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For the chocolate layer, I used premium Malagos dark chocolate (85% cacao) produced in Davao. If you’ve never heard about or tasted this artisanal product from the Philippines, I encourage you to try it. You can use other premium brands (Lindt, Guittard, Godiva, etc.), but to take advantage of dark chocolate’s health benefits, select one with a high cacao content (at least 60%), preferably unsweetened.
Gold rum flavors both layers. I also used coconut sugar from the Philippines for the chocolate layer (it lends a slight caramel flavor to the chocolate), although white or turbinado sugar would do as well. To add texture, sprinkle cacao nibs, toasted coconut flakes or crushed macadamia nuts on top.
As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding! So enjoy this silky, comforting, delectable dessert!!
Coconut layer (bottom)
1/8 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups coconut milk
1 Tb gold rum
1 tsp coconut extract (optional)
Chocolate layer (top)
1/8 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup coconut sugar (or white or turbinado sugar)
1-1/2 cups whole milk
3 oz unsweetened premium dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
1 Tb gold rum
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Topping: Whipped cream topping (e.g., Reddi Wip)
Garnish: Cacao nibs, toasted coconut flakes, or crushed macadamia nuts
Coconut layer: Place cornstarch, sugar and salt in a saucepan and stir with a wire whisk. Slowly whisk in coconut milk and stir until dry ingredients are incorporated. Over medium heat, cook pudding mixture, whisking and stirring constantly to make sure no lumps form. Cook until mixture is smooth and thick, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in gold rum and coconut extract (if using).
Ladle mixture into six individual serving dishes. Refrigerate until fully congealed, about 20 minutes.
Chocolate layer: Follow same procedure above and add dark chocolate pieces when the mixture begins to thicken. Whisk thoroughly until chocolate is melted and fully incorporated. Continue cooking until mixture is smooth and thick. Remove from heat and stir in gold rum and vanilla.
Ladle mixture into serving dishes to form the top layer. Refrigerate until congealed then cover with plastic wrap and keep in refrigerator until serving time.
Before serving, top each pudding with a generous squeeze of whipped cream topping, then sprinkle with cacao nibs, toasted coconut flakes or crushed macadamia nuts.
Davao Malagos dark chocolate bars (65%, 72% & 85% cacao) may be ordered from Amazon. It’s a single-origin product that has won several awards worldwide.
If using sweetened chocolate, reduce the sugar to 1/8 cup. Taste mixture after mixing in the chocolate and add more sugar if needed.
Reduced-fat milk or non-dairy milks (almond, rice, etc.) may be substituted for whole milk if desired. And if glucose is a concern, I’ve made this recipe with Splenda and it tasted just as silky and sweet.
Voltaire Gungab is based in San Francisco and currently retired after working in advertising/marketing and editing scientific articles. A self-professed foodie and recipe hound, he follows the San Francisco food scene avidly and occasionally prepares theme dinners for friends.
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