Jun 17, 2012

The Insatiable Hawaiian Sweet Tooth

Pineapple Perfection Cake
Click on photo to enlarge
When they said "the sweet life", they were talking about Hawaii. As soon as you arrive on the Hawaiian Islands and the warm tropical breezes brush over your face, you smell the sweet fragrance of the plumeria flower. But that's only the beginning, you still haven't tasted the sweet life that Hawaii has to offer. Oh yes, Hawaii has it's share of tropical sweet treats, everything from Hawaiian sweet bread, shave ice, malasadas, haupia, mochi, kulolo, to mango, pineapple, papaya, and banana. The insatiable Hawaiian sweet tooth is alive and well. 


Pineapple Perfection Cake
Perfection is an understatement, you have to try this recipe!

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained or 1/2 cup fresh, chopped fine

1/2 cup flaked coconut
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

In a mixing bowl, blend the sugar and oil. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sour cream. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the sour cream mixture. Stir in pineapple. Transfer to a greased 9 inch square baking dish. Combine the topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350˚F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Note: Cover cake lightly with a sheet of foil during the last few minutes of cooking to keep the coconut from getting too brown. Also if you like nuts in your cake, add 1/2 cup of chopped and toasted Macadamia nuts to the batter. Makes 9 servings.

Mango Cheesecake
2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 pound unsalted butter, softened
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Juice from half a lime
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 pound sour cream
8 tablespoons mango puree (see note)

Preheat oven to 325˚F with rack in the middle position. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray or 1 tablespoon butter. Using metal knife in a food-processor, process cream cheese 30 seconds. Scrape container. With machine running, add sugar and butter; process 10 seconds. Scrape again. With machine running, add eggs, vanilla, lime juice, flour and cornstarch. Process 15 seconds, scrape, then process 5 seconds longer. Add sour cream and puree; pulse until incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake 1 hour. Do not open oven door. Remove and cool completely in pan. Refrigerate 12 hours or up to 2 days. Remove from pan to serve and decorate with mango slices, or mango puree. For puree, scoop the flesh out of a mango and puree in a blender or food processor fitted with metal blade.

Mango Pudding
2 large ripe mangoes (make abouts 2 cups mango puree)
1/2 cup hot water
2 1/2 teaspoons (1 envelope) unflavored gelatin (I use Knorr's Gelatin)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
Fresh mango slices, raspberries, or kiwi slices for garnish, optional

Peel the mangoes and slice the flesh of the mango from the pit. Put the slices into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

In a large glass bowl, add the gelatin to hot water and stir until dissolved. Let the gelatin mixture stand for about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and evaporated milk and and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the mango puree and mix well.

Pour the mixture into ramekins, wine glasses, or small shallow dishes. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight. After the pudding is chilled, you can garnish with fresh mango slices, raspberries or kiwis (if using). Makes 4-6 servings.

Coconut Chocolate Pie
(9 inch) unbaked pie crust
1 cup milk
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/8 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Bake crust for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool. In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, coconut milk and 1 cup sugar. In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in water. Bring coconut mixture to a boil. Reduce to simmer and slowly whisk in the cornstarch. Continue stirring mixture over low heat until thickened, about 3 minutes. In a glass bowl, microwave chocolate chips for 1 minute or until melted. Divide the coconut pudding evenly into two bowls. Mix chocolate into one portion. Spread on the bottom of the pie crust. Pour the remaining portion of pudding on top of the chocolate and spread smooth. Refrigerate for about an hour. Whip cream with 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Layer the cream on pie; if desired garnish with toasted coconut flakes.

Pineapple Cream Pie
1 1/2 cups milk
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons white sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons apricot jam
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
1 (15.25 ounce) can sliced pineapple, drained with juice reserved

To Make Pastry Cream: In a medium bowl, mix 1/2 cup of milk with flour, then stir in the egg yolks. Mix well. Heat sugar and remaining 1 cup of milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir into egg yolk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan and heat until boiling. Turn down heat to low and keep cooking until mixture thickens. Stir in vanilla. Set aside for 15 minutes. To Make Glaze: In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of pineapple juice with jam until thickened. Pour cooled pastry cream into pie shell. Cut pineapple slices into quarters and arrange them decoratively on top of pastry cream. Brush pie with glaze.

Rum Raisin Rice Pudding
2 small boxes of raisins
6 tablespoons of rum
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup of heavy cream
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup overcooked rice

One half hour before cooking, put raisins to soak in rum. In a large pan combine milk, sugar, cream & set aside. Dissolve cornstarch with 1/4 of the milk mixture In another bowl, beat egg, add vanilla & cornstarch mixture, beat well, and set aside. Heat original milk mixture, add cornstarch and egg mixture, and whisk. Continue cooking, stir constantly until mixture thickens, remove from heat. Add raisins, rice & rum to cooked pudding. Chill for about 2 hours before serving. Makes 4-6 servings.

Banana-Brown Sugar Ice Cream
1 1/4-pounds very ripe bananas (6-7 medium), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 cups coconut milk or full-fat sour cream
big pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
optional: lemon juice

In a wide skillet or saucepan, heat the brown sugar with one-quarter of the coconut milk or sour cream, stirring, until smooth and bubbly. Add the bananas and salt, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the bananas are soft and completely cooked through. It should take about five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining coconut milk or sour cream, rum and vanilla. Taste, and add a few drops of fresh lemon juice if it tastes too sweet. Puree in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Chill thoroughly, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (If it’s too thick when you take it out of the refrigerator, whisk it briskly, which should thin it out so you can pour it into your machine.) Makes about 3 cups.

Tahitian Lime Pie
Tahitian limes are a variety of lime that grows here on Moloka’i, they have a fairly thin rind and their flesh is pale green, seedless, and very juicy when they are ripe. Tahitian limes are often used in the well-known key lime pie because key limes are often not available in Hawaii. As far as I am concerned, Tahitian limes are much better than key limes. This is one of the best pies I have ever eaten, it is rich, and only a small slice is necessary. Trust me, you're going to love this recipe.

3 large egg yolks
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup Tahitian lime juice (about 4 or 5 ripe Tahitian limes)
1 tablespoon Tahitian lime zest ,using a microplane

For The Crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Whipped Cream:
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons granulated white sugar

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

For the crust, place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until crumbs are the same size. Put cracker crumbs in a bowl and add the sugar and butter. Mix to combine. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool.

Use an electric mixer and beat the yolks until thick and turn to a light yellow, don't over mix. Beat in the condensed milk, lime juice and rind. Pour into the prebaked pie shell and bake for 12 minutes. Once it has completely cooled, cover and refrigerate, about 4 hours. To serve, whip the cream and sugar. Pipe a lattice pattern on top, or spoon dollops around the edge. Makes 8 servings.

Papaya Pie
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 cups (about 1 medium papaya) fresh papaya cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 9-inch graham cracker pie crust

For The Crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

For the crust, place the graham cracker crumbs in a bowl and add the sugar and butter. Mix to combine. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool.

Whisk together brown sugar and white sugar. Add papayas and toss to coat. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Place papayas with its juices in a heavy saucepan. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Continue to cook about another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit is softened, but not falling apart.

Remove papaya mixture from the heat and let cool until lukewarm. Stir in beaten egg with a large fork until well-combined, taking care to leave the fruit in chunks.

Pour papaya filling into graham cracker pie crust. Bake for about 45 minutes. Let papaya pie cool before serving. Makes 6 to 8 servings (1 pie)

Tahitian Lime Mango Ice
2 ripe mangoes
zest and juice of 2 Tahitian limes
1/3 cup superfine sugar*

Peel mangoes and carefully cut the flesh away from each mango's pit, then roughly chop the flesh. In a blender, Add the chopped mangoes, lime zest, and lime juice. Add the sugar and 1/4 cup cold water, and blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour the blended mixture into four serving glasses, and place in freezer for 1 hour. Makes 4 refreshing servings.

Cooks Notes*: Superfine sugar is nothing more than regular granulated sugar, but is finer. To make superfine sugar, pour sugar into a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Cover food processor with a kitchen towel to keep the sugar dust from escaping into your kitchen. Turn the food processor on high speed for 1 or 2 minutes. Your superfine sugar is now ready to be used.

Banana Pudding Pie
1 9-inch pie crust, prepped, baked and cooled
2 cups chopped vanilla wafers
2 small bananas
1-8 ounce tub Cool Whip, divided
1 1/2 cups milk
1- 5.1 ounce box instant vanilla pudding
juice from one lemon
Caramel sauce for drizzling

Slice the bananas thin and then toss with the lemon juice. The lemon juice will prevent them from turning brown as fast as they normally would.

Whisk together the milk and pudding. Mix in half of the cool whip. Mix in 1 cup of the vanilla wafers and then the bananas. Scrape into the cooled crust. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or until set.
Top with the remaining Cool Whip, using a rubber spatula. Sprinkle with the remaining vanilla wafers and then drizzle with the caramel sauce. Makes 8 servings.

Microwave Bread Pudding 
with Bourbon Sauce
4 cups King's Hawaiian Round Bread, sliced and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten

Ingredients for Bourbon Sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup bourbon (I use Maker's Mark bourbon)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt

If your bread is less than a day old, you can “age” it by placing 1/2 inch slices in a 300˚F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, then cut the slices into cubes. Spread bread cubes evenly in 8-inch round microwave-safe dish. Combine brown sugar, raisins, nutmeg and salt. Sprinkle evenly over bread cubes. Set aside.

Place milk and butter in 4-cup glass measuring cup. Microwave at High for 4 minutes until butter is melted and milk is warm. Rapidly stir in eggs with a fork and blend well. Pour milk mixture over bread cubes. Microwave at Medium-high 9 to 12 minutes until center is set.

For the bourbon sauce, combine sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in 1-quart casserole dish. Combine water and bourbon. Gradually add to sugar mixture, stirring until smooth. Microwave at High 3 to 4 minutes stirring once. Add butter and salt and stir until blended. Serve warm over Bread Pudding. Makes 6 servings.

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