Monday, January 12, 2009

Holiday Dessert Wrap Up, Part II

Coconut Cream Tart

The second tart I settled on for my family's Christmas celebration, after choosing the Cranberry-Chocolate Tart, was this coconut one. I had some hesitations about it - the reviews it had received on Epicurious were decidedly mixed, and I'm not always sure how big of a coconut fan I really am. I stuck with it though, convinced that it would be the perfect foil to the deep, dark flavors of the chocolate tart. The end result put all my misgivings to shame: this was one amazing dessert. Turns out I do like coconut a whole lot - as long as it's prepared properly and not overpowered by lots of sugar and fake stuff (Hostess Sno-Balls, I'm looking at you).

This is another layered tart - a coconut-shortbread crust, topped with thick coconut custard, then a tangy, barely-sweet cream. The custard was incredibly rich and creamy - I think Dariush deemed it "the smoothest thing he has ever tasted". The cause of all this smooth, rich goodness was cream of coconut: a thick, white substance that is less liquidy than coconut milk, and difficult to find in a store if you don't know where to look (I didn't, but I do now, thanks to the always helpful staff at Kowalski's on Grand - it's with the other alcoholic beverage accompaniments, like Bloody Mary mix and such...and now I can't wait to try the coconut cream in piƱa coladas, which was its original intent...but I digress). The cream topping was a mixture of whipping cream, sour cream, and just a teaspoon of sugar...a traditional sweet whipped cream would have been too much, and the tanginess of the sour cream made it just right. All in all, a completely fabulous tart that I will make again and again...and thus concludes my 2008 holiday dessert wrap-up. Thank goodness people still have birthdays coming up.


Sheena said...

Yum! I love coconut!

Elisabeth said...

Sheena, I really haven't been a big coconut fan until the last year or so. Now I've discovered that I love it too!