Friday, August 24, 2012

Thai Coconut Pudding in Kabocha Squash

I'm visiting my friend and she just harvested her first Kabocha squash.  We were gathering vegetables from her amazing garden and there were a lot of people coming over for dinner so I made a special Thai dessert that involves steaming the squash after being filled with a coconut pudding. It's really simple and quite spectacular looking when served.  Like most Asian desserts, it is not too sweet and really nourishing.  It's also surprisingly simple to make - the only trick is using enough eggs to make it a firm pudding so you can slice it.  I used Sucanat for the sweetener as I think it tastes more like traditional palm sugar so the pudding was a lovely caramel color, but if you want to make the pudding white, use regular sugar.  It's a fitting end to a Thai meal and delicious!

Thai Coconut Pudding in Kabocha Squash

1 Kabocha Squash
1 cup Coconut Milk (use the creamiest part from the top of the can if possible
3/4 cup sugar (I used Sucanat)
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Wash the outside of the Kabocha Squash thoroughly.  Using a sharp knife, cut one inch around the stem to cut a hole. Remove top and using a metal spoon, scoop out the seeds and scrape out the strings so that the walls of the squash are smooth.  Pour water up to at least 2 inches in the bottom of a steamer and bring it to a boil.  In a small saucepan, cook Coconut Milk and Sucanat (or sugar) until just boiling and turn off hear.

Whisk eggs in a ceramic or glass bowl that will fit into the steamer and add in a few Tablespoons of the Coconut mixture, beat in and then add in a few more.  Then add all the rest of the Coconut mixture.  Put the bowl into the steamer and steam for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Then take it out and stir again and pour into the Kabocha Squash that is on a plate that will fit into the steamer. Add more water if necessary. Place the plate with the Squash into the steamer.  Cover and steam for 45 minutes and be sure to check the water periodically and add more boiling water if necessary.  Check the pudding by inserting a toothpick or small knife into the center.  It is done if nothing sticks and the squash is tender.  Take out of the steamer and let cool until you serve. Cut into 8 sections to serve.

Five Element Analysis

Squash, being orange and sweet is representative of the Earth Element and the Sucanat sugar and Coconut Milk adds even more. The eggs bring in the Water Element and the vanilla brings just a hint of the Metal Element so this dessert is a perfect accompaniment to a meal that contains Wood and Fire Foods and something that adds a bit more Metal too.  

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