Monday, 16 July 2012

Mishaps with Coconut Milk Whipping Cream

Want to see where I'm writing my blog post, seeing as it's summer and I want to blog but also be outside?

Want to see who my little writing helper is?

Here she is looking like her Mommy.

And here she is looking like her Daddy.

It's amazing how just a mere 5 seconds apart she can look like two completely different dogs. I also love that I got to meet both of her parents and so I'm able to pick out the resemblance to each of them at different times. To most people, she's just a dog that looks like any other dog, but I guess like a mother can look at her twins and tell them apart, I can pinpoint the differences in her and can tell that doggy genes really do get passed on.

Okay, now back to the food...

...And I don't have a recipe to share today. Instead I have some interesting bits I'd like to share. I guess you could call them mishaps as the title suggests. Anyway, did you know that you can make whipped cream out of coconut milk? Well I learned this fact a little while ago and was very excited that there was a dairy free alternative to whipped cream. But...I have yet to be able to prove this little fact. I'm still in the experimentation faze you see. I did everything that the instructions told me to do (well maybe not, I may have bought the wrong milk to start with, shaken the can, not skimmed the cream off and not let it cool enough), I can't see why it didn't work? Can you?

In all honesty, I think that there is truth behind this idea. As you can see, I just made too many left turns when I should have been turning right. Next time I'll do what I'm told. And that is:

~Get a can of regular coconut milk (not the light version).
~Get it good and cold in the fridge (not try to flash cool it in the freezer as I did).
~Don't shake the can or invert it (I only wanted to make sure the liquid hadn't frozen).
~Drain the clear water out of the can and use the top cream (Oops, kind of hard to do when you shook the can.)
~Retrieve your mixing bowl and beaters or whisk attachment from the fridge where they too were getting cold (I did this!!!)
~Pour cream into bowl and working quickly, add icing sugar and vanilla to taste (I'm looking good here still).
~Beat until it thickens (it sort of did, not by much).
~Enjoy right away (we did, on hot pie which caused the cream to just melt into a puddle instantly. Maybe it's better on cold desserts).
~Store any extras in the fridge (did this too! Now here's where it got interesting...).

When I looked in the fridge the next morning I couldn't believe what I saw. Because I had shaken the can and thus combined the coconut water and cream, my mixture wasn't really thick enough to thicken if that makes any sense. But, when I stored it back in the fridge, the layers separated again and because it was now in a clear sided container (and not a tin can that left you blind to where the layers stopped and started) you could clearly see that the water had sunk and the cream had risen. As an added bonus, when I stuck a spoon in the top cream portion, it had the consistency I was looking for the night before.

That being said, my recommendation is...

Open your can of regular fat coconut milk a good half a day in advanced of when you want to use it. Pour the liquids (both cream and water) into a clear sided container and store in the fridge. When the layers have clearly separated, skim off the cream and whip this.

I think this should work better than what I had originally seen to do, which was punch a whole in the bottom of the can and drain off the water. I figure that doing it that way there would be a very fine line between not draining enough water and wasting your cream because you would essentially be going at it blindly.

One more thing to keep in mind is that while this may look and act like whipped cream, it does still taste very much like coconut. I'm sure you could eliminate some of the kick by adding in more icing sugar and vanilla if you aren't a fan of the flavour, but while I thought it was a bit different to taste the coconut I wouldn't say it was bad. It was just slightly bitter, but more sugar would easily mask that and so when I try this again I will play around and get some exact measurements to share. As I was eating this by the spoonful out of the mixer bowl I was reminded of a coconut cream sandwich cookie that I always loved as a kid. They were one of the decent packaged cookies that you could buy because they had a soft flakey cookie and loads of amazingly flavoured cream in the middle. Unlike Oreos which always seemed like a dry, stale rip off to me.

So, I've rambled on about this for long enough. I was going to share two other mishaps that have recently occurred but I think I'll save them for a later date now. As I don't want to overwhelm anyone with my failures.

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