I was more into art and baking cookies.
Princess flowers are still one of my favorites — and I love how its vibrant petals look with this pretty celedon green dessert!
Remember when we used pandan paste in the Upside Down Almond Plum Cake? So pretty, right?
Pandan paste or extract gives foods a very pretty and quite striking green color. (Pandan has nothing to do with panda bears, in case you were wondering ;-). Rather, it is a tropical plant that grows in Southeast Asia.)
Many people think that pandan is to Asia what vanilla is to the Western world, though with a completely different scent and taste. To use pandan, the leaves are made into a paste or extract, which has a subtle nutty-floral flavor. The pandan flavor is a beautiful, natural combination with coconut. Click here to get yours!This is a wonderful and light — but rich and creamy – dessert . . . with divine flavor.
- about 6 ounces fresh berries (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries), gently rinsed and dried
- 6 egg yolks
- ½ cup plus about 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 large vanilla pod
- a few drops pandan flavored paste
- Prepare six (6-ounce) ramekins by dividing the berries evenly among them. Put the ramekins on a baking sheet to easily transport them around the kitchen. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, use an electric mixer or a whisk, to beat the egg yolks with the ½ cup of the sugar until it's thick. When the whisk is lifted and the egg mixture falls back into the bowl, there should be a ribbon pattern that rests on the surface for a few seconds. This is called the ribbon stage. (If it sinks immediately, it is not ready.)
- Fill a large saucepan with the coconut milk and cream. Then use a paring knife to slice open the vanilla pod, horizontally. With the back of the knife, scrape the vanilla beans into the saucepan and add the emptied pod as well.
- Over medium heat, scald the cream mixture gently. Tiny bubbles will appear on the edges of the pan and it should be very hot, but bearable to touch.
- Use a ladle to add half of the hot cream mixture to the egg mixture and whisk it together. Then add this back to the rest of the cream in the saucepan (this process is called tempering). Once it's all combined in the pan, cook until it's just about to boil, whisking constantly. (Do not let it boil! Boiling will scramble the eggs!) Once cooked, the mixture is a custard. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon when it's done.
- Now strain the custard into a large mixing bowl to remove the vanilla pod and for an even smoother consistency. Add a few drops of pandan to the desired color green and whisk to blend.
- Evenly pour the custard into the berry-filled ramekins, cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and ideally overnight.
- Use the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar to brûlée the custard. (I like using a shaker for this -- see above photo.) Lightly coat each custard with a thin layer of the sugar. Use a small blow torch to brown the sugar to create a crust.
The coconut flavor is very subtle -- you can add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of coconut extract to enhance it if you'd like.
If you want to make this dish this weekend and can't get the Pandan in time, you can make it without it. It will be Coconut Vanilla Crème Brûlée!
Up to 2 days and at least 6 hours ahead: Prepare the berries, make the custard, pour into ramekins and store in the refrigerator.
Up to 30 minutes and at least 5 minutes ahead: Brûlée the custards.
For a firmer custard: once you’ve browned the sugar, return it to the refrigerator for another thirty minutes.