2.20.2011

Khadija's Lemon-Coconut Concoctions


Someone asked me once if I knew the difference between a cook and someone who just follows recipes. I said I didn't. But then I thought about it later on, and realized, isn't the answer in the question? One person is just following recipes, and the other person isn't. Duh. I suppose if you want to go into more detail, you could say that the person who is just following recipes has the ability to cook, but the actual cook himself or herself, has the ability to create. He or she doesn't need directions or techniques; they make up the rules as they go along. 

Which one am I? Well, based on what you've seen on my blog, I think we all mutually agree that I'm the one who follows recipes. Not that I think that I lack creativity or anything; I just haven't ever created my own dish. I guess I don't see food as separate ingredients, rather, I see food as just food. But hey, there's nothing wrong with following recipes. I think I do a pretty good job at it. Like I did with these lemon coconut treats.Like last week's oatmeal cranberry white chocolate chip cookies, I got the recipe for these treats at a potluck; the same potluck actually. Can't you just picture me tasting all the desserts on the table and then running to all the different people who made them asking for recipes? So classy. By the way, I'm probably going to keep calling these treats "treats", because I honestly have no name for them. I want to call them bars, but I feel like they're too light to be considered bars. And they're obviously not cookies, or cake, though they are closer to a cake than they are to a cookie. Oh, I know. I'll call them diamonds, because that's what that they're shaped as.


These lemony-coconut diamonds are delish. Lemon and coconut, like peanut butter and chocolate, and chocolate and bananas, are brilliantly matched ingredients. Especially so in this diamond...okay that sounds weird. I'm just going to call it a dessert. Especially so in this dessert. It starts off as a basic cake, with eggs, oil, sugar, semolina(where you would typically use flour), and milk. Then when it's out of the oven, you pour this delicious lemony syrup on top and allow it to be absorbed, kind of like how I made my tres leches cake. The result: a moist, lemony, and decadent(and simple!) dessert that will have you asking for the recipe, as well as asking for seconds. Or you could just help yourself like I did.


I may not have the ability to create an original dish, but I'll tell you what. There's a difference between someone who cooks because they have to and someone who cooks because they love to, and I am certainly the one who cooks because I love to. And believe it or not, you can actually taste the difference between the two. I do hope that I one day transition from someone who follows recipes to someone who can make something out of whatever, but for now, I'll just keep pouring my heart and soul into the food I make for others, and looking forward to the expressions of delight upon their faces.

Khadija's Lemon-Coconut Concoctions


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Ingredients:

1 cup of eggs (amounts to 4 eggs)
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of whole milk (or plain yogurt, I used whole milk)
1 cup of fine semolina
1 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of coconut powder
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon baking powder
 

For the syrup:
1 cup of water
1 cup of granulated sugar
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 orange (optional, but I used it)


Directions:

Pour all ingredients into a blender at once, and blend. That's it. That's all there is to it. 
Then pour the batter into a 13 x 9 inch pan, or whatever pan you desire, depending on how thick you want the treats to be. I used a 13 x 9 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 16-20 minutes or until the edges start getting dark golden brown. Cut into desired shapes.

For the syrup:
Boil syrup ingredients together for about 10 minutes, and then cool for a few minutes before pouring it on top of the baked dish. Be sure to prepare the syrup while the dessert is baking so you can pour it on top once it comes out of the oven. Also, make sure you cut the cake before pouring the syrup on top.

After you pour the syrup on top, sprinkle some more coconut powder and roasted sliced almonds on top. I attempted to roast almonds myself and slice them, and I failed. Slicing almonds is HARD. You should probably just buy them.
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