Here’s a dairy-free, gluten-free treat that manages to be decadent and fairly healthy at the same time! I had a can of coconut milk in my cupboard, originally intended for making coconut sorbet. Instead, I decided to experiment with making my own creamy, coconut-flavoured custard.
This is what I came up with:
1 tin (400 g) coconut milk
2 1/2 T custard powder (I used a tartrazine-free, gluten-free, unsweetened powder)
2 1/2 T honey
These are the steps I made up as I went along:
1. Heat the coconut milk with the honey in a double boiler, stirring gently. Heat until it’s quite warm but not boiling.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the custard powder with a little of the milk to form a paste. (If you’re using a different sweetener to honey, mix it with this paste rather than with the milk.)
3. Add the custard paste to the hot milk, stirring constantly.
4. Keep stirring as the mixture thickens. (I found that mine didn’t get very thick – even after about 15 minutes it remained at pouring consistency – but I’m not sure if that’s due to the custard powder, since this was the first time I’d used that brand.)
5. Slice up the banana (or fruit of your choice) in a serving bowl.
6. Pour in the custard and top with raspberries and pistachios (or other fruit and nuts of your choice).
I just used what I had on hand. Raspberries are in season in South Africa at the moment, and I thought that marvellous toasted pistachios would add a unique flavour to this creamy dessert.
Considering this was a first-time experiment, I’m impressed with the results. The custard wasn’t as thick as I usually prefer mine, but next time I’ll try a different custard powder and/or another tablespoon thereof, to see if it will thicken further. Otherwise, it was perfect: the coconut flavour came through clearly; the bananas added substance; the raspberries added zest and the pistachios added crunch. Yum!