I spend a lot of time experimenting in the kitchen and tinkering with recipes, and I have to say that 90% of the time, my tinkering turns out okay. Just okay, though. Usually nothing fabulous, usually nothing to write home about, usually nothing to blog about.
Then, 9.9% of the time, it’s a total failure that has to be dumped in the trash, never to be spoken of, at home, on the blog, or anywhere.
That remaining .1%? It happened yesterday. That one moment, when I took the tinkering to extreme levels, crossed my fingers, squeezed my eyes shut real tight… and. Wow. Perfection. Deliciousness. Amazing yumminess.
It all started with a recipe I clipped from a Giant Food magazine (that I only grabbed because it had a few coupons… cheapskate me!). The gorgeous picture that went with the recipe kept enticing me, but I was put off by the ingredients, like fat-free milk, reduced-fat whipped topping and yellow food coloring. For one thing, I don’t do fat-free; for another, I’m not consuming dairy at the moment to see if it helps Baby Boy’s eczema. For another… food coloring? Really? Is that necessary?
I couldn’t resist the draw of the picture, though, so I determined to see if I could make it with coconut milk products instead of the dairy. I also chucked the whole concept of food coloring, and used limes instead of the lemons called for, simply because I had picked up a whole bunch of reduced limes at Harris Teeter over the weekend.
And so… Coconut Lime Mousse was born!
To replace the whipped topping in this recipe, I made some coconut whipped “cream”. It’s SO easy, and SO delicious, and you’ll definitely want to use it for the coconut flavor. It requires a bit of planning: pop a can of coconut milk in the fridge the day before you want to try the recipe.
How to Make Coconut Whipped “Cream”
You will need:
1 can (not lite) coconut milk
Place the can in the fridge overnight. Upon opening the can, you should have a rather thick layer (several inches thick) of solid coconut milk fat (for lack of a better word). Scoop out that solid coconut into a mixing bowl, and beat on high until it develops the consistency of a heavy whipped cream (this doesn’t take long). Use the remaining liquid in the can as part of the coconut milk called for in the recipe below.
Coconut Lime Mousse
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup corn or tapioca starch
1 1/2 cups So Delicious coconut beverage (you can include the remaining liquid from the canned coconut milk as part of this amount)
juice from 2 small limes (about 1/3 cup)
zest from 2 small limes, divided
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup coconut whipped “cream”
Combine sugar and cornstarch in a pot on the stove, gradually stir in the coconut milk until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, being sure to stir constantly so it doesn’t burn or stick. Once boiling, continue to cook and stir until mixture thickens (this wont’ take long at all, 2 minutes max). Remove from the heat, and stir in the lime juice, half of the zest, and vanilla. Fill a large bowl or pot with ice and/or ice cold water, and set the pot in it. Continue stirring the mixture until it cools down to room temperature, approximately 5 minutes. Gently fold in the coconut whipped cream until blended. Refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour, longer is better. To serve, scoop into an ice cream cup and top with the remaining lime zest.
As far as fancy recipes go, this is a QUICK one! It’s also perfect for Easter – you can make it on Saturday and refrigerate it until after your Sunday brunch or dinner, so you don’t have to worry about baking or preparing anything on Easter day itself.
Don’t be put off by the “mousse” word: it really is so EASY. Probably the trickiest part is getting the right consistency of the initial milk/sugar/cornstarch mixture, but if you’ve ever made pudding, that should be easy.
It’s not exactly CHEAP; that’s another reason why it’s perfect for a special celebration like Easter! As I mentioned earlier, the limes were reduced in price, so I paid pennies for them, but the coconut milk (both kinds) can be pricey. Even at that, it totals between $3-$5, depending on the prices you have to pay, so it’s not bad, all things considered.
I am pleased with how much more HEALTHY this recipe is than the original. I reduced the sugar by a bit, and eliminated the food coloring, which makes it considerably healthier than it would be otherwise. Also, coconut milk is a very healthy alternative to dairy, and coconut products are popping up everywhere as testament to this fact.
Did I mention that this was DELICIOUS!?
Enjoy, and have a very Happy Easter!