As the first Christmas trees appear in-store (don’t worry, I haven’t bought another one YET – refer to last year’s Christmas post for an explanation), I can’t help but think of those we love who won’t be with us this year.
For us, that includes our kind and generous neighbour Ken – a special buddy to Master Three, who misses him dearly. Ken had a magnetic personality and was the sort of neighbour everybody would want. And Aunty Joy – my husbands Great Aunt, who passed away last week. I’ve been trying to think of how best to describe Aunty Joy – she was Martha Stewart before Martha. There was nothing Aunty Joy couldn’t create. And not tasteless nana pieces, thoughtful creations that grace many of our homes. We’ll always treasure the quilt given to our little guy as a newborn, made of symbolic fabric chosen with thought.
If you could choose relatives, Aunty Joy would have been top of my list. She will remain an inspiration to me and I’m sad there’ll be no more chats about the latest on Food TV.
Rest in peace dear Ken and Joy.
With so much going on, I haven’t had time to contemplate this year’s gifts from the kitchen. So, it was a relief that my magazine subscriptions chocka full of festive recipes began arriving.
Like most of the rest of the world, I’ll put my hand up to being a bit of a sugar addict. I’m a sucker for fudges and old-fashioned treats usually found at school fair cake stalls. The double-decker non bake coconut ice in Cuisine looked very enticing and, more importantly, very easy.
Here’s the recipe, ingredients as per Cuisine, but a slightly modified and quicker method. What I really love about this recipe is that is uses Fresh As raspberry powder, which gives the finished product a gorgeous flavour. Fresh As dried fruit and vege powders are clever and convenient with an authentic taste. I get mine from On Trays in Petone (great store, great people), and you’ll find the range at most speciality food stores.
What you’ll need
50g butter (at room temperature – this is important to make it easy)
1 can condensed milk (I use Highlander brand, 395gm)
375g icing sugar
250g coconut (I used thread)
2 T cocoa powder (I like to use a really good quality dark cocoa if possible)
1 1/2 T Raspberry Powder
Whip it together
Spray oil (not olive) or lightly butter a 20x20cm baking tin (although, you may not need the extra fat if using a silicone or non-stick tin).
Put the butter and half of the condensed milk into a large mixing bowl. Beat together with a wooden spoon until well combined (so you can’t see any buttery bits). Mix in the rest of the condensed milk.
Mix in the icing sugar – in two batches to make it easier. Then the coconut – in two/three batches. A big wooden spoon comes in handy here.
Separate the mixture into two. Into the first portion, add the cocoa and mix in well. Using a spoon, press the chocolate mixture into the tin in an even layer.
Add the raspberry powder to the second portion and mix well until combined and your mixture is a pink colour. Press this onto the top of your chocolate mixture.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours. Remove from the fridge and cut into pieces, sizing to your preference – I got 25 large-ish pieces, but you could cut smaller.
Keep in the fridge until required. Technically it should last around three weeks, but it’ll be eaten before unless you hide it from creeping hands.
Great with coffee or package in cellophane bags with a pretty ribbon as a gift. (Note, Cuisine topped it off with Fresh As freeze-dried raspberries, but this is not essential.)