comfortable panic – coconut caramel pudding, almond geleé, rhubarb compote (gluten-free)

by hungryrabbit on June 1, 2012

Coconut Caramel Pudding, Almond Geleé, Rhubarb Compote

It’s rhubarb season again—I planned to make many more batches of Rhubarb Syrup this time, so we can enjoy an occasional Rhubarita throughout the coming year. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed them until I ran out of the syrup in late January.

In addition to making the syrup last week, I’d intended to bake a comforting rhubarb upside down cake, but both the temperature and humidity jumped to August intensity. With a renovation in the building temporarily cutting off the apartment A/C, all fans on high weren’t enough. Turning on the oven to 350° wasn’t a realistic option.

I needed an alternate way to enjoy rhubarb’s natural bite. By pairing it with a deep rich caramel pudding, it not only plays off the sweet and tart dynamics, but it also has a beautiful contrast in texture. The flavor is purposely not uniform—the creaminess of the pudding gets surprise visits from the swirl of rhubarb.

Since this dessert is in lieu of the Rhubarb Upside Down Cake, I amped up the comfort level by adding a layer of almond geleé.  This is reminiscent of almond dofu, a dessert I adored as a Hong Kong kid. Traditionally, it’s made with almond milk, but today, most people use regular milk and almond extract as a shortcut. This geleé uses readily available almond milk for convenience. The color is not as white, but it tasted much better than almond extract.

Coconut Caramel Pudding, Almond Geleé and Rhubarb Compote, each has their own endearing quality; simple to make, feels like home and most certainly high on the comfort factor.

Coconut Caramel Pudding, Almond Geleé, Rhubarb Compote

recipe by hungry rabbit
yield: 6 servings

Coconut Caramel Pudding

Ingredients

4 cups unsweetened coconut milk, room temperature
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt salt

Directions

1. In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 cup of coconut milk and cornstarch until smooth. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepan, add sugar, cook over medium-low heat, undisturbed, until sugar is amber color and begins to smoke, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, pour in about one quarter of coconut milk; let bubble subside. Slowly add remaining coconut milk, whisk gently until smooth. Return to a simmer over medium heat, about 3-4 minutes.

3. Whisk in cornstarch mixture, continue to cook, stirring, until the pudding thickens, about 45 seconds. Pass the pudding through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium measuring cup, pressing with rubber spatula. Whisk in the butter, vanilla and salt. Dividing pudding equally among six serving glasses. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

Almond Geleé

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1-1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

1. In a small saucepan, add almond milk, sprinkle gelatin over the top, let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.

2. Over medium-low heat, add sugar,  stir until the gelatin/sugar dissolves and syrup is luke warm, about 5 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool for 20 minutes.

4. Divide mixture equally between glasses of pudding. Refrigerate until set, at least 60 minutes.

Rhubarb Compote

Ingredients

12 ounces rhubarb, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup (3-1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Aperol (optional)

Directions

1. In a medium saucepan, combine rhubarb and sugar. Cook and gently stir on medium-low heat until rhubarb releases it’s juices, but still hold their shape, about 5 minutes. Remove rhubarb with a slotted spoon to a bowl, set aside.

2. Continue to cook liquid until syrupy, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat, add Aperol (if use), stir to combine. Pour syrup over rhubarb and cool completely. Divide mixture equally and pour over almond geleé. Refrigerate for 30 minute and serve.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian @ A Thought For Food June 1, 2012 at 7:48 am

This truly does look magnificent and super refreshing for these hot days.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar June 1, 2012 at 7:59 am

Oh wow! What a fabulous idea!

Jamie June 1, 2012 at 8:39 am

My lord, Ken, you are something! I am still waiting for you to open a bakery. Your creations are beautiful and creative and look simply amazing and delicious! And I get great inspiration and ideas from you (though I’d never be able to make such stunning desserts).

Wendy Read June 1, 2012 at 11:21 am

I adore rhubarb :) The photos are stunning and I love your creation Ken. I would love to try this in my own kitchen!

Richard Y June 2, 2012 at 12:35 am

Ken this looks amazing!!!!! And delicious! I’m going to try your recipe. Hope it turns out close to yours. Thanks for the nspiration. Xoxox

Winnie June 4, 2012 at 7:42 am

Oh my gosh Ken. This looks so wonderful. I wish you could make it for me :)

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction June 6, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Wow… I’m not usually a big pudding fan, but these are calling my name. I love the flavors your paired together here!

Jeanne @ CookSister! June 13, 2012 at 11:00 am

Oh that sounds fabulous – love the sweet caramel and the tart rhubarb combo – and the pastel colours :)

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