Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hawaiian Haupia

Recently I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic for home. For whatever reason, the chilled and snowy landscape of Massachusetts hasn’t been satisfying my longings for Hawaii. Strange, I know. To fight off the blues, I decided to make a dessert from home for a recent potluck we’ve hosted. The dish happens to be a coconut gelatin called haupia. It is the sort of thing that you don’t generally eat a ton of in one sitting, but is found at every luau or Hawaiian food place. If you don’t like coconut or jello, stay away. However, if you love coconut in any shape or form like I do, then this is an easy must try.

The recipe makes 20 small servings, takes 5 ingredients and only about 15 minutes of active time.

1 can of coconut milk

1 cup of milk

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of water

½ cup of cornstarch

Start off by heating the coconut milk, milk and sugar together in a large saucepan until all the sugar dissolves and

the mixture is fairly hot.

In a small bowl mix the water with the cornstarch. The cornstarch will keep settling on the bottom, so you will have to mix it frequently. I suggest trying to mix it with your hand, because it does this strange thing where it becomes texturally REALLY interesting…

Back to the recipe- While stirring furiously, add the dissolved cornstarch and water into your saucepan. Crank the heat up if necessary to get the mixture to that point JUST short of boiling and continue to stir as if your life depended on it. The coconut goop will start to thicken, but keep going until the surface begins to hold its shape (when the stirred part stays raised instead of melding back into a solid surface of white).

At this point you can give your wrist a break, remove the concoction from heat and hunt down a dish to let it set in. Depending on how thick you want your cubes I would recommend an 8x8 or even a bit smaller. When you have the dish picked out, go ahead and pour the mixture in as evenly as you can.

Pop the dish into the refrigerator for at least an hour, cut into small cubes and serve!

Yes, that easy. I suggest keeping the haupia chilled until you are about ready to serve, but the whole thing should keep for a week if covered well.

E'ai ka-kou!

~ Kai

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