I’ve been eating and making so many Western sweets (cakes, tarts, pies etc) lately that its been ages since I’ve last had an asian dessert. I actually grew up on South East Asian deserts and my love for all things sweet stemmed from there. My childhood favs were Sweet potato soup, Chendol, Tao suan, Bo Bo Cha Cha, Nine Layer Kueh, Cheng Teng, Chinese Waffles, Yam paste (Orh-ni), Chendol, Durian Penyat…just to name a few! So when I visited Penang a couple of weeks ago, all it took was a bowl of chendol (OMG TO DIE FOR) to send me on an Asian dessert eating spree!
While seeking out the deserts in Penang with a vengeance, I couldn’t help but keep thinking of how to recreate healthier, vegan and even raw versions at home. So one of the first things I made when I came back from Penang was my take on an Asian coconut pudding – vegan style. Well I wanted to make it raw but after a few failed attempts at dissolving coconut palm sugar to a consistency I wanted, I gave up and used Gula Melaka instead.
Whether you’re a Singaporean or not, I do hope you try out this desert because its 1) REALLY EASY TO MAKE 2) FREAKING DELICIOUS 3) Did I mention, FREAKING DELICIOUS???
ASIAN RAW COCONUT PUDDING WITH GULA MELAKA SYRUP ( makes around 2 -3 parfaits)
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Coconut Milk (Store bought or homemade version; see below)
1 large mango
Bowl of jackfruit strips
Gula Melaka (a block of coconut palm sugar)
1) Home-made coconut milk
Don’t worry if you don’t have the canned coconut milk, here’s a real easy way to make fresh, healthy coconut milk at home. And you don’t even need coconut flesh!
Simply blend 1 cup desiccated coconut with 2 1/2 cups warm water in a high speed blender.
Next pour the liquid in a nut milk bag and squeeze out the liquid (steps are similar to making nut milk). And ta-dah you get coconut milk! Lessen the water if you want it thicker vice verca.
Use the coconut milk immediately, or store it up to 2 days in an air tight container in the fridge. One thing to note – coconut milk tends to curd when refrigerated, so simply blend with more water or coconut water when you want to use it.
* Use GOOD quality desiccated coconut because it makes a huge difference to how your coconut milk will taste
2) Making the Pudding
Soak Chia seeds in chilled coconut milk to create a pudding. Add 1 – 2 tbs of chia seeds to around 2 1/2 cups of liquid. Add in 1-2 drops of vanilla essence. Leave in the fridge for around 30 min. Feel free to add more or less liquid later on depending on how thick you want the pudding to be.
3) Making the Gula Melaka syrup
While your chia pudding is thickening, you can make your Gula Melaka syrup. Grab a bunch of pandan leaves and tie them together using an extra pandan leaf. Make sure its tight so that the leaves don’t start floating in the syrup. I used one block of Gula Melaka and 3/4 cup water and brought it to boil under a low fire.
Keep stirring the Gula Melaka syrup as you go along until the syrup thickens to your desired consistency and all the small bits are dissolved. You’ll only need a little bit for the recipe, so refrigerate the rest in a bottle when it cools.
4) Getting the fruits ready
Cube your mangoes. Half the mango by slicing along its seed to get a two halves. Use a knife to cut checkered patterns on the flesh, being careful not to slice all the way through. Gently push the flesh from the center to turn the flesh inside out and you’ll see you diced mango cubes. Slice the cubes in between the flesh and mango skin. Or check out this link ,
Getting jackfruit strips is pretty tedious work because its time consuming. So I buy my strips from the wet market! Its way cheaper than the supermarket chains and its so much sweeter too! And I really love giving business to the old aunties and uncles =)
5) Layering your parfait
Layer 1/3 of your glass with the chia pudding. Add a layer of mango cubes. Continue to add chia pudding till its around 3/4 full. Add lots of jackfruit strips to top off the parfait. Drizzle with Gula Melaka and you’re ready to serve!
Enjoy this and let me know how your parfait goes!