Chocolate and Coconut Tarts (using Coyo!)

Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

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I hope you’re all ready for part two of the coconut appreciation week! The Coyo train continues. If you aren’t up to date, this week I am experimenting with coconut yogurt in a few of my favourite desserts. Coconut yogurt is thick and tangy like milk yogurt, with a pleasantly sweet flavour of coconut. It works perfectly in desserts because it’s naturally so rich and versatile. (Plus it’s super healthy- check out the benefits here). 

I have a habit of making something that tastes perfect as it is, and then adding a butt-load of chocolate to it. In my mind there’s not a dessert that can’t be made better with chocolate. I’m thinking…I’m thinking….nope. Well, possibly carrot cake would taste weird with chocolate. But then again now that I’ve said that…chocolate chunk carrot muffins? Anybody?!

With these tarts I was so happy with the first tarts I made, my mind naturally came to the conclusion that a chocolate version would be even more amazing. And I was right! These are possibly even easier to make than their fruity friends. The base is a raw walnut, chia and apricot crust with cacao and the filling is plain coyo flavoured with cacao, maple and a pinch of cinnamon. Possibly the best coconut dessert known to humans. (I don’t brag.) 

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I put them in the freezer to make them easier to photograph, and discovered how good they taste almost frozen! The base becomes so chewy and the middle is like a chocolate mousse ice cream, if that’s a thing. PS sorry if the above photo is kind of strange, I had major cabin fever when I was taking these photos and I started to imagine the tarts were my little friends. I had to stop myself talking to this one telling him he was the king tart sitting on his tart castle. 

I made these tarts mini sized, but I think it would work even better as a larger single sized tart. I didn’t want to make a big one because I promised my friend I would give her some, and making a whole tart would imply that I would be giving her that whole tart…without leaving any for me. But a bigger size would be easier to get the ratios right I think. Also I was planning on topping each tart with a cascade of beautiful red raspberries, but have you seen the prices of berries in Sydney lately?! $8.99 a punnet would break the bank! If you are blessed and live in a land of plentiful berries I think raspberries would be really nice as a topping. 

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With Easter right around the corner these would be a pretty epic Easter dessert. I can picture them with cute little dark chocolate easter eggs on top, or oh my gosh marzipan carrots! How cute would little marzipan carrots be! I saw a photo on pinterest the other day of a baby bunny pushing a mini shopping cart of baby carrots. It was so cute I almost cried. I almost cried! Anyway back to the tarts at hand…

Coyo is a completely natural product with no preservatives, so I would suggest not filling the tart until the day you want to eat it. It will last up to 2 or 3 days, especially if you keep them in the freezer. But it will definitely be best on the first day. Start the crust the night before if you want them to be super easy to handle from being in the fridge. Have a great week everybody 🙂 

One Year Ago: Ottolenghi Orange Syrup Cake

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 Vegan Chocolate Coconut Tarts: 

For the base:

1 cup dried organic apricots (use dates if you don’t have organic apricots) soaked in water

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 cup walnuts

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1/3 cup raw cacao

Crush the walnuts and chia seeds together briefly in a mortar and pestle. Drain and chop the apricots. Put everything in a blender and blend until a smooth dough forms. Line one tart tin, or 6-8 mini tart tins, with paper or plastic. Use your fingers to press the base along the bottom and up the sides, making sure the bottom is thick enough to be sturdy. Place in the freezer until you’re ready to freeze it (this will make it much easier to remove). 

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 For the Filling:

1 tub plain COYO or 750ml coconut yogurt

3-4 tbsp raw cacao, depending how chocolatey you want it

4 tbsp maple syrup (or honey) 

1 tsp cinnamon

Optional: raspberries or other fresh berries, to top

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Taste and adjust the cocoa or sweetener until you have the flavour you’re after. Fill the tart with the coconut mix and leave in the fridge to set before slicing. Top with the berries just before serving, to prevent them going soggy. 

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Caramelised Banana and Mango Coconut Tarts (using Coyo!)

Vegan, Sugar Free, Gluten Free 

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When I was little I had what you could call a “dairy addiction”. I ate a lot of dairy. A LOT of dairy. I had a daily addiction to ice cream, I used to buy cartons of plain milk at school and chug them, I just loved all forms of dairy. I remember once eating a litre of dark chocolate ice cream whilst watching Gilmore Girls with my friend. (It was glorious). 

But last year I discovered to my horror that I’m lactose intolerant! Weep with me 😥 It started with a month or two of going without any dairy to see if that was causing my stomach pains, and lets just say when I tried introducing milk again…it was messy. I’ve pretty much found a substitute for everything now except yogurt. Yogurt is my life, I can’t really live without it for any stretch of time. That’s why the discovery of coconut yogurt for me was a BIG DEAL. And this coconut yogurt is really good!

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 I don’t know if you’ve heard of Coyo, but it’s a delicious all natural product made out of pure coconut milk. They have fruit flavours, plain yogurt, and even ice cream which I can affirm is very creamy and lovely. Coconut is packed full of health benefits. It can aid in weight loss, indigestion, blood pressure, it boosts your metabolism and is wonderful for your skin. It’s high in fat, but this ‘saturated fat’ is not the terrible idea of saturated fat you have from pictures of beef lard and butter. The fat from coconuts is low in palmitic acid, which is the bad stuff in animal sources of saturated fat. While it does raise your bad cholesterol levels by a degree, it also raises your good cholesterol levels. 

Basically if you’re trying to decide between ice cream and coconut, coconut is the healthy option. It doesn’t deserve it’s reputation as a dangerous fat source. (Coconut oil on the other hand is a whole other kettle of fish and I personally don’t cook with high amounts of it). Anyway my point is, Coyo is a very healthy and creamy product. It has no added nasty’s so doesn’t last long in the fridge, but it tastes pure and sweetly of coconut and is a very nice alternative to yogurt. 

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 I’ve decided that this week should be coconut appreciation week. In honour of that I’m making coconut recipes all using Coyo to show you my favourite ways of eating it. (I will admit a lot of it was eaten from a spoon standing in front of the fridge). The caramelised banana and mango combination was inspired by this weeks beautiful clear weather. Goodbye Summer! There is a coconutty walnut base, creamy sweet banana slices and a topping of delicious mango flavoured Coyo sweetened with a little maple syrup. 

This was just the way I wanted to take these tarts this morning. You can be as creative as you like! Fill the bases with whatever flavour you choose and I bet fresh berries on top wouldn’t go astray. Make sure you keep these little babies in the fridge so that the bases keep strong. And always use a clean spoon when eating your Coyo! Because there are no added preservatives you have to be a teeny bit more careful. Hope you enjoy!

One Year Ago: Brownie and Fresh Berry Cheesecake

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 Coconut, Banana and Mango Tarts:

Base:

1 cup walnuts

1 cup sultanas or dates, soaked briefly in water

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

Drain the sultanas or dates well and blend everything together until it forms a loose dough. If you don’t have a strong blender, make sure you crush up the nuts and cut the fruit first. Line 8-10 small tart moulds with plastic wrap or paper and press in the dough on the bottom and up the sides (make sure the bottom is quite thick). Keep in the freezer until ready to fill, to make them easier to use. 

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For the filling:

1 banana, sliced into dimes

1 tablespoon coconut butter 

2 tsp raw sugar

1 tub mango coconut COYO

2-3 tablespoons maple syrup or agave syrup, depending how sweet you want it

Combine the coconut butter and sugar in a small pan. Once melted, add in the banana slices and fry until just caramelised on each side. Place 2-3 pieces in each tart. Blend the coconut yogurt and agave together well. Spoon over the banana pieces. Keep in the fridge until ready to eat. Enjoy! 

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Chocolate and Blueberry Mousse Tart

Vegan, Sugar Free, Gluten Free, optional Raw

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 Guess what day is right around the corner! It’s……VALENTINES DAY! To celebrate I made a chocolate mousse tart topped with fresh blueberries. It’s the perfect valentines day dessert because it’s rich, creamy and chocolatey, and will win you love from whoever you decide to give it to. It’s also super easy to make and very comforting. It can be eaten with a spoon, by yourself, in your pyjamas. I won’t judge you. 

Valentines Day is always such a weird day. Last year for the first time in my life I actually had a real valentines, so me and my boyfriend went out for dinner. He ordered four dishes all for himself while I got just one…and then could barely move after eating them all. And then the waiter dropped his dessert on his lap and looked like she (he? we never really found out) was going to cry so we had to comfort her (or him) while we waited for a new one. It was sooo romantic.

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 This year I think I’m just going to make him some kind of warm chocolate brownie pudding and homemade ice cream. Because that’s his favourite and eating warm brownies and ice cream is the best way to celebrate any occasion. If someone wanted to make me a chocolate dessert for the special day (hint hint…) it would be this chocolate tart. I’ve been wanting to experiment more with silken tofu ever since I made mango pudding with it. I saw some amazing looking chocolate tarts that used it as a base and got so excited to make a chocolate mousse tart! With fresh blueberries because you should always add fresh blueberries when they’re cheap and in season. Am I RIGHT???

I didn’t want to use all melted chocolate as the sweet component, but I didn’t want to just use cocoa powder and sweetener. So I ended up using a balance of 100g melted dark chocolate with some vanilla, agave and raw cacao powder. I was so so happy with how it came out! The flavour was intensely chocolatey and rich, but the texture was just perfect! Super creamy and light. You’d never guess how light and healthy this tart is.

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 I decided to make a raw walnut and sultana base because I wanted people to have the option of making it completely raw. If you want to, just replace the 600g of silken tofu with two perfectly ripe avocados. You may want to increase the agave as well. It won’t last as long in the fridge, but it will have a deliciously smooth texture and lots of healthy omega fats. Put your hands up for healthy fats! 

The blueberries tasted so good with this tart as they sunk into the chocolatey custard layer, but you could top it with anything you want. Orange slices, strawberries, coconut cream, banana slices, nuts, praline! The list goes on forever. If you’re allergic to nuts, you can also replace the walnuts with a combination of flax and sunflower seeds. I don’t have a powerful blender and I still managed to make this tart in about half an hour, not including freezing time.Just bash up your nuts in a mortar and pestle first and soak your dried fruit so it blends faster. Happy Valentines Day! 

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 Vegan and Gluten Free Chocolate Berry Mousse Tart: Inspired by Baking = Love

For the Base:

2 cups walnuts or sunflower and flax seeds, bashed into crumbs in a mortar and pestle

1 cup sultanas, soaked briefly in warm water (about 20 minutes)

3-4 tbsp cocoa powder

For the Filling:

600g (21 ounces) silken tofu, drained

100g (3.5 ounces) dark semi-sweet chocolate, or more or less depending how rich you like

3 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tbsp agave nectar

1 tsp vanilla extract

500g (1 pound) blueberries

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Start recipe a day before. Line a 20cm tart or cake tin with plastic wrap of foil (not baking paper as this will disintegrate when you freeze it). Blend together the walnuts and sultanas, adding the cocoa powder as you go to reach a thick, cookie dough like consistency. You may need to add a teaspoon of water or milk if it’s too crumbly. Press with your fingers into the tart tin, pushing the dough out to make an even layer on the bottom and sides of the tin. Keep in the freezer for at least 4 hours, until ready to fill. 

To make the filling, blend the drained tofu with the melted chocolate until smooth. Sift the cocoa powder well, and blend in, tasting as you go to reach the desired chocolatey flavour. Blend in the agave syrup and vanilla to sweeten, adding more if it’s too bitter. Pour into the tart tin and keep in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Top with the berries when ready to serve. Lasts well in the fridge for a day or two. 

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Mango and Vanilla Honey Yogurt Tart

Gluten Free, Sugar Free, optional Vegan and Raw Image

 It’s my first official week of summer holidays today! I’m planning on getting my tan awn. As soon as it stops raining. I completed my final exam in style last Saturday, arriving at the wrong venue and having to take my shoes off and sprint the half hour walk to the correct building. By the time I got there, pouring with sweat and with feet covered in road dirt, I didn’t even care what the exam was on. It was kind of a good study method actually because I think the adrenalin made me write in overdrive. In any means I finished early for the first time in my life, with absolutely no memory of what the question even asked….I’m going to take that as a good sign. 

As you can see I continue to ride on the mango train. How long will it last? As long as mango season lasts. Will it be beautiful? Yes it will. Might it get ugly? Possibly. Depending on whether my self control stops me from inhaling every mango in the house in one day. I made this mango tart on a morning that was positively miserable! It was raining, it was dark, and it did not feel like late Spring. I made it because I wanted to make something yellow and summery, and what’s better than mango and creamy yogurt in a delicious fresh tart form? Nothing!

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Hopefully the weather will clear up soon because my birthday is coming up, and I want to go to the beach to celebrate! Plus, spending the rest of summer in Europe is going to leave me so pale I’ll be named upon return the brown-haired albino. I’m so excited! I bought some thermals and a coat the other day! All I need now are socks and about forty more warm items of clothing. I figure this winter in Australia was rather balmy. Does that mean that this years European winter will be balmy? I’m hoping so! (I live in a world of delusion). 

When the weather finally does clear up, this tart is pretty perfect for taking outdoors to picnics and barbecues. It shouldn’t stay out of the fridge too long, but would be fine in a cold esky for a couple hours. It’s so creamy and fresh, and you can pretty well top it with any fruit you like. I chose mango because I love mango and it holds its shape well, but you could use berries, stone fruit, banana, anything really. I was completely inspired to make a tart like this after seeing My Darling Lemon Thyme’s Yogurt and Berry Tart the other day. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but this blog is probably in my top five favourite blogs of all time. Every post sounds so fresh and healthy, I just want to climb through the screen and eat it. And the writing is beautiful and so honest as well! It’s so inspiring. 

Image I haven’t made a full-sized tart like this in ages! Maybe not ever on this space. Mini tarts like the lavender and lemon tarts I made for a birthday picnic are great for sharing, but it’s nice to have something substantial to cut and serve around as well. The base is made out of orange-soaked sultanas and walnuts, and the orange imparts the most delicious flavour into the dried fruit. I’m so glad I tried it! The yogurt is sweetened with honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon which worked really well with the fresh mango. 

I love fresh fruit desserts in summer like these because they leave you feeling light and satisfied instead of heavy and sleepy. For a vegan version you could substitute whipped coconut cream or even cashew cream. That would also make it completely raw! The ingredients in this tart look more like a breakfast bowl than a dessert, and I definitely recommend making the switch at meal-times! It’s perfect for a simple birthday dinner, or even a mid-week treat. Try whatever combination you like best 🙂

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Mango and Vanilla Yogurt Tart: Inspired from here

1/2 cup sultanas soaked in the juice of 1 orange

1.5 cups walnuts or mixed nutes

450g yogurt, hung (instruction follows)

3 tablespoons runny honey

1 tsp cinnamon

1 fresh and ripe mango

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For the yogurt: Place the yogurt in a tea towel draped over a fine sieve. Place the sieve over a bowl and put in the refrigerator to drain for 2-3 hours, until thick. Stir in the cinnamon and honey and set aside. 

Line a 20cm tin with paper or plastic wrap, for easy removal. Soak the sultanas in orange juice for 20 minutes to half an hour before starting. Blend up the walnuts and the drained sultanas until they form a thick paste. Use your fingers to press the paste into the tin and form a tart shell. Put in the freezer until ready to assemble. 

Cut the mango in to slices and spread the yogurt over the tart shell. Arrange the mango before serving time and keep in the fridge until ready to eat. Serves 7-8 people. 

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Vegan Chocolate Cream Tarts (gluten and sugar free)

Vegan, Raw, Gluten free and Sugar free

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 So, apparently all the photo files on my blog are enormous. Enormous as in instead of being around 500k to 1 megabite at the absolute largest! They are like, 6 or 7 megabites each. That’s proobably why they took ages to load on most people’s computers and proobably the reason for lots of people, no photos would ever come up at all…

I’m sorry! I never promised to be a computer genius! In fact I’ve often lamented my complete lack of technical skills in many a post. Don’t worry, I’ve started the arduous and horrific process of going back through each post that I deem important and re-uploading smaller sized photos. So hopefully things will start to come up a little faster around here. I was wondering why I’d already used up 10% of my available space in 6 months! 

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 I’m super scared of technological challenges, which is kind of annoying seeing as this blog here is one large technological…thing. For example, coding. What is it? I don’t know. How do you use it? I don’t know. All I know is that </p<p> means paragraph. People always talk about the CSS coding of their blog and how they’ve re-coded stuff to personalise it to their personal style…I’m just  like wuuuut. 

I never realised how much cray cray effort went in to even the simplest food blogs. Seriously, even for someone like me who loves to take the easy root, I spend a minimum of an hour cooking the thing, another hour styling/serving/arranging it and then, to be honest, only about twenty minutes to half an hour photographing it.

But then I edit the photos for at least half an hour, and write the post. That takes another half an hour, usually an hour. Then I check the whole draft and the coding and everything else that I could have stuffed up. Then I spend twenty minutes uploading the photos to pinterest and other foodie photo sites. That’s a minimum of three hours a post, and I usually do one or two posts a week. And that’s a lazy food blog! My lightroom editing program isn’t even working at the moment! I can’t even imagine what a professional website must be like to maintain. 

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I’ve never thought of giving it up though. I know as soon as I did, I’d make something like these vegan chocolate cream tarts and kick myself for not being able to share them! They’re absolutely delicious, and they’re gluten and sugar free as well. And completely raw! Talk about impressive. It took me quite a long time to perfect this recipe, and a lot of inspiration from some of my favourite blogs. But in the end, this here is what I consider the perfect chocolate tart. 

The crust is the same recipe as these coconut chocolate truffles minus the coconut. The filling is this chocolate mousse minus the chia seeds. I was completely inspired by this delicious chocolate tart from GI 365 and couldn’t stop thinking about it. The first time I tried the mousse the avocado I used wasn’t perfectly ripe, and it came out all stringy and disgusting. A little bit of tweaking later, and I had the smoothest and creamiest chocolate cream I could have wanted. I wrote the recipe in cups even though I’m a grams girl at heart, because with walnuts and dates and bananas etc I find it a bit too fiddly to get out the scales and a bit unnecessary when it’s raw. 

I used the same cute little tart cases that I did for my lavender and lemon tarts, lining the shells with plastic wrap so I could pull them out easily. I was really worried they would stick! These tarts last really well in the fridge and make a great dessert for a BBQ or picnic. You can adapt the recipe to make one big tart if you like as well. The benefits from the avocado, cocoa powder and walnuts are great for your body and there is nothing processed or derived from animals to be seen. The perfect chocolate dessert!

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 Chocolate Cream Tarts: Adapted from GI 365

Makes 6 small tarts, can easily be doubled

For the Crust:

1 cup walnuts

1 packed cup medjool dates (if dry and hard, soaked in water for 20 minutes)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

Splash of soy or almond milk

Combine all crust ingredients in a powerful blender and whizz into a smooth paste. If your blender isn’t that strong, grind your nuts in a mortar and pestle first and cut up your dates into small pieces. Take your tart moulds and grease with a little oil or water so that the plastic wrap will stick. Line with plastic wrap. Use your fingers to press in the crust evenly, filling in all the cracks. Store in the freezer until ready to make the crust. This freezing makes them easier to remove and helps them keep their shape. Don’t worry, they won’t freeze completely solid. 

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For the filling:

1 medium avocado (it’s ok if the measurements aren’t exact)

1 medium banana

2 heaped tablespoons of raw honey, or more if you want it sweeter

3 tablespoons soy or almond milk

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

Whizz all your mousse ingredients in a blender until completely smooth and combined. Remove your tart moulds from the freezer and carefully pull out from the tins using the plastic as handles. Fill the crust with the chocolate cream and keep stored in the fridge. Not the freezer. Lasts well for 2-4 days. 

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Many Jams Tart

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Two posts in one day! This is my firstday with a blog and it looks decidedly bare, so I am trying to quickly fix this. This jam tart was inspired by David Lebovitz’ Easy Marmalade Tart solely because of the word ‘easy’ in the title. I seem to have a problem where once I read a cookbook that I really like, and I mean REALLY like, I set myself the challenge of baking every. Single. Thing. This tart is very adaptable depending on what flavour you’re going for. I needed to use up leftover fig jam, plum jam, strawberry jam, and even a little bit of blueberry jam.  
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 Instead of tasting like a jammy, sweet beast the tart was actually very lovely. I changed the pastry recipe quite a bit, reducing the sugar, leaving out the polenta because I didn’t have any, and adding some lime zest to counteract the very sweet jam. I also ended up increasing the amount of jam by about three times…Admittedly I used a much larger pie tin than suggested but even a 23cm pan would be spread pretty thinly…

 Jam Tart: (Adapted from David Lebovitz’ Ready for Dessert)

Ingredients:

280g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

130g salted butter, at room temperature

70g sugar

1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk

1-2 large jars of strawberry, plum, fig or raspberry jam (or any really)

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Method: 

Whisk together flours with salt and baking powder. In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until combined. Whilst the mixer is still running, slowly pour in the flour mixture just until the dough comes together. 

Roll about 1/3 of the dough into a 5cm log, wrap in cling film and refrigerate. Put the rest of the dough into a 23cm tart tin and, using your hands, press evenly into the base and up the sides of the rim about half way. 
Preheat the oven to 190 C (375 F). Spread your jam evenly inside your pie shell. Take out your rolled log of extra dough and cut into half centimetre disks. Overlap the discs across the top of your pie in any delightful way you wish to. Sprinkle over extra sugar if desired and bake your tart for 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the jam bubbling and thick. Allow the tart to cool completely before removing it from its tin. Serve with ice cream, cream, and/or custard.