Coconut oil. Have you heard about it? If you’re a vegan, you definitely have. If you shop at Whole Foods or similar grocery stores, you probably have. Coconut oil seems to be the latest fat in the food world as research is showing it’s actually much healthier then once thought (check out this New York Times article if you’re curious about the dirty deets). Many actually consider it to be a health food and it’s a great alternative to butter and other cooking fats if you suffer from allergies or are striving to be healthier.
But, let’s put health aside for a moment. Because coconut oil has another secret. It’s the key ingredient in those “magic shell” ice cream toppings that come out a liquid but harden once poured on ice cream (coconut oil is a solid at 76 degrees). And it turns out the topping is ridiculously easy to make at home. Best of all, it actually tastes better than the store-bought topping because there’s no extra sugar or artificial flavors or preservatives. And in case you’re wondering, it doesn’t taste like coconut. It’s pretty amazing.
What are you favorite coconut oil recipes?
I’d like to thank the folks from Kelapo Coconut for generously sending me a bottle of their organic, fair-trade Virgin Coconut Oil for me to experiment with. Check out their blog for more recipes & ideas.
Chocolate Shell Ice Cream Topping
From Thomas Keller via The New York Times
Makes 3/4 cup
- 7 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
Melt the chocolate in a small metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir in the coconut oil and heat until dissolved, about 1 minute. Keep the liquid lukewarm until ready to pour over the ice cream. Chocolate will harden into a shell within a few seconds when spooned over ice cream.