Trust and believe when I tell you Mari [pronounced MA-DEE] is that remarkable combination of talent, intelligence, beauty and humor. She already completed a culinary program in her hometown of Rio De Janeiro before heading to the US to complete a full-time pastry program. When Mari returned to Brazil, she set out to write a cookbook, and after a year plus of hard work, she published Medidas da Memória: Receitas das Vovó which roughly translates to Memory Measures: Grandma’s Recipes. In between writing Medidas da Memória Mari had fits and starts of culinary success, but she has hit a stride with her catering business and a series of cooking videos featuring recipes from her cookbook. Oh, did I mention, she’s also working on her M.B.A.?
I told Mari about the German chocolate cakes, caramel cakes and banana puddings, that have graced my family’s holiday table over the years. When I asked her for a recipe perfect for Thanksgiving, she knew just what to suggest -coconut pudding. This pudding is reminiscent of banana pudding and a coconut cake in a smooth flan-like presentation. The original recipe used an entire can of condensed milk (Brazilians love that ish), but I swapped half for whole milk. Work smart and prepare this dessert in advance and in individual portions. I tested this recipe using four, six ounce ramekins, but I had extra liquid. You may use the extra liquid depending on the size of your baking dish. I also may or may not have eaten most of my caramelized coconut and may or may not have needed to whip up a second batch to garnish my final dessert. Just sayin’. http://www.marianachagasdoces.com
Mari’s Coconut Pudding
Prep Time: 40 mins Bake Time: 30 to 40 mins Serving: 4 (6oz ramekins)
2/3 cup granulated sugar DIVIDED 1 tablespoon unsalted room temp butter 1 cup fine unsweetened coconut flakes DIVIDED 1/2 can (198g) condensed milk 1 cup whole milk 3 whole eggs Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F and position the oven rack in the middle of the oven.
- Warm the bottom of the ramekins by setting them on a low burner on an electric stovetop. TIP: It is easier to coat the bottom of each ramekin with caramel if the ramekin is warm.
- Make a dry caramel. Place a small saucepan over medium low heat. When the bottom of the pan is warm, sprinkle half of the first addition of sugar evenly on the bottom of the pan. Do not stir.
- When the sugar begins to melt, sprinkle the remainder of the first addition of sugar evenly over the melted sugar. Do not stir. Use a heat proof spatula to pull back areas of melted sugar and push unmelted sugar in its place.
- The sugar will liquify then caramelize quickly. Once the sugar is completely melted and has turned from golden to very light brown, turn off the heat and get the warm ramekins. BE CAREFUL. The ramekins are warm!
- Pour a small amount of caramel into the bottom of each ramekin. Tilt the ramekin around-and-around to move the caramel to coat the bottom of the dish. Once each ramekin is coated, set them to the side.
- Clean the saucepan. Boil water in the saucepan to remove the remaining caramel. Wash and dry the pan and return it to the stovetop.
- Caramelize the coconut. Repeat steps 3 & 4
- Once the sugar has completely melted and has turned from golden to very light brown, turn off the heat and stir in the room temperature butter. Quickly add half of the coconut flakes and stir to coat. Once the coconut is evenly coated with caramel, transfer it to a heat proof container and set aside.
- Make the pudding batter. Blend the remaining portion of coconut flakes, eggs, condensed milk, whole milk, and salt.
- Fill the ramekins. Set the ramekins in a large, flat bottomed baking dish. Add a layer of caramelized coconut on top of the caramel coating. Pour the pudding mix on top and fill each ramekin about 3/4 of the way.
- Prepare a bain marie. Boil enough water to pour in the large baking dish and cover the outside of the ramekins 3/4 of the way. Tip: Place the baking dish with the ramekin in the oven first, then pour the boiling water into the baking dish.
- Bake. Bake your pudding for 30 to 40 minutes at 350F until the pudding is set. Set pudding will feel like springy cornbread when lightly tapped.
- Cool. Remove the ramekins from the water bath, dry the bottom and set aside to completely cool. Once cool, cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Unmold and Serve. Run a small paring knife around the pudding to loosen the sides from the ramekin. Set the ramekins on a medium low burner for approximately 1 minute to slightly melt the caramel and release the pudding. Turn the pudding out on a dessert plate. Garnish with any remaining caramelized coconut. Enjoy!