Coconut seems to be everywhere lately.
It’s a fashionable flavor. An “it” ingredient.
Coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut water, coconut flour, and coconut flakes. There’s a lot of debate about its health benefits all over the internet. I say it’s not good to overdo anything. Moderation is the key for me.
Recently for a dinner party, I made dessert. But I wanted something more. Another taste.
And I wanted it to be coconut.
So I made a regular old vanilla pudding but I coconut-ized the hell out of it, with coconut milk and dried coconut. I didn’t know it would work, but I already had the baklava so it was worth the risk. I had no idea if coconut milk would be an adequate substitute for cow’s milk. It worked!
It was quick and easy to make. And everyone loved it. So if you’re coconut crazy, here’s the recipe.
adapted from an old McCall’s recipe, “Vanilla Blanc Mange,” circa 1965
2 1/4 cups coconut milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar (scant)
1/2 cup dried coconut flakes
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a small saucepan, heat 2 cups coconut milk over low heat just until bubbles form around edge of pan.
2. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, sugar and salt with remaining 1/4 cup coconut milk. Mix well.
3. Stir coconut flakes into hot milk. Then gradually stir in cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over low heat. Boil for 1 minute, stirring, until thickened.
4. Remove from heat and stir in extracts.
Pour into serving dishes or glasses. Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate until well chilled.
Garnish with berries or shaved chocolate. Enjoy!
(Next time, I may try rum instead of the extracts.)