Monday, August 20, 2012

Turning 18 & Chocolate Coconut Pudding

    I'm officially 18. It's weird, it seems like yesterday when the biggest decision I had to make in middle school was who to sit by at lunch, dealing with the challenges of high school life, and complaining about living in a small town with all of the other kids and planning our escape plans as soon as we could. It's crazy how when all of that stuff was actually happening, time seemed to move at the pace of a sloth, but now looking back it went by really fast. I guess that quote about how nothing seems to change from day to day, but when you look back everything has changed. I can testify that this past year has be hectic to say the least with my health issues, new family situations, discovering new passions, and trying to figure out where I fit in this big world.

 One thing I have recently discovered is that milk, only in ice cream & frozen yogurt makes me sick. Seeing as most of my recipes are made with non-dairy milks and I don't really consume other dairy products except maybe 1- 2 times a week , I thought that giving up dairy for good would be kinda pointless since I basically have already. I finally broke down and bought 2 pints of So Delicious Dairy Free "ice cream" (German chocolate & sugar-free vanilla) last weekend . I've seen their product for a while, but seeing as 1 pint is about $7.50 here (on sale it is still over $5) I thought that if I didn't want to spend my paychecks paying that much for a frozen treat that I would try to make it at home. I have a few flavor ideas already written down, I will just have to check other recipes to make sure I have the basics correct. And after deciding to make coconut "ice cream" I then realized that summer is almost up so I will either share the recipes in the fall and winter or wait til next summer, but I doubt I will hold out that long, especially if it's a really good recipe.
 I decided to make a simple treat for me for my birthday since I'm not big on celebrating my birthday and I really didn't need the temptation of a dozen cupcakes hanging around the kitchen. My 17th birthday was the first time my family had a dinner at home and I made this cake, but this year we are going back to tradition which is waiting for a few birthdays to pass, let the b-day people agree on a restaurant, and then have everyone come into town for 1 big dinner. It's much simpler and easier to get together for one night instead of traveling for several dinners.

Coconut Chocolate Pudding 
(vegan, refined sugar free, & gluten free)
recipe: The Kitchen
serves: 4 (4 -3oz ramekins) 

 -This pudding isn't the sweet stuff that you by in the packs at the store; this is a lightly sweetened, rich coconut based pudding with a smooth chocolate flavor.
-I used Thai Kitchen brand coconut milk and that was was 13.66 oz instead of 14oz as called for in the original recipe.
*Instead of white sugar, I used organic coconut palm sugar which gave it a richer, caramel flavor compared to regular sugar, but use what you have. I'm not sure if using regular white sugar would make it a little sweeter. *If you want a sweet pudding then you could add some more sugar (maybe 3-4 tablespoons?) and replace the semi sweet chocolate with milk chocolate.

1 can (13.66-14 oz) coconut milk, shaken
1/4 cup sugar*
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
5 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
Garnish: a few mini chocolate chips, toasted coconut flakes, or powdered sugar.

1. In a saucepan, bring half of the coconut milk, sugar, and salt to a gentle simmer over low heat -Don't allow it to come to a full boil.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the coconut milk, cocoa, cornstarch, and espresso powder. Try to get out as many lumps as possible.
3. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture into the pan of hot coconut milk, whisk vigorously. Continue whisking the mixture over low heat until it starts to simmer once again and gets the thickness of pudding. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the chopped chocolate and vanilla, let it sit for a minute to melt the chocolate, before stirring until smooth.
4. Lightly spray or butter different ramekins or bowls before pouring in the pudding. To prevent the pudding for forming a "skin" on top, lay a small piece of plastic wrap right on top of the pudding . Chill for at least 2 hours.
 - Garnish with toasted coconut, mini chocolate chips, or even some powdered sugar.If you wanted to make it fancier and add a little sweetness, you could even shave some white chocolate on the tops which would be pretty.

1 comment:

  1. when i "googled" chocolate pudding without refined sugar, your recipe came up! here's what i did, adapting a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook recipe--just so you have another way to make this!

    1 1/3 C unsweetened vanilla almond millk
    3 T. grade B maple syrup
    3 T. cocoa powder
    1 T. cornstarch
    2 egg yolks
    1.5 t. butter

    Mix together the milk and syrup and cocoa powder and heat until almost boiling. Add cornstarch and stir vigorously, allowing to boil, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and remove 2 T pudding and stir it into the egg yolks. This tempers them so they don't cook. Add that whole thing back to the entire pudding and cook another 2-3 min.--do not allow to come to a boil, but simmer. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter and get it into ramekins. YUM!