combine with the flour.

Add in shredded carrots, coconut, milk, vanilla and egg and blend on low until dough comes together. Separate into 2 balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Lightly flour the top of each ball and lightly press down until dough is 1 inch thick. Using a knife cut each circle in half then each half in thirds then pull each triangle apart slightly so that they are not touching. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400. Remove from the freezer then brush with heavy cream then bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.

Cream Cheese Icing

1/2 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla

3-4 tbsp heavy cream

In a small bowl combine all ingredients and whisk to combine. Drizzle over scones then serve immediately.

carrotscones2.jpeg