Another cookbook for you to peruse! My daughter gave me this gem years ago and I'm embarrassed to admit this is the first time I have tried a recipe out of it. I read it, then set it aside. (Sorry, Tracy) A big mistake because it's not only filled with recipes for fabulous pastries, breads and desserts, but there are lots of luncheon and light dinner recipes as well. I rediscovered it last week ( I really, really need to organize my cookbook shelves!) and bookmarked several recipes in it.
So last week I made Coco au Miel (Coconut Honey Cakes). After reading the recipe I couldn't imagine how these would turn out. Hardly any flour, not too much sugar, lots of coconut and eggs. Sounds very sweet and quiche-like doesn't it? This was another of those third time's the charm recipes. Aren't you glad you have me testing these for you first?
I can't fault the directions, they are really simple and the batter takes less than 5 minutes to make. But they did say to fill the paper muffin liners nearly to the top. Don't. They overflow. Then it said to use paper liners. The muffin stuck to it and when you tried to take it out, the top came off. Well, just in case the recipe was a flop as well, I tasted it. Delicious! So OK, worth trying to fix.
I had a club luncheon to go to the other day and I was supposed to bring a dessert so decided to make my second attempt with Coco au Miel in a miniature muffin tin. I used the paper liners again, but sprayed them lightly with Pam. They looked great, tasted divine and released from their little liners with no problem. Dainty little tea cakes, a perfect mouthful.
But I wanted regular sized muffins as pictured in the cookbook. So I got out the recipe again, used regular paper liners and sprayed them with Pam. When they came out of the oven most of them released nicely, but you had to be really careful. Even then, mine did not look at all like the ones in the cookbook's photo which were much higher.
I suppose our humidity, oven temps, ingredients all may create slightly different results than Parisian pâstisseries. The next time I make this size I am going to forget the paper liners, lightly butter the pan and sprinkle fine bread crumbs all over. (That's what Maida Heatter does.) But honestly? This size is almost too much of a good thing. Know what I mean? Too much sweet.
So of the two versions, I had more success with the mini muffins. They are quite light but dense with coconut. When I cut one of the larger ones in half you can see how moist they are inside, although it kind of scrunched up and flattened out, you get the idea.
Crunchy on the outside, soft and divine inside. The minis retain that moistness and would make a lovely bite with a cup of tea.
Coco au Miel
(Coconut Honey Cakes)
From Paris Boulangerie Pâtisserie by Linda Dannenberg
1- 1/4 cups whole milk
1- 1/4 teaspoons honey
2- 1/4 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1- 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs, room temperature, well beaten
Preheat oven to 400°. Line 10 muffin cups with paper liners, spray lightly with Pam and set aside.
In a saucepan, bring the milk and honey just to a boil, remove from heat and set aside.
In a bowl, mix the coconut, sugar, flour and baking powder. Add the milk slowly and stir until well mixed.
Stir in the beaten eggs. The mixture will be quite liquid. Spoon into the paper cups, about 3/4 full or a bit more. Each time you fill a cup, stir the mixture to redistribute the coconut.
Bake until the cakes are golden and a cake tester comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
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