Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Coconut Cream Topping

So, you may remember this post in which I made a vegan banana cream pie.  You may also remember that my attempt at a whipped cream-esque topping was an unqualified failure.  This was because the coconut milk did not separate/congeal in the fridge like it usually does.  I thought I would try again after being invited to a dinner party.  Once again, though, the cream did not set in the fridge (has Thai Kitchen changed their coconut milk?  What's the deal?).  To remedy the situation I took some readers' advice and put some agar into the coconut milk to firm it up.  It's a little more complicated than just putting a can into the fridge, but it's not really hard and is more stable at room temperature.  I used full fat coconut milk, but I don't see any reason why this would not work with low fat (but that theory has yet to be tested.  You might need more agar since there is less fat to firm up in the mixture when it gets cold).

INGREDIENTS
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 tbsp agar flakes
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla

METHOD
1.  Separate coconut cream from coconut milk and add the milk (i.e. the watery stuff) to a small saucepan.  Sprinkle afar flakes over and let sit for 5 mins.  Add sugar and bring to bubbling over med hi heat, whisking constantly.  Cook for 3-5 mins, or until all the agar has dissolved.
2.  Remove from heat and whisk in cream and vanilla.  Adjust sugar to taste then pour into a bowl, cover, and place into the fridge.  Allow to fully cool.
3.  When ready to use, whisk the cooled mixture and spread over your pie (or whatever).  Place pie (or what have you) back into the fridge until ready to serve.

19 comments:

Isobelle said...

Oh wow, this looks incredible! My stomach is growling just looking at the cream. I'll have to try the recipe for that!

quilterliz said...

G'day. It really does look very tasty. Take care. Liz...

VeggieLow said...

that is weird that the coconut milk isn't firming up... i use thai kitchen brand too and it usually does so just fine in the fridge... but now that you mention it i haven't done so in a while.. .maybe they did change it. interested to see thoughts from other commenters.

Anneka said...

genius. thanks. i don't have to buy mimic cream anymore.

veganhomemaker said...

I noticed the same thing with the Thia Coconut Milk. I think they did change something. Are there any other organic coconut milks to try?

Val said...

Looks amazing!

saborm said...

That looks quite nice. Hopefully I can find some agar flakes in time for Thanksgiving to try this out!

Melanie said...

this looks (and sounds) delicious!

Ashley said...

I have twice had coconut cream failures! The first time I made coconut cream whip it turned out perfectly, it was so disheartening when subsequent attempts failed. :( I'll have to pick up some agar flakes and give this a try!

Allysia said...

Oooh, that looks awesome. In the past I've tried working with coconut milk and agar and had a bunch of failures, so this is very reassuring. You're like the light at the end of my whipped topping tunnel.

maesti said...

Would this not be easier if you used coconut cream in a can instead of coconut milk or am I missing something? :)

Sandra Kohlmann said...

Have you tried Aroy-D coconut milk? That's what I use and the fat part gets very firm in the fridge. Even at room temp, if you don't shake the can well before opening it, there will be a solid half and a thick, but liquid, half. I love it. I have even used the solid portion in place of a portion of margarine in cookie recipes.

K-bobo said...

This looks fantastic! I'll definitely give this a try!

Christa said...

I have yet to get agar flakes to completely dissolve. I get them almost gone, but always have little 'nubbies' left and have to pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the remaining agar. Any thoughts as to what I'm doing wrong?

Jessica said...

I agree that Thai Kitchen must have changed something in their formula. Before, when I opened a can at room temp, there would be a solid layer and a liquid layer...which I loved, because I would always sample a fingerfull off the top before adding to a recipe. :-) It's what made Thai Kitchen my favorite brand. But, the last few times I've bought it, it doesn't seperate at room temp. I wonder if Thai Kitchen realized that peopl actually LIKED the seperation feature...

VeggieLow said...

christa - i read a tip once in one of Terri Hope Romero's books about using agar powder instead of flakes. works so much better! (although you use much less) - give that a go :)

Rev. Mommy said...

I used Milli brand and had the same problem. The 'cream' was only thick-ish, like a gravy consistency, and hardly separated from the 'milk' portion. I followed the recipe anyway, and I have it cooling in the fridge now but I'm not confident :-( I will try the Aroy-D next time I think.

Jen said...

I am having the same problem with Thai Kitchen coconut milk--but only the organic. I put one regular and one organic in the fridge and the organic one was the one that didn't firm up. Although the non-organic one is an older can so maybe it's the original recipe. Also, I'm confused...your recipe says to separate the milk from the cream but how can separate them if the cream doesn't harden?

precipitate said...

If your coconut milk has guar gum, carrageenan, or any other emulsifier in it, it won't separate. This is sort of nice if you just want to dump it into a curry, but it's not so great if you want the concentrated fatty bits for a specific purpose. Last I checked, Thai Kitchen's coconut milk had guar gum in it.