Tag Archives: coconut cream

Vegan Coquito

1 Dec

Yes… I went there. My sister has been dairy-free for some time now and she was craving Coquito.

Being the good big sister that I am, I developed this version omitting the evaporated and condensed milks. I must admit, this turned out to be a really cool experiment. The flavors and the spirit of Coquito is still there – without rum or dairy.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I and my sister did.

Vegan Coquito


1 pint coconut creamer
2 containers coconut cream
2 containers of coconut milk
30oz of spiced tea – using a baggie each of cinnamon sticks, anise seeds, star anise, cloves and a 5” piece of ginger
2 tbs vanilla powder or extract
2 tbs cinnamon powder
2 tbs nutmeg
  1. Just like my regular recipe for coquito, you first make a spiced tea – In a medium saucepan pour 3 cups of water, cinnamon sticks, anise seeds, star anise and cloves. Add also the piece of ginger cut up into small pieces or rounds. No need to even take off the skin. Bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat for about 15-20 minutes to create a strong spiced tea. This will give the coquito most of its spiciness. Turn off the heat and allow the spices to concentrate the flavor of the tea. Let cool a bit. You could even make this the day before and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the Coquito recipe.
  2. I find that if you have a really large pitcher or plastic jug with a large mouth that will accommodate about 90oz of liquid, this is the best way to assemble this…
  3. In the large pitcher I described above, combine the coconut creamer, coconut milks and creams of coconut with 30oz of the spiced tea. Add the vanilla powder, cinnamon powder and freshly grated nutmeg. Using an immersion blender, blend the whole thing well to combine and make a tad frothy.
  4. Allow to chill in the refrigerator in that same pitcher you made it in.

Serve chilled in small shot glasses. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Coquito Ice Cream

25 Dec

I have been meaning to make an ice cream using my Coquito recipe for years… but recently I asked my mom for her ice cream maker and I have become a frozen dessert maniac.

I educated myself on making ice creams… proportions, flavors, textures. And the best ice creams always included some sort of egg component. And as you know, eggs are no-no’s in KarmaFree Cooking. I was willing to give this project a few tries, but making Coquito takes a few steps and I didn’t want to be wasteful.

I struck gold when I took my ice cream making inquiries to a Facebook group we have – the Serious Eats Water Cooler. There a few friends introduced me to Max Falkowitz, an ice cream guru who’s also part of the editorial team at Serious Eats. Between his recommendations and my friend Jerzee Tomato’s input, I came up with a brilliant combination of texture and smoothness.

Create a custard… without using eggs and mix in the Coquito. Genius!!! The Coquito has fat from the coconut milk, evaporated and condensed milks so all you need to do is add some more to the custard.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!   My mom was in awe when she tried it…  as has been each and every person who has tasted it after that.  This was a home run!

Coquito Ice Cream


2 cups of my Coquito Recipe
1 ¼ cups half and half
2 tsp cornstarch
½ cup brown sugar

First we need to create the components… you can make a batch of Coquito first and then make the cornstarch custard.

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add 1 cup of half and half and sugar. Add the cornstarch to the remaining ¼ cup half and half. Whisk well to create a slurry and while whisking, add to the saucepan with the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Whisk or stir constantly using a wooden spoon to avoid any lumps while the mixture thickens. It’ll take about 5-6 minutes. The custard is done when it coats the back of a wooden spoon and when you run a finger thru it, the sides of custard will not get back together.
  3. It may look a tad loose, but it’ll thicken in the fridge while it cools.
  4. Transfer the custard to a heatproof bowl or even a glass measuring cup and chill in the fridge at least 2-3 hours. I place a plastic film over the custard to avoid it creating a film on top. You can do this even a few days in advance if you want. Just like making the Coquito in advance.
  5. When you’re ready to assemble the ice cream, in a pitcher bring together 2 cups of Coquito and the cornstarch custard, which should measure just a tad more than 1 cup. Mix well to combine and add to your ice cream maker. Churn 25-30 minutes according to your ice cream machine’s instructions.
  6. Transfer to a container to freeze in the freezer for about 2 hours before serving. It’s delicious right off the ice cream maker… but it’s at its best after a few hours in the freezer.
  7. When you’re about to serve it… leave it a few minutes at room temperature before scooping.


The end result is a smooth, spicy and creamy ice cream that feels as rich as any premium ice cream around.

Merry Xmas, Happy Holidays and may 2014 be filled with lots of blessings.

Piña Colada Smoothie

28 Nov

Piña Coladas are the quintessential Caribbean drink… Wanna make them even more nutritious??? Let’s take the flavors and make it into a smoothie, perfectly suitable for a breakfast drink.


1 banana
½ cup pineapple, cut into cubes
½ cup vanilla yogurt
2 tbs cream of coconut – I use Coco López
1 tsp ground flaxseeds
2 -3 ice cubes
About ½ cup Water or pineapple juice – enough to make the mixture blend well in the blender.


This is a recipe for one smoothie… I blend it all in my Magic Bullet.

  1. Mix all the ingredients well in a blender.
  2. Serve immediately.
  3. Garnish with a piece of fresh pineapple, but this is completely optional.


Turrón Tembleque

9 Dec

Puerto Rican culture is a mixture of 3 different cultures from about 500 years ago – Taino Indians, African and Spaniard.  So over time, many of our typical customs actually come from one of these 3 original root cultures.

Turrón or Nougat candy is very typical Spanish candy and we typically eat it during Xmastime.  It’s an almond-based candy that’s super sweet and delicious.  You can’t find them in the stores any other time of the year.  You know it’s Xmas when the supermarkets play typical Puerto Rican “parranda” music and you see the stacks of turrón, panetone and nuts in every end of aisle.

I’ve stopped eating turrón for quite a few years because the recipes of the main brands include eggs or eggs whites as one of the ingredients.  I used to love the Alicante (the hard kind) or the Jijona (soft ground almonds) types eaten with pieces of edam cheese.  There are a bunch of other varieties, even chocolate turrón my dad loves, but most of them have eggs.

But this year, my friend Daniel gave me this recipe… and he mentioned he found a turrón without eggs.  WHAT!!!!! Turrón without eggs… I need to look into this definitely.  This is the power of the internet and collaboration, KarmaFree readers submitting ME recipes.  Awesome, no?

I found the mysterious turrón at a local supermarket… and truth be told, Nata Nueces is awesome without any eggs in the ingredients list.  It’s an almond paste, similar to marzipan, with walnut pieces all throughout.  It tastes really good by itself, but Daniel included it in my mom’s Tembleque recipe.


This was Daniel’s creation, but I think you will like it too…  GRACIAS DANIEL!!!



1 can cream of coconut – Coco Lopez or any other brand, this is what you use to make Piña Coladas
1 can coconut milk
2 cinnamon sticks
A pinch of salt
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 package of Turrón – Nata de Nuec es is good and does not includes eggs
Ground Cinnamon to taste
  1. Take the 2 cans of cream of coconut and coconut milk and add enough water to make 5 cups of liquid all together.  Reserve 1 cup of liquid and pour the rest in a large pot to cook over medium-high heat.  Add the salt and cinnamon sticks to the pot.
  2. Cut the turrón bar into small pieces and smash it a bit between your fingers before adding it to the saucepan with the hot coconut milks.  Mix it well – it will melt into the liquid mixture.
  3. Mix the cornstarch to the liquid you  just before serving.

My friend Ana and I loved this recipe… the consistency of the tembleque is changed by adding the turrón, but the coconut flavors go very well with the walnuts and almonds in the turrón.  And as time passes in your fridge, the walnuts get a kind of licquor flavors… so it tastes very festive.

Mami’s Tembleque

6 Feb

My mom is not one of those moms that slaved over the stove when we were growing up.  That was my grandma… my grandma would offer you food from the moment you stepped into her house, until the moment you left.  My mom would take home bowls of food my grandma had made and served it to us after we had returned from ballet classes and done our homework.

She taught us how to cook a few survival dishes so we would not “starve to death” when we went to live by ourselves when we left for school.  She did many dips and salads for parties… hey, she even once made a Friendship Cake where she had to macerate fruit for almost a month.  But in general, desserts were not her thing.  That’s why it surprised me when for Three Kings Day (Día de Reyes) she made Tembleque.

I asked my aunt to come to my grandma’s house to have lunch for Día de Reyes… I wanted to eat her Arroz con Maíz and Ensalada de Papas.  But my mom surprised me the most when she said she had made a tembleque from scratch and even more so that my dad had found her the recipe in the Internet!!!  My dad – the least online-friendly person I know!!!  This will be a 2009 full of surprises if this is the way the year is starting…

Like me, my mom almost follows recipes… so even though she got a recipe off the Internet , that was not what she did…





1 can cream of coconut – Coco Lopez or any other brand, this is what you use to make Piña Coladas
1 can coconut milk
2 cinnamon sticks
A pinch of salt
½ cup + 1/3 cup cornstarch
Ground Cinnamon to taste


  1. Take the 2 cans of cream of coconut and coconut milk and add enough water to make 5 cups of liquid all together.  Reserve 1 cup of liquid and pour the rest in a large pot to cook over medium-high heat.  Add the salt and cinnamon sticks to the pot.
  2. Mix the cornstarch to the liquid you reserved.  Mix well and add to the pot when the mixture starts to simmer.  The coconut mixture will start to thicken a bit as it simmers/boils.
  3. Take it off the heat and pour into the container you want to serve it in.  You can do it in a square pyrex dish or even individual demit asses or ramekins.  Place it in the refrigerator to set.  It will set just like gelatin does.
  4. Sprinkle the top with ground cinnamon just before serving.
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