MatchSticks

I used to adore cream. Adore it. One of my favourite ultimate treats was to have a bowl of coco pops, drizzled with a little bit of cows milk and then topped off with half a tub of cream. The crunchy texture mixed with the rich creaminess would send my eyes rolling into the back of my head. Fruit loops couldn’t taste better unless they were topped off with a big slather of cream. Strawberries and cream, chocolate pudding and cream and – oh my lord, apple pie was nothing if it wasn’t drowning in cream.

I had such intense cravings for this stuff when I was first going vegan, that you would think it was literally sent from the gods above.

Except it isn’t sent from the gods above.

It comes from the tit of a cow, who’s milk is intended to feed her offspring and nobody else.

I’m not gunna crap on about all that is wrong withcoconutcream-can dairy, if you want to educate yourself there’s a plethora of information on the web.

I really had to force myself through the infamous documentary ‘Earthlings’ to be aware of the situation surrounding the dairy industry. That, coupled with dicktins of googling, left me with only one sensible option, no more dairy! I gave it all up cold turkey, this included all things that comes from milk including cheese and cream.  Once I got over the withdrawal symptoms, I came out the other side healthier and happier than ever before.

Then I came across coconut cream and all those sweet memories of deliciousness came flooding back. I don’t have to miss out on anything!

These matchsticks are the shit, literally, the best thing to wrap your lips around and just go nuts.


Ingredients

For the Matchsticks:

2 sheets Borgs Puff Pastry

2 Tbsps. icing sugar

2 Tbsps. cold water

1/4 cup desiccated coconut

For the Cream:

2 cans coconut milk/cream roughly 700-800ml (see note)

2 Tbsps. castor sugar

2 drops Vanilla essence

Note: Whipped coconut cream is as temperamental as a two year old with a nappy full of shit on a forty degree day. All steps must be followed to ensure success. I have learnt through trial and error and loads of googling. The brands of coconut cream sure do make a difference as well. The best supermarket brand is Ayam coconut cream, be sure to buy the full fat as the skim will not whip. The best ever is Chefs choice certified organic coconut milk or cream. Both the milk and cream whip well and I have never had a ‘dud’ can with this brand.

For the Jam:

2 cups raspberries – fresh or frozen

1/4 cup of water

1 Tbsp. Chia seeds

2 tsps. Agar Agar powderclose-up-matchstick


Method

Preheat oven to 140 degrees. Low and slow that’s how we like it.

For the Matchsticks:

  1. Take two sheets of Borgs Puff Pastry and lay one on top of the other. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes so they are just sticking together.
  2. Mix together icing sugar and water until thick and smooth. Spread over the top layer of pastry only, until evenly covered. Don’t separate the pastry.
  3. Sprinkle evenly with desiccated coconut.
  4. Ensuring both layers are together, cut into desired shape. I like big fat matchsticks, but they can be messy to eat. You can cut into little squares or thin traditional strips.
  5. Leaving a bit of a gap between each one, place onto a tray lined with baking paper and pop those bad boys in the oven.
  6. Check after 45 minutes, they should be super puffy and just lightly coloured. If they need more cooking check at 5 minute intervals.
  7. When ready turn oven off and allow to cool with the door open for 1/2 hour.
  8. Take your little puffy babies out and cool at room temperature for an hour. Once completely cool, cut in half and your ready for the jam and cream!

Note: The slow cooling is really necessary in order for the matchsticks to remain as puffy as possible. If you take them out too quick they’ll deflate like a balloon on hot bitumen.

For the Cream:

  1. Put coconut cans upside down in the fridge for 24hrs minimum. The cream will separate from the coconut water.
  2. Place mixing bowl and whipper blade attachments in the freezer for 1 hour prior to whipping. Yeah this seems anal, but it really helps!
  3. Open can and separate the water from cream and pour into mixing bowl. If it hasn’t separated don’t stress, as long as its thick! Whip on high for a good 3-4 minutes.
  4. Slowly add in sugar and vanilla. Cream should be thick, able to hold it’s own shape and have stiff peaks while nearing the end of whipping.
  5. Best of luck!

Seriously I’m not kidding. Sometimes, even if my kitchen is a bit hot and humid my whip turns to a puddle of poo pretty quick. It’s all so worth it in the end though!

For the Jam:

  1. Chuck your berries, water and sugar into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Once boiling, turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring a lot.
  3. Take off heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Mix in Agar Agar powder and chia seeds.
  5. Jam will thicken upon cooling, store in fridge.

Note: If you don’t have raspberries, any berries will work! Make sure jam is fully chilled before spreading onto matchsticks.

Okey dokey now for the best part, jamming these little babies! Chuck a layer of jam on the bottom piece, then a good dollop of cream over that and put the top piece on. Dust with a little icing sugar and smash your face into them. Yes. Just, yes.

Now, I completely understand if your cream went up the creek. So here’s a little idea that’s saved me a fair few times. Put jam on the top and bottom layers, pop into a bowl and serve with the chilled cream drizzled on top, dessert style. It works pretty darn good actually, you may just prefer to serve them this way instead!

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