"Tembleque" translates as "trembling," and as this name implies, this coconut pudding trembles quite spectactularly when unmolded. It can also be spooned straight out of the mold, and it has a rich coconut flavor and a melt-in-your-mouth texture which many diners find quite delightful. Tembleque is a great summer dessert, because it can be quite refreshing, and it pairs especially well with spicy cuisine from Latin America and Asia.
Assemble your ingredients and supplies. To make tembleque, you will need:
- A large souffle dish or mold, or a batch of small ramekins, lightly oiled
- 5 cups of coconut milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- A heavy saucepan and whisk
Cook your pudding. Combine the dry ingredients in the sauce pan, and add a drizzle of coconut milk to turn them into a paste. Slowly pour in the rest of the coconut milk, and then turn the heat to medium. As the mixture slowly heats, whisk it slowly and thoroughly to prevent the pudding from burning or sticking.
Once the pudding starts to thicken, cook it for another minute and remove it from the heat. Pour the pudding into the molds.
Chill your tembleque. Ideally, this pudding should chill for at least 12 hours. Cover the pudding with plastic or saran wrap to prevent the formation of a skin, and try to leave it as undisturbed as possible while it sets and chills; if it is shaken too much, it may fail to set, turning to sloppy goop in the mold.
Serve. To serve, unmold the tembleque. You can serve it plain, or garnish with tropical fruit such as mango or pineapple. Some cooks like to use a drizzle of flavored syrup for decoration, or fresh berries and a sprig of mint; feel free to be imaginative about garnishes.
This pudding may only have a few ingredients, but it has a lot of flavor, and it's quite easy to make, which can be appealing to cooks with ambitious menus in mind, especially if they plan ahead. It also makes a superb potluck dish; transport the tembleque in the mold, and unmold it at its final destination.
s.e. smith is a connoisseur of literature, adventures, and fine food who loves sharing knowledge with others and putting her otherwise marginally useful liberal arts degree to good use.