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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Ramadan Recipes Starting on a Sweet Note: Coconut Cream Cheese Puffs & common traits between Ramadan home cooks and professional chefs!

Super Easy   | Serves 12
Try exotic flavours this Ramadan,
it is Summer after all!
Ramadan is knocking on heaven's door :) 
Fast approaching, and many of us are in prep mode. Food has always been especially delicious in Ramadan! Cooks pour their hearts out when preparing food during this holly month. Disciplined by the practice of fasting, and somehow being able to shut out all other distractions, dedicating the time and effort to prepare food for the family, reflecting on our love for food, life, and family are all the seasonal ingredients of Ramadan. This very simple frame of mind, is the key to good food. Even the most novice cook, produces delectable delights in Ramadan! And it's really because we set a time to be focused on food prep. A time when we crave, envision, and do! In very simple terms, these are the actions that the most professional cooks go through every time they produce great food. We think of flavours, conceptualise combinations, and execute the vision. In a way, during Ramadan, home cooks take the professional approach without even knowing it. Crave, Envision & DO! Therefore, the outcome is always great.

Throughout Ramadan, I will be posting many recipes to help you with the vision, assist you with variation, and most importantly help you prepare heart felt meals for your family and friends. I will be sharing some secret family recipes too !! Yes, so make sure to keep on checking and try out these tasty all time favourites of mine. As always, I will post appetisers to include soups and salads. I will also post recipes of side dishes, main dishes, and desserts. I would love to hear from you, your feedback is really appreciated, so do please let me know if you would like me to write a specific recipe, recipe variation...etc also let me know if you have specific dietary needs, and I will try and help you prepare the meals accordingly. I would love nothing more than hearing about how the recipes work out for you, and would love to receive some pictures of your creations to share with others :)

PS check out the "LABELS" side bar for categorised recipes. I will add all Ramadan recipes under "Ramadan Recipes" label, but you can also find "soups" "Salads" "Main Course" "Desserts"...etc

I thought to start this Ramadan's Recipes on a sweet note. Since it is still summer, and you are probably still on vacations, I chose to start with this summery, very light yet exotic dessert. Nothing says summer and exotic destinations better than coconut! Both puff pastry and Crema di Mascarpone give this dessert its light impression. When combined with the coconut, they create a light and airy dessert that will tickle your imagination, and take you to faraway places! This perfect summer dessert will delight every one.

Making Puff Pastry can be complicated. It is labour intensive and time consuming. The focus in this recipe is not on making the puff pastry, I will hopefully dedicate a post on puff pastry soon. For now, there are many good quality ready-made puff pastry in the market today. For convenience and ease, buy these ready-made ones, which are usually frozen. Allow time to thaw first before rolling and cutting into shapes.

Super easy, Super delicious!

For Coconut Cream Cheese Puffs
You Need

1  500g package, Mascarpone cheese
1  packet, frozen Ready-made Puff Pastry Sheet, thawed
250g dried desiccated coconuts, toasted till lightly browned
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla essence
Extra icing sifted sugar for dusting.

Start by thawing the puff pastry sheets. Once thawed, preheat oven to 450F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Cut Puff Pastry using a round cutter, place rounds on lined cookie sheet

Roll puff pastry sheets and using a round cutter, cut into circles. Each sheet, should be enough to make 10 rounds. Place over lined cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Dust generously with sifted icing sugar to cover the whole top of the puff pastry rounds. This will help in caramelising the puff pastry and sweetening its taste.

Dusting with icing sugar helps in caramelising the tops,
and adds the sweet flavour to the pastry

Place in preheated oven for 18 minutes or until fully puffed, caramelised and golden in colour. Remove from heat, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Bake till golden brown

To Make Crema Di Mascarpone
In a bowl, using an electric mixer, mix together mascarpone cheese, sifted icing sugar and vanilla essence. Mix until well incorporated. Fold in ½ the quantity of toasted coconuts, reserve the remaining half to sprinkle over finished rounds.

To assemble, Place Coconut Crema di Mascarpone in a large piping bag and pipe a swirl over each puff pastry round. Repeat till all rounds are iced. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top of each swirl. Serve cold.

Ahlan Ramadan!

I hope you have enjoyed this post, and that you liked the recipe. This is one of these, which when you try you will always make. So do give it a try, I assure you, you are going to love it... And let me hear from you, you know how much I love your feedback :))

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