It’s been a pretty tame summer until this week’s heat wave hit on the East Coast and today’s the kind of blistering sweatfest where ice cream sundaes turn to colorful puddles in a matter of seconds. I couldn’t think of a better time than now to satisfy my sweet tooth without having to use the oven. Until I came across No-Bake Treats: Incredible Unbaked Cheesecakes, Icebox Cakes, Pies and More (Page Street Publishing Co., July 19, 2016), I had no idea that there were so many dessert options that can be made easily and without any extra heat involved. Many people out there are willing to go the distance for the desserts they crave, but I have to draw the line at sweating it out in the kitchen for a sugar rush.
No-Bake Treats is brought to you by Julianne Bayer, the creator of the fabulous Beyond Frosting blog. Not only does she dream up amazing treats, she also perfectly captures each decadently drizzled dessert plate with her superb photography skills. In the summer of 2012, Bayer started her blog after taking cake decorating classes. She wanted a place to keep track of her new creations, and the blog truly blossomed from there. Now her first cookbook releases this month and it’s a completely fresh and contemporary approach to classic desserts.
Bayer’s go-to dessert is cheesecake; it is her ultimate favorite and the reason why she started her no-bake creations. Cheesecake recipes can be pretty involved, but Bayer was pleasantly surprised when she discovered that they are just as impressive without using an oven. Her most drool-worthy and unique desserts in my opinion are as follows: The Monster Cookie Dough Cheesecake, Bourbon Butterscotch Pie, Peanut Butter Marshmallow Dream Pie, Chocolate-Swirled Butterfinger Dip, Coconut Cream Pie Parfaits and Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes (main image). Here’s a recipe to try your hand at — and note the mouthwatering photography by Bayer herself. I hand-picked a coconut treat because coconut is an obsession of mine. You’ll want to pop into the kitchen immediately once you’ve feasted your eyes on these dreamy confections. They’re sweet perfection!
Coconut Cream Pie Parfaits
If you had told me when I was younger that I would come to love coconut desserts as an adult, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. My sister has always been the coconut lover of the family, and whenever I turned my nose up at a coconut dessert, she just said, “oh well, more for me.” At some point things changed, and now I am not sure I could ever pass up a coconut cream pie. The pudding is rich and silky. It’s made with milk and sweetened condensed milk and a hint of coconut extract. With the combination of the vanilla wafer cookie crust, the coconut pudding and fresh whipped cream, my Coconut Cream Pie Parfaits will satisfy any coconut cravings.
YIELD: 4 PARFAITS
FOR THE PUDDING
2 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
¼ cup (31 g) all-purpose flour
⅔ cup (128 g) granulated sugar
2 cups (473 ml) milk
1 (14-oz [316-g]) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp coconut extract
FOR THE TOPPING
1 cup (237 ml) heavy whipping cream
½ cup (65 g) powdered sugar
FOR THE CRUST
1 cup (90 g) vanilla wafer crumbs (I use Nilla wafers)
3 tbsp (43 g) unsalted butter
Sweetened flaked coconut for garnish
FOR THE PUDDING
Measure out all of the ingredients for the pudding prior to starting. Place the egg yolks in a separate bowl. In a medium-size saucepan, add the flour and sugar, and whisk to combine. Add the milk, sweetened condensed milk and coconut extract. Heat the mixture on the stove top over medium-low heat. Whisk constantly to dissolve the dry ingredients. Once the mixture is warm (but not boiling), pour about ¼ cup
(59 ml) of it into the bowl with the egg yolks and whisk vigorously to temper the egg yolks. Immediately pour the egg yolks into the saucepan and continue whisking over medium-low heat to prevent the eggs from cooking. Whisk until the pudding starts to thicken and then remove it from the heat; it will happen pretty quickly.
Immediately strain the pudding through a fine sieve into a medium-size bowl. This step is optional, but it will help catch any lumps of ingredients that did not get blended. Immediately cover the top of the pudding (directly on the pudding surface) with clear plastic wrap, and poke a couple holes with a toothpick. Allow to cool on the counter for at least 1 hour before refrigerating. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours until the pudding has cooled and is firm.
FOR THE TOPPING
Place the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill. Pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until the cream gets bubbly. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. You will be dividing the whipped cream between 4 parfait cups.
FOR THE CRUST
Before measuring, use a food processor or blender to grind the wafer cookies into fine crumbs. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the crumbs with butter and melt in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds, stirring occasionally.
TO ASSEMBLE THE DESSERT
Divide the ingredients equally among the parfaits. Add about 3 tablespoons (17 g) of cookie crumbs to the bottom of each cup and gently press down with a spoon. Fill each cup with the coconut pudding and top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with flaked coconut and refrigerate before serving.