Coconut Crunch French Toast with Guava Syrup

Coconut Crunch French Toast with Guava Syrup

After our glorious day at King’s Hawaiian, the wonderful KH ‘Ohana sent us home with a huge box of goodies to fill our kitchen and tummies. ONO-licious!!!

I couldn’t wait to try out different recipes with the delicious products and I started off with an island inspired French Toast.

Coconut Crunch French Toast with Guava Syrup

While daydreaming about warm, tropical beaches I whipped up a batch of French Toast utilizing island based ingredients– coconut, guava, and of course– King’s Hawaiian Bread.

The slightly sweetened bread soaks up the perfect amount of custard base to yield a rich and creamy center. I also chose to coat the toast with Coconut Crunch pieces but if you can’t find it, non-toasted coconut flakes will also work well to create a wonderful texture.

Coconut Crunch French Toast with Guava Syrup

And after all this island goodness, I couldn’t bear the thought of settling for maple syrup. Lucky for me I had some guava puree on hand and was able to make a quick syrup. It was PERFECT!!!

Perhaps we all can’t be whisked away to some beautiful tropical paradise at any given moment but at least our tummies can be transported there with some Coconut Crunch French Toast and Guava Syrup.

Much Alohas to you all!

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Coconut Crunch French Toast with Guava Syrup
Serves 2

Ingredients:

Guava Syrup
1 Cup Guava Puree
1 Cup Water
1 Tablespoon Palm Sugar

French Toast
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Milk
¼ Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
½ Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
½ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
2-3 Pinches Ground Nutmeg
4 Slices Kings Hawaiian Sweet Bread, about 1 inch thickness (Brioche can be substituted)
1 Cup Coconut Crunch Pieces (Coconut flakes can be substituted)
Confectioners’ Sugar for dusting
Vegetable Oil
Butter

Prepare the Guava Syrup by adding all the syrup ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a light boil, stirring frequently. Once at a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook down until the syrup is thickened and reduced by half. Remove from heat and warm prior to serving.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, heavy cream and sugar together. Add in the vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and whisk until the sugar has dissolved and all items have combined. Pour the Coconut Crunch pieces into a shallow dish.

In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-low heat. Swirl the skillet to evenly coat the bottom. While the skillet is heating, dip the slices of bread into the egg mixture, coating each side. Lightly shake off the excess liquids and coat each side of bread with the Coconut Crunch pieces– gently pressing the coconut into the bread. Once coated, slide the bread into the heated skillet. This may need to be done in batches depending on your skillet size. Cook each side of the French Toast for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.

Plate the French Toast and dust lightly with confectioner’s sugar. Serve immediately with the warmed Guava Syrup.

Lychee Panna Cotta with Guava Gelée

Lychee Panna Cotta with Guava Gelée

I never realized how much I fancied Panna Cottas.

Which is strange really. I love crème brûlées, yogurts, custards. All very similar in texture.

Lychee Panna Cotta with Guava Gelée

But then I stumbled upon a few posts for panna cottas that were flavored with tropical fruits. And then it dawned on me. Why wouldn’t I love it?!

This Lychee Panna Cotta turned out so lovely. It had a nice lychee flavor that was subtle and slightly floral—and had a wonderful smooth texture. Since I used the lychee syrup when I pureed the fruit, I only added a tad of sugar and used whole milk.

Lychee Panna Cotta with Guava Gelée

I decided to up the “tropical ante” by pairing it with a Guava Gelée since I thought the two flavors would pair so well together. And the striking color from the guava was so pretty against the white panna cotta.

Lychee Panna Cotta with Guava Gelée

However, I might have been a tad overzealous when plating. I’d cut the Gelée amount in half and suggest only a spoonful of it next time as to not overpower the subtlety of the Panna Cotta.

But with that said, this would make a delightful treat on a warm sunny day. :)

Keep your eyes peeled for Friday’s post. It made me very happy to bake it—and best of all, Eat It!

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Lychee Panna Cotta with Guava Gelée

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

Panna Cottta:
1 20-Ounce Can Lychees, in light syrup
¾ Tablespoon Unflavored Powdered Gelatin
2 Cups Whole Milk
¼ Cup Water
1 Tablespoon Sugar

Gelée:
4 Tablespoons Guava Paste
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
¾ Tablespoon Unflavored Powdered Gelatin
½ Cup Water, plus 2 Tablespoons

Prepare the panna cotta. Pour water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin in. Allow the gelatin to bloom—about 5 minutes. In a food processor or blender, puree the lychees with the syrup until it is liquefied. Strain the liquids through a sieve. In a saucepan, add milk, sugar, and lychee liquid. Place saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar is just dissolved but do not let it boil. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin until dissolved. Allow the panna cotta mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes before pouring into glasses/serving bowls—dividing evenly. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 3 hours.

While the panna cotta is chilling, prepare the gelée. Pour 2 tablespoons water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin in. Allow the gelatin to bloom—about 5 minutes. In a small saucepan on medium low heat, combine guava paste, honey, and ½ cup water. Stir and cook until the paste has melted and the ingredients have combined. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and gelatin. Mix until everything is completely dissolved. Allow the gelée to cool to room temperature. Spoon or pour over the panna cotta that has been chilled for 3 hours. Return to the fridge and chill for an additional hour.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Curd & Guava Buttercream Frosting

Confession: Sometimes when I’m testing out a new component to a recipe, I’ll use shortcuts in other areas. For example, when I thought of creating Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Curd & Guava Buttercream Frosting, I wanted to focus my time on getting the right flavor profile down for the Guava Buttercream and defaulted to using a packaged Lemon Curd from Trader Joe’s (which, incidentally, is delicious!). And although I love Lemon Curd and would have been able to find many uses for it, I didn’t want to whip up an entire batch for such a small amount. Trader Joe’s to the rescue!

The Guava Buttercream was inspired through one of my other ongoing projects—attempting to make the elusive Hawaiian Guava Chiffon Cake. And although I have been quite unsuccessful with that particular Island pastry, it has left my pantries well stocked with guava products such as jams, syrups and nectar. If you can’t find Guava concentrated Nectar (I used the Hawaiian Sun brand), you can use regular Guava juice—though I suspect the flavor won’t pack as much punch.

As for the cuppies, I turned to one of my standard vanilla cupcakes to offer a subtle but tasty canvas for the Guava Buttercream. It also paired nicely with the lemon curd though I think the buttecream had such a nice tropical flavor that it could stand on its own. Perhaps a Mango Cupcake with Guava Buttercream sprinkled with Li Hing powder? Mmmmm!!!

And with that, here’s my question to you all….

What type of cuppie do you think will pair well with a Guava Buttercream?

CHEERS! :)

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Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Curd & Guava Buttercream Frosting
Makes 12 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Vanilla Cupcakes
1½ Cups All Purpose Flour
1½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ Teaspoon Salt
3 Large Eggs (room temperature)
1 Cup Vanilla Sugar* (or plain granulated sugar)
½ Cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
1 Tablespoon Good Quality Vanilla Extract
¼ Cup Milk
¾ Cup Lemon Curd

*Vanilla Sugar
Take the scraped Vanilla Bean Pod and bury into one cup of granulated sugar. Cover for a minimum of 5 days, stirring every other day.

Guava Buttercream Frosting
3 to 4 Cups Confectioners Sugar (sifted)
½ Cup Unsalted butter (room temperature)
½ Cup Guava Jam
2-3 Tablespoons Guava Concentrated Nectar

Preheat oven to 350°degrees and place paper liners in pans. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a standing mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until light and creamy for about 2 minutes. Add the butter, and vanilla extract. Mix until well incorporated.  Add milk and mix until smooth. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients until well blended.

Fill each lined cup 2/3 full with cupcake batter. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes, rotating halfway between baking time. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean. Cool completely in pans on top of a wire rack.

While cupcakes are cooling, prepare Guava Buttercream. In a large mixer bowl, whip the butter for several minutes until very light and fluffy. Slowly add the confectioners sugar until the butter becomes thicker and stiff. Add Guava Jam and Nectar and whip until combined. If needed, add a few more spoons of confectioners sugar until desired consistency is reached.

When cupcakes are thoroughly cooled, fill a piping bag with a small tip and the Lemon Curd. Carefully insert the tip into the cupcake and slowly fill each cake with desired amount. You can also cut a small hole in the cupcake using a pairing knife and fill in with the lemon curd.

Fill another piping bag with the prepared Guava Buttercream. Frost and decorate the cupcakes.

ENJOY!

Guava and Lilikoi Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Guava (Reddish-Pink) and Lilikoi (Yellow) Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Since being back from our wonderful vacation in Hawai’i, I’ve really missed the flavors and regional cuisine from the islands. To try and relive some of those “ono grindz”, I wanted to bake something with the Guava and Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) jams I picked up. After some inspiration from a friend’s post on Facebook (Thanks, DQ!), I decided to take the tropical flavors from the jams and make Thumbprint Cookies. After a few searches, I settled on Martha Stewart’s “Aunt Maggie’s Jam Thumbprint Cookies” for its simplicity and overall positive reviews.

How did it go? Well, I’ve been baking/cooking long enough to know that I should really trust my gut feelings when something seems odd in a recipe. But no, like a faithful puppy, I followed Martha’s recipe trusting that she would veer me in the right place. Yeah…I should have listened to myself.

Now in all fairness, the cookies weren’t “bad”. They just weren’t great….more like an “ok” response. What was the issue? First of all, the directions listed to make 1 inch balls using about 2 Tablespoons of dough. Sound off? Yup, it was. My cookies were way too big and thus I had to increase the baking time by about 3-4 minutes a batch. Second, two major ingredients were missing that you find in most cookie doughs…..Salt and Vanilla. And perhaps because there was no salt, the final cookie lacked some flavor.

But there was a glimmer of hope. The next day when I got home from work, the BF said that the cookies tasted better. Strange, right? But he was spot on…they DID taste better! Who knew that aging them would increase the flavor?! After all, it’s not a cheesecake!

Next time, I’m not taking the chance and will modify the recipe. I suggest adding about 1 Teaspoon of good quality Vanilla Extract, increase the granulated sugar amount from 1 cup to 1¼ cups, and add about ¼Teaspoon of Salt. Also, when forming the dough balls, only use about 1 tablespoon. I think if you try the modifications, you’ll be happy with your results.

Alohas!

Lilikoi Jam Thumbprint Cookies