Friday, February 18, 2011

For a lift

Next day confession/update/warning: my husband doesn't like this pudding and doesn't understand why I do.

"It's so starchy," he said. "I can't believe you like it."

"People are going to be so upset. They expect you to have a discerning palate and then you go and give them glue. They're never going to trust you again."

"It just goes to show what an integral part of the process I am. You shouldn't ever post without having me taste the food first."

"Ha! I know what it tastes like! PASTE!" Hahahahaha! "I'm gonna call you Elmer's from now on." Hardy-har-har.

"But the texture is really good."

In my defense (can I even HAVE a defense after such a brutal raking over the coals?), I like glue. So maybe there is a little too much thickener. Maybe it does need an egg (but then I'll loose the gorgeous, glorious whiteness), maybe, maybe, maybe...

If only I had another can of coconut milk in my pantry, I could try another round. One thing I do know, I'll have my husband taste it before I post about it. Pinky promise.

********

Please, please, please tell me you have a 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk in your pantry! Wha—? You’re not sure? Well, go check then! I’ll wait.

(I'm waiting, waiting, waiting...)

You do? Yay! Now real quick, scroll down through this post till you get to the recipe (which is for coconut pudding, if you must know) and make it right now. Once the pudding is chilling in the fridge, come back and finish reading.

Back so soon? Of course you are! It's such an easy pudding, no?

Alright, for the rest of the post now...


Every single person really must have this pudding in her (or his) life. Especially during February, the dreariest time of the year (except for today, which oddly enough is 70 degrees and giddy-gorgeous), ought we have a sweet taste of the tropical. It’s good for the sun-deprived soul.


Of course, if you’re feeling desperate enough you could skip the pudding all together and just sniff suntan lotion. But I think eating is more fun than sniffing, so I’m digging the pudding.


At first, though, I wasn’t too sure. In fact, after my first few tastes, I was convinced it was headed for the chicken pen. It had a pasty-starchy texture, as though the thickener hadn’t really cooked into the pudding. But, I learned, that weird taste was because the pudding was still warm. Once it was chilled, all traces of starchiness completely dissipated, leaving behind billowy mouthful upon billowy mouthful of stunningly silky-smooth pudding.

The smoothness of this pudding can not be expounded upon enough. It’s like satin. Like silk. Glossy and slick, lustrous and sultry.


It’s dazzlingly white, too. Shockingly so (kind of like my legs in February [and May and August and October, etc]). The absence of any color makes me realize how unusual it is to eat white white food. In this pudding there is no golden egg yolk or yellow butter to warmify the colors, nothing whatsoever to mar the brilliant purity.


When topped with some whipped cream, it’s white-on-white, in all the classy, right ways.


Coconut Pudding
(Not much) adapted from Kare of The Hazel Bloom

I can think of all sorts of fun ways to play with this recipe. What about using coconut cream in place of the whipping cream in the recipe and/or using it to sweeten the whipped cream topping? Or how about using milk in place of the water? Or coconut water? Or what about using some rum as flavoring? For topping, perhaps you could sprinkle on some toasted coconut and pecans, almonds, or macadamias? And think of the fruity possibilities! Pineapple! Mango! Kiwi! Lime!

1 ½ cups water, divided
½ cup cornstarch (I used ½ cup therm flo, minus 2 tablespoons)
1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
½ cup sugar
½ cup heavy whipping cream
½ teaspoon coconut extract
sweetened whipped cream, for topping, optional

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup of water with the cornstarch. Set aside.

In a heavy-bottomed kettle, stir together the remaining ½ cup of water, the sugar, whipping cream, and coconut milk. Bring it to a boil and slowly add the cornstarch water, whisking steadily. Cook till bubbly and thick (with the therm flo, this happened immediately and then it began to splutter all over the place), and remove from the heat. Stir in the extract.

Pour the pudding into a bowl and cover with a piece of wax paper (to prevent a skin from forming) and cool to room temperature before covering the whole thing with some plastic wrap and transferring it to the refrigerator to chill the rest of the way.

To serve, spoon the pudding into little dishes and top with sweetened whipped cream.

This same time, years previous: an open letter to Isaiah (yes, the prophet dude), I don't feel much like writing

5 comments:

  1. Fun fun fun! I *do* have coconut milk in the cupboard and whipping cream in the fridge...you are scaring me! ;-)

    And the bowl in the first photo...I have the very same set! Were you married in the early 90's?? Yup? Me too. LOL! :)

    We are having a very balmy sunshine-filled day (it was supposed to snow) and I am in shorts! My legs could use a little sun.

    Have a great weekend!
    Camille

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  2. I wish I liked coconut. I really do. Especially after this post.

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  3. what stunning photos! I'm sold on the pudding on photos alone.

    I need to get some coconut extract, apparently, and some fresh (not soured) cream. I keep coconut milk on hand for Thai rice.

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  4. Hmmm.... maybe I'll just save my money and eat a bottle of Elmer's

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  5. Glad you tried it, Elmer's. ;)

    This seals it (no pun intended). You and your hubby need to get to Hawaiian Luau stat. He'll see your taste buds *are* extraordinarily discerning; it's authentic stuff!

    ... but then again, so is poi.

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