I have a treat for you today. The rather fabulous Zainab from Blahnik Baker has agreed to guest post a dessert recipe here with a little twist. And it has got coconut……..
Hello everyone! My name is Zainab and I am the girl behind the blog Blahnik Baker. I am so excited to be guest posting for Bintu today!! I met Bintu a few months ago and we have become good blogging friends. Today I will be sharing with you two of my favorite things from home; cassava and coconut in one tasty treat.
But before we talk about these coconut cassava bars, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am originally from Freetown, Sierra Leone (just like Bintu!) but I live in New York with my husband where I am a graduate student. I love baking very much and I find myself always in the kitchen whipping up something delicious. I share my favorite recipes and baking tips on my blog. Oh, I also have a deep obsession with shoes and collect a few too many than the hubby will like. But hey, a girl needs her shoes.
Ok back to these coconut cassava bars we have here. One of the most popular starches in Sierra Leone is cassava (tapioca). We enjoy it in various ways; from using the leaves in our famous Cassava leaves to drying grated cassava to make “gari”, a grain we cook as rice sometimes. So when Bintu asked me to share a Sierra Leonean-themed recipe with you guys today, I knew I wanted to incorporate cassava in it somehow. Another one of my favorite things from home is fresh coconut we get being from the tropics. I found a way to combine these two elements in these coconut cassava bars.
The bars are made up with a cake base that is soft, flavorful and chewy! Using a combination of cassava, condensed milk and coconut milk, the cake base is very moist. The bars are topped with a thick coconut layer that locks in more flavor. Oh did I mention these bars are gluten-free too? Yes, delicious and good for you!!
I hope you enjoy them and have a taste of this Sierra Leonean inspired dessert!! Bintu, thank you very much for letting me hang out here today.
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For more cassava recipes why not check out this Filipino style cassava cake recipe.
Coconut Cassava Bars
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 oz 2 tablespoons water
- 6 oz (3/4 cup) fat-free sweetened condensed milk
- 6 oz (3/4 cup) coconut milk
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1 large egg and 1 large egg white room temperature and lightly beaten
- ½ tsp molasses
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 16 oz (1lb) frozen grated cassava*, thaw in fridge for 1 day and do not drain
- 1 oz (1/4 cup) coarsely chopped macapuno** (sweetened coconut strings)
- 1 oz (1/4 cup) grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp cornstarch sifted
- 6 tbsp coconut milk
- 3 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature and beaten
- 1 oz (¼ cup) chopped macapuno, plus more for serving
- Preheat oven to fan assisted 180C / 200C / 400 F / gas 6.
- Grease a 8 x 8-inch square baking pan and line with greased parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, dissolve cornstarch with water and whisk in all the liquid ingredients and salt until combined.
- Then add in cassava, macapuno and cheese and mix until evenly combined.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 35 mins.
- While cake base is baking, make the topping.
- In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch with 2 tbsp coconut milk.
- Then add the rest of the coconut milk, condensed milk and egg yolk and whisk until combined.
- Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in macapuno. Set aside until needed.
- Remove baking pan from oven after 35 mins.
- Increase oven temperature to fan assisted 200C / 220C / 425 F / gas 7.
- Pour the topping mixture over the bars and spread evenly with spatula. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 15-20 mins or until the top is golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and let bars cool completely before slicing into bars with a serrated knife.
*I used freshly grated cassava and it worked great
**You can find macapuno in specialty stores such as your Asian market. If you cannot find (which I couldn’t), you can use sweetened coconut flakes.
Recipe adapted from 6Bittersweets with link (http://www.6bittersweets.com/2013/09/naturally-gluten-free-coconut-cassava.html)