09 September

Cocada Amarela

(Angola Coconut Dessert)

September 2: World Coconut Day

We go nuts for coconuts, especially since Islander grew up eating a lot of it in Hawaii. The tropical fruit is grown in warm climates around the world and it has made its way into African recipes as well, such as cocada amarela. This shredded coconut dessert from Angola was influenced by the cuisine of Portugal. Cocada amarela blends the best of both countries, making this a sweet treat and global goody on World Coconut Day!


(Adapted from Whats4Eats)


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cups coconut, unsweetened, grated
  • 6 egg yolks, beaten
  • Salt, pinch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)


In a large pot, boil together the water, sugar and cloves. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for another 15-20 minutes until it becomes like a syrup (or the temperature reaches 230 degrees F on a candy thermometer).

Remove from heat and discard the cloves. Reduce to low heat. Stir in the coconut, being careful not to burn the bottom of the pan. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with a pinch of salt.

Add a spoonful of the hot coconut mixture into the egg yolk to temper it. Gradually add the rest of the beaten egg yolks and coat it until the dessert turns yellow.

Return everything to the pot and cook over very low heat for another five minutes, stirring constantly so the yolks do not curdle. Scoop into dessert plates and sprinkle with ground cinnamon (optional).


  • Search our blog for other recipes containing coconut.

Triple Espresso Brownies

September 29: International Coffee Day

Coffee, coffee and more coffee! This frosted chocolate brownie has three delicious coffee flavorings that coffee lovers are sure to appreciate:

  • Espresso powder (or instant coffee crystals)
  • Espresso-flavored chocolate baking chips
  • Coffee liqueur (or strong coffee)

If espresso-flavored chocolate chips are not available, chocolate covered coffee beans may be substituted. Try triple espresso brownies with a cup of coffee while celebrating International Coffee Day.


(Adapted from Midwest Living)

For the brownies

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder (or instant coffee crystals)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, unsalted
  • ¾ cup chocolate espresso baking chips (we used Rex Coffee brand) or chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup sugar, granulated white
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


In a saucepan dissolve the espresso powder in water. Add the butter and chocolate espresso chips. Melt over low heat.

Stir until smooth. Add the sugar, beaten eggs and vanilla.

Remove from heat and add the flour, walnuts and salt. Stir everything until smooth.

Line an 8×8-inch square pan with foil with enough overhang “handles” so it is easy to remove the brownies after baking. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of the foil with cooking spray, butter or oil. Spread the brownie batter in the pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Meanwhile, make the frosting.

For the frosting

  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur (we used Kona coffee liqueur; see Notes for substitution)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup chocolate espresso baking chips (we used Rex Coffee brand) or chocolate chips or chopped chocolate covered coffee beans


In a mixing bowl, cream the butter with powdered sugar. Add the boiling water and mix until smooth. Thin out the frosting to a spreadable consistency by adding the coffee liqueur and vanilla. Spread on the cooled brownies.

Sprinkle the top with chocolate espresso chips. Cut into 16 squares. Store leftovers in tightly covered container for up to five days.


  • Instead of coffee liqueur, use strong liquid coffee. One teaspoon espresso powder of instant coffee crystals may also be used.
  • We found the chocolate espresso baking chips/morsels from the Walmart baking aisle. They may be ordered from Amazon as well. Rex Coffee and Nestle are two brands that make these products.
  • Get a free PDF cookbook of recipes with more espresso chips.
  • Search our blog for other recipes containing coffee as an ingredient or flavor.

Dalgona (Whipped) Coffee

September 29: International Coffee Day

While many people were shuttered at home during the coronavirus crisis this past spring, social isolation led many to rely on social media. Even though we personally do not use Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc., we still had the Internet, TV and “old-fashioned” newspapers to update us on the pandemic. For an upbeat diversion from a depressing situation, we saw a coffee recipe go “viral” from South Korea. They call it “Dalgona coffee” after a popular candy there, but in other countries it is known as whipped coffee or a reversed cappuccino. Since people had more time to whip up the coffee topping during isolation, this recipe was a trendy distraction. We tried whisking it by hand at first but did not have the patience (and Islander suffers from shoulder rotator cuff tendonitis). So we cheated by using our handy mini frother stick. It still took several minutes to get a thicker consistency and caramel color, but we had time to spare to make this “coronavirus-time” coffee recipe. As the world resets and rides out this health situation, we have prayed that “this too shall pass”. Meanwhile, take the time to enjoy and whip up a cup or two of Dalgona coffee on International Coffee Day.


(Adapted from Today)


  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee (we used Kona coffee crystals)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, white granulated
  • 1 tablespoon boiled/hot water
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 cup milk (cow, nut or soy)


In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the coffee, sugar and boiled/hot water.

Mix or whisk for several minutes until the color lightens and the consistency thickens. In a clear coffee mug, combine a few ice cubes and milk of choice. Use a spatula to scrape the coffee topping on top. Serve as is with a long handled spoon to mix. Enjoy cold.


  • The coffee topping is concentrated so mix it into the iced milk to blend the flavors. It is not so sweet but is a delightful drink.
  • Search our blog for more coffee recipes.

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