I realized recently that despite claiming for years that I didn’t like coconut, it’s actually the texture of flaked coconut that I dislike. The flavor itself, once I stopped associating it with the texture, is perfectly fine.
On an only somewhat-related note, I fell in love with haupia, or Hawaiian coconut pudding, recently while I was on my honeymoon. Being the ambitious tinkerer that I am, I decided that this foodjam was the perfect opportunity to try to learn how to make it. You’ll note that most photos of haupia show it firm enough to be cut into squares, which is how it should be, rather than spooned into a cup, which is how mine turned out. I think that I just didn’t cook it long enough for the cornstarch to really gelatinize, as the recipe I used (link here) had no guidelines on cooking time other than “cook until thickened”… which is actually really ambiguous because there’s lots of different levels of “thick.” Research that I did today informed me that I should have simmered it for like 10 to 15 minutes, until the glossiness and texture completely changed. The recipes in that article also said to use water instead of milk. (article here) Clearly, more research (and recipe-testing) needs to be done on my part. Well, at least the flavor was spot on.
For serving, since I thought squares of white jello weren’t fantastically interesting to look at (especially since I have no lovely ti or banana leaves to serve them on) I would place them in cups with diced pineapple, and make a sort of “pina colada parfait.” As an added bonus, the fact that my haupia didn’t quite set up properly didn’t have a negative impact on the overall aesthetic, since most parfaits involve pudding or yogurt and therefore aren’t set at all.
So, lesson learned for next time: Cook the haupia plenty more maybe use water instead of milk, and the results should be much better.
Now if only I had 20 hours to make a proper kalua pork…