Tembleque – Puerto Rican coconut pudding

Tembleque – Puerto Rican coconut pudding

Tembleque.

This beautiful coconut dessert from Puerto Rico couldn’t have a more appropriate name, considering it translates to wobbly.

Puerto Rican tembleque - served in Milly & Eugene geometric cups

If you’re into your panna cotta, then you just may like this one. The only difference is that cornflour is used as a thickening agent, not gelatine.

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You can generally spot them in chiller cabinets in many panaderías – either in slab form or portioned in takeaway cups to eat on the go. Simply sprinkled with powdered cinnamon, tembleque is creamy, coconutty, and a nice way to cool down for a moment from the tropical Caribbean heat.

Puerto Rican tembleque - served in Milly & Eugene geometric cups

And then comes the intense coconut flavour. Most recipes call for coconut milk, which produces a lighter texture, yet silky and firm when you take to it with a spoon. I’ve increased the richness by using coconut cream, as well. Just as refreshing, but a lot more creamy.

Perfect.

Traditionally you serve the pudding scattered with cinnamon, perhaps even a little toasted coconut. I’ve done all of that, with the addition of freeze dried pomegranate. I saw a bag at the grocer and couldn’t resist myself. Fresh berries would do really well here, if they’re on hand.

*Please note, hydrangea flowers are not edible and I have only used them as a garnish.

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Tembleque - Puerto Rican coconut pudding
This beautiful coconut dessert from Puerto Rico couldn't have a more appropriate name, considering it translates to wobbly.
Tembleque recipe
Course Dessert
Cuisine Puerto Rican
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cuisine Puerto Rican
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Tembleque recipe
Instructions
  1. Take ⅓ cup of the coconut milk and set it aside.
  2. Lightly grease 6 x ¾ cup capacity ramekins or cups with oil. Set aside.
  3. Pour the remaining coconut milk and coconut cream into a medium saucepan. Add the sugar, cut the vanilla bean lengthways and scrape out the seeds, add the seeds and pod to the saucepan along with the salt.
  4. Heat the saucepan over low heat and stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar. When it comes to the boil, allow it to simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Pour the strained liquid back into the saucepan. Discard the vanilla pod, or dry it and store it in your sugar - to make vanilla sugar.
  5. Mix the cornflour into the reserved ⅓ cup of coconut milk until smooth. Whisk this into the simmered coconut milk-cream mixture until it thickens. Keep whisking for about 10 seconds to avoid lumps forming. Scoop the thickened coconut mixture into the prepared ramekins, cover with plastic and refrigerate for several hours until set; preferably overnight.
  6. To serve, either present them topped with cinnamon and toasted coconut in the cups, or run a knife or small spatula around the edges and invert them onto plates.
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