Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mother´s Day Chocolate Coconut Pudding (Tembleque) Flowerpot Cake- Puerto Rico

Gumpaste roses in an oreo crumb-covered chocolate pudding pot

The lagoon in the center is cushioned on green vegetation that surrounds it. Now, the lighthouse on the highest hill in the center lies peacefully overlooking the soft blue bay. Last night, in contrast, the beacon shone its light routinely around the sky.
To the right, the paradisiac islands lie in a line.... Icacos, Lobos, Palominos... perfect snorkeling, scuba diving and beach spots. They resemble coulis decorations on a dinner plate.... interspersed drops running along the horizon.
I was at Fajardo, Puerto Rico, at the beach. I had sherbets and ice cream, and even though I unfortunately didn´t try tembleque while I was there, I know that this coconut custard´s hydrating electrolytes would have come in handy, too.
I travelled only half an hour away to find a contrasting national park. Within it, on the top of a castle-like structure in the middle of the forest, I could see a hill nearby plastered with Sierra Palms that held swaying palm branches in the breeze. They looked like origami cranes; the boughs were poised as if they were ready to fly away from the approaching grey clouds. That and the sound of the elusive coqui are my most vivid memories of El Yunque Park, located in Puerto Rico.


History of Tembleque
It is a custard made by cooking coconut milk with spices and sugar. Its name is derived from the spanish word temblar, which means tremble, as the dessert is supposed to jiggle like jello. A similar dessert in Brazil is manjar branco, except that it doesn´t necessarily include coconut.





Sierra Palms in El Yunque, Puerto Rico

El Yunque
View of Capitol building of San Juan, from the Cristobal Fort
Recipe 1
Gumpaste Roses or washec,very clean silk roses
Flowerpot lined with parchment paper
Oreo cookie crumbs
Graham cracker crumbs (optional)
Tembleque http://www.meals.com/Recipes/Chocolate-Tembleque-Custard.aspx?recipeid=138264

Recipe 2
You can make a more traditional tembleque in a savarin mold (or similar  mold, like a "flanera") I used a rose mini cake pan from Nordicware, which you can find at the following link: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SPM1672744801P?sid=IDx20070921x00003a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=SPM3314908402
The recipe for traditional tembleque is in this link:
http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/138504/Puerto-Rican-Coconut-Dessert/detail.aspx
At only 170 calories per serving, and full of coconut milk minerals (magnesium, potassium, among others) this silky dessert is very satisfying and refreshing.

 References
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tembleque

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