Cherry chocolate coconut almond crisp

Cherry clafouti crisp

Here at The Ordinary, in our illustration division (located in a spacious and sunny atrium between the rooftop greenhouse and the outdoor swimming pool in the parpapets) we like to draw mixed up animals. You can find us hard at work, day and night, combining winged creatures, finned creatures and those with claws and tails. The best part of this fantastical exercise, is that the resulting mixed up creature is usually quite delightful. Let us present a few choice examples from our archives…
Malcolm’s fox-owl.

Isaac’s Ring-tailed Ouzel

Ring tailed ouzel

And my squirrel-giraffe

Squirrel giraffe

This dessert is a mixed up animal, too! Part cobbler, part crisp, part frangipane, part clafoutis. It’s fruity, soft, chocolatey, and crispy all at the same time! Here’s how it all went down: I had bought a bag of cherries. In general, cherries don’t last long in this house. However, we went away twice for a few days within a week or two, and before we knew it, the cherries were past their first blush of youth. Well! A chance to bake!! I wanted to make a cobbler/crisp type dessert. I also had clafoutis on my mind (the french cherry & baked custard dish) – specifically I was thinking about clafoutis with a frangipane type of custard. This combines all of those things. We have a layer of warm cherries splashed with rum, a layer of soft baked almond custard with bittersweet chocolate chips, and a crispy coconut topping. If I do say so, and I do, this is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever made! It has a lot of different flavors, it’s true, but they all go very nicely together. We ate it warm with lightly whipped cream flavored with maple syrup and vanilla.

Here’s The Kangaroo Rat from the Beastie Boys. I know that’s an actual animal, but they look so unlikely (perfect, but unlikely!) And the album is called the mix-up, so it’s double extra good.

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Salted rum crispy cookies

Salted rum cookies

My friends Treefrogdemon and Spotted Richard (yes, those are their real names!) made a lovely dessert containing mango and coconut. They thought it would go nicely with a thin, crispy biscuit. (They’re in England, so I’m going to say biscuit instead of cookie). They asked me to create such a biscuit. I was thrilled! I love a challenge.

I wanted something simple, because too much flavor would detract from the main dessert event. So no spices, no chocolate. I thought about rum, because it goes nicely with coconut, and it’s a sweet, subtle flavor. And then I thought about salt. Perhaps because Treefrogdemon drinks margaritas on Friday evenings! (But does she salt the rims? I don’t know!). So this is what I came up with. They’re crispy on the outside, but they’re chewy on the inside. Good – but not exactly what I had in mind. I’ll just have to keep trying until I come up with something crispy all the way through. In the meantime, these were a very big hit in my house. Malcolm liked everything but the salt, which he said was too strong of a flavor. And Isaac liked the salt the best.

I made a sort of promise to myself never to post a recipe without a picture and a song. I’m going to make a temporary exception for this one, because I’d like Treefrogdemon and Spotted Richard to pick one song each, that they think goes with this post. And then I’ll add the songs!! Guest DJ!

Treefrogdemon’s wonderful choice is Sally MacLennane, by the Pogues. Love it!

And Spotted Richard chose Sara, by Bob Dylan. I love this one, too. It makes me weepy. Memory and regret!
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