Friday, January 27, 2012

yin and yan, east meets west

A few weeks back, we made a pineapple square that was a hit (both in our house, and on Pinterest).  My son originally thought we should turn a regular lemon square and infuse it with some Asian to be specific.  He thought mango would be terrific with coconut.  And for a twist, make a mango whipping cream instead of icing.  I thought that would be something perfect to bring as a dessert for Chinese New Year.

Here's an interesting quote from an article that discusses the cultural profile of Chinese food:
"Chinese culture believes there is a positive energy and a negative energy in the universe. "Yin" represents negative energy and "yang" represents positive energy. It has become a basic guideline for social, political, medical, and dietary usage... 
Foods belonging to the yin (also known as "cold" food) are bitter melon, winter melon, Chinese green, mustard green, water crest, and COCONUT.  Foods that belong to the yang (also known as "hot" food) are chili pepper, garlic, onion, curry, and MANGO.   
Both food groups need to be balanced evenly, not taken excessively or deficiently in order to create a harmonious and healthy state"

Our Mango Coconut Squares was a lovely compliment to our Chinese New Year's meal.  It was very representative of our family...East meets West...a perfect balance.

Mango Coconut Squares
(adapted from the lemon square recipe in the book, 

Bottom Layer
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Second Layer
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup medium unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tbsp. mango juice
  • 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Mango Whipped Cream 
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup mango juice 

Preheat oven to 350degrees

Bottom layer: 
  • Mix all 3 ingredients  in a small bowl until crumbly.  
  • Press firmly into un-greased 9x9 inch pan.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Second Layer:
  • Beat the eggs with a fork in a large bowl.
  • Add the next 6 ingredients, and stir.
  • Spread evenly over the bottom layer.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Let stand until cool.

Mango Whipped Cream:
  • Beat with a whipping mixer, all 4 ingredients in a small bowl until smooth, adding more sugar as necessary until a nice spreading consistency.

Cut into 36 squares and top with mango whipped cream.  Serve and enjoy!

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