I have a distinct memory from my childhood of my mother and I buying a coconut with the intention of eating the flesh and coconut milk inside. However, we got it home and sort of looked at each other to see who would make the first move to open it. I assumed that since she was my mother she of course knew all the secrets of the universe and was utterly shocked to discover that neither she nor my step-dad knew what to do. My stepfather, who flew jet planes in Vietnam and assembled my bike on Christmas day, was stumped by this little brown ball in our shopping bag.
So, he went for the solution that is apparently obvious to every guy that is met with an obstacle: hit it really hard with a hammer. Which worked…sort of. We were able to salvage some of the coconut flesh from the pieces that scattered across our driveway, but there was no hope of saving any of the milk. It was a bittersweet day in kid-dom.
Nowadays coconut milk comes in a much more easily accessible packaging. It’s called a can. It’s awesome. Especially when you want to make things like chocolate coconut pudding. Remember when I made chocolate pudding with pomegranate and swore that I had found the best easy pudding recipe? Sorry Deb, but this is by far my new favorite. It was just as easy, but something about the coconut milk gave the pudding a slightly more depth of flavor, without adding in a strong coconut flavor.
And to anyone that doesn’t like the taste of coconut – first of all, I don’t understand you at all, but that’s another story. Second of all, don’t think of this as chocolate pudding with a coconut flavor, think of it as rich chocolate pudding that is made richer by the thick and sweet coconut milk, and I think you’ll be able to get past your bias. And if not, I’ll definitely eat your share.
Coconut Chocolate Pudding
Recipe adapted from Vanilla and Lace
The original recipe calls for arrowroot powder. I’m not entirely sure what that is, but I’ll let you know when I find out. In the meantime, corn starch worked just fine.
1 14-ounce can of coconut milk (lite is fine), divided
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
dash of salt
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
Shake the can of coconut milk vigorously for a few seconds before opening. In a heavy saucepan bring 1 1/4 cups of the coconut milk, maple syrup, and the salt to a simmer over low heat.
While that is heating, in a seperate bowl whisk together the remaining coconut milk, corn starch, and cocoa powder. It will look like a smooth chocolate frosting.
When the coconut milk and maple syrup mixture has started simmering turn the heat down to low. Slowly add in the chocolate mixture while vigorously whisking it the whole time. Keep whisking until the pudding thickens up a bit, about a minute.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and continue whisking while it is cooling for about a minute. Whisk in the chocolate chips and vanilla and keep stirring until the pudding is smooth. Transfer to a bowl or bowls and place in a refrigerator to chill thoroughly. To prevent a skin from forming press plastic up against the surface of the pudding.