As you will all soon learn, Chelsea Winter is currently my favourite New Zealand chef. Her recipes are simple yet DELICIOUS.
Here is my take on her Coconut Rice Pudding, from her book Homemade Happiness.
Chelsea’s recipe takes a childhood classic and incorporates it with coconut cream and caramalised pineapple! I am fully on board but alas my pantry is not. This is how a lot of my cooking goes… ‘Yes I definitely want to make this!’ ‘oh no I’m going to have to substitute a million things’ because a) I don’t have it and don’t want to walk to the supermarket (I am super lazy) b) What is this rich guy ingredient? Or c) I have a better idea [professional chef], which is going to save me time, money and patience.
This is how I create and adapt recipes to always ensure I have something unique that I most likely will never be able to create again. This is part of the inspiration for this blog, so I can keep a record of my in-the-moment-snap decisions when I mess with household cooking names.
Anyhow back to the rice pudding.
Now a simple tip for following a recipe, but somehow I still forget to do this, is read all the instructions at least once before starting to cook! This way you can back out early when you see shit gets too complicated.
First, we need to toast some desiccated coconut in the oven until nice and crispy. I say fuck this step, this shit is going to use up unnecessary power and as a recent graduate with student debt lets save some dimes! Besides you can easily create the same result with a dry fry pan and will take around 4min depending on how much coconut you want for your topping.
Next place the rest of the ingredients in a medium pot (rice, milk, coconut cream, sugar, vanilla and salt). Here I also deviated from Chelsea’s recipe, she suggests that you will end up with ‘sad and gruel-like’ rice pudding if you do not use light coconut cream. I disagree completely, I used full fat coconut cream and mine turned out yummo! I think what she describes is avoided through regular stirring during the cooking process and keeping it on a low heat.
Now because I don’t have pineapple on hand instead I caramalised a sliced banana. On a medium to high heat in a fry pan (that you just used to toast your coconut while the rice is cooking) melt as much butter as you want, I probably used about 20g, with brown sugar. After a few minutes add the banana and cook for another 5 minutes. Dish this on top of the rice pudding which should be done in c. 30min and sprinkle on your toasted coconut.
And voila! Chelsea Winter’s Coconut Rice Pudding.
Photography by Suchita Jain