In her retirement, my mom's taking a painting class for seniors. Tonight she sent a group text to my brother, his fiancée, Lucas, and me asking us which of her new paintings we wanted to hang on our wall, with three pictures: an abstract teal and orange leafy painting, our 'it's a girl' sonogram print-out, and some acrylic rustic onions. I inquired, "did you paint our baby's vagina?" and without pause, Alexis replied, "we'll take the baby vagina painting. Or the onions will work too :)" Only good things come from group texts with my mom.
Definitely the only time it's ever appropriate to text a picture that can be described as "baby vagina."
With my mom in tow for the appointment, we got double confirmation at our 20 week ultrasound last Thursday that #cheesebabygirl is indeed very much a girl. She's right on target for head and tummy measurements but her limbs are measuring 3 weeks longer. String cheese! Head to toe, she's approximately the size of a large plantain - 10½ inches long. So fried sweet plantains with fall spices it is! Drawing inspiration from a family recipe for Dominican fried plantains my friend shared with us on his wedding RSVP card.
Haupia is a Hawaiian pudding made from coconut milk, often served cut into bars. I was first introduced to haupia when the Hawaiian pastor sharing my table at the Soy and Tofu Dessert Competition Semi-Finals, served up strawberry soy coconut haupia squares. He shared his recipe with me, which is what served as the starting point for this pudding-like version.
I went through multiple batches of haupia to get the creamy pudding-like texture I was craving. This take is less gelatinous than the haupia you see cut into bars in Hawaii. For someone who is always looking for gluten-free desserts, haupia is perfection. Check out Keeping it Relle to learn more about haupia and see her haupia bar recipe.
This version is flecked with vanilla bean and topped with roasty sweet caramelized plantains spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. When ultra-brown and way past the point where you'd have thrown out a banana, plantains are just hitting their peak sweetness. If there's one pairing I'm certain about it's coconut and anything from the banana family (coconut banana nut muffins anyone?).
For more haupia recipes - check out Alana's Haupia Ube Cheesecake!
Vanilla Bean Haupia Coconut Pudding with Caramelized Plantains
For the Haupia Pudding
- 1-⅔ cups full-fat coconut milk (1 14.5-ounce can)
- 2 tablespoons canned coconut cream (see note)
- ½ vanilla bean seeds and pod
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
For the Caramelized Plantains
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 large ripe but firm plantain, sliced at an angle into ¼-inch thick pieces
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Haupia Pudding
- Combine the coconut milk, coconut cream, and vanilla bean seeds and pod in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until just steamy, but not yet boiling, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover. Let steep for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the vanilla bean pods and stir in the sugar and salt. Place over medium heat and cook, whisking slowly, until the sugar dissolves and the milk begins to boil, about 3 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water to create a slurry. Slowly pour the slurry into the pot and cook, whisking, until the pudding thickens to the consistency of runny yogurt, about 3-4 minutes.
- Pour the pudding into four dessert cups and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
For the Caramelized Plantains
- Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.
- Add the plantains in a single layer and cook until they begin to brown, about 2 minutes.
- Flip the plantains and cook for an additional minute. Add the sugar, spices, vanilla, and remaining two tablespoons of butter, and gently stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Cook until the sugar begins to caramelize, about 1-2 minutes.
- Serve on top of chilled haupia pudding.
I do not recommend using the coconut cream from Trader Joe's as they seem to have updated their supplier and the new consistency is a bit oily.
Here's an up-to-date list of the baby-by-food sizes so far:
- 15 weeks: Chestnut Dutch Baby with Caramelized Nectarines (Nectarine)
- 16 weeks: Sparkling Asian Pear and Mint Iced Tea (Asian Pear)
- 18 & 19 weeks: Heirloom Tomato and Bell Pepper Gazpacho (Bell Pepper & Heirloom Tomato, respectively)
- 21 weeks: Vanilla Bean Haupia Pudding with Caramelized Plantains (Plantains)
I've never had haupia but I like the look of it! When I had my 20-week appointment with Casper he was peeing on the ultrasound! It's probably one of our favorite memories from my pregnancy because it's just so ridiculous!
Sarah Menanix -
Haha - That's hilarious! One for his senior yearbook, I think;)
Mary @ The Kitchen Paper -
As wrong as it feels to talk about #cheesebabygirl's vagina, it's also WONDERFUL to learn that ... um... she has one. So, yay! And yay for haupia! I'm a huge fan! xoxo
These look fabulous! I've never tried haupia - but I'm thinking it might be time to! Thanks for teaching me something new!
Wow!! Who knew plantains could be so elegant?! This looks so lovely!
Congrats on the baby girl! What a lucky little babe-with a belly full of coconut haupia :)
Sarah | Broma Bakery -
Your mom sounds so adorable. And congratulations on the news! So happy for you. And can you come over to my place and we can make fun treats like this pleaseee?
This looks so yummy and now I know what those plantains were doing on your counter!
Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist -
Congratulations! And hilarious text messaging! I have never had plantains but I definitely need to. Thanks for sharing this.
Coconutty pudding, sign me up! And I am all about caramelized plantains. I don't know why I don't make them more often...probably because I would stuff myself silly. These are wonderful!
todd wagner -
I can't wait for #stringcheesebaby to look back at these posts when she's a teenager!! LOL. In the meantime, I already got her first Halloween costume picked out: http://bit.ly/1P5TQbR
Audrey and I are definitely gonna give this one a go. Looks absolutely too delicious to pass up. You caramelized those plantains to perfection!
p.s. project runway talk soon?
Lisa / Good on Paper -
Sarah, that looks delicious! I've never had haupia but looks so good with those bananas on top! will email you soon!
ellie | fit for the soul -
This is like, one of the yummiest things ever, and I know because caramelized plantains are one of those things I daydream about quite often.....it's so unforgettably good, y'know?? And how did I know you were going to have a girl?!!! Hehe, seriously soooo happy that you're having a girl! Either is good of course, but a girl is truly loads of fun and the sweet, angelic love you get from her (sometimes Selah's so scary I wonder if she's my child 0_0) is one of the greatest blessings. And lol, string cheese made me uhhhh laugh out loud. Can't wait to hear more from ya, friend! Love you and take care, m'kay??
Alison @Food by Mars -
Sweet plantains are my everything... then you went ahead and put them with coconut milk?! You're killing me, this is all of my favorites in one, delish!!
Nicole ~ cooking for keeps -
I love these baby food comparisons with recipes! So.much.fun. Wasn't the 20-week ultrasound wonderful? I think it was my favorite appointment, just having the reassurance everything is going well and getting to see that cute little baby is everything. I've been mildly obsessed with plantains since my first trip to the Caribbean when I was in high school, but for some reason rarely cook with them. I literally want to inhale this pudding and those caramelized gems!
Claudia | The Brick Kitchen -
Congratulations on your baby girl!! Must be such an exciting time for you :) and those coconut pudding look incredible - I have never heard of haupia but with all that coconut going on it must be a good thing! Super tropical with the caramelised plantains too <3
Trish - Mom On Timeout -
You totally kill me Sarah. I am so super excited for you and Lucas and these recipes relating to the size of the baby are pure genius. Now this pudding - I say YES to. Plantains are always a good thing!
Oh my gosh, I'm clearly playing catch-up on your lovely blog -- YAY FOR ALL OF THIS, Sarah!!!!!!! YAY for #cheesebabygirl (best hashtag ever), so SO happy for you!! As for these beautiful haupia plaintain puddings, oh my gosh -- haupia is one of my favorite things ever and I can only imagine how great it is with those fall-spiced plaintains on top. So much joy for all of this!
Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits -
Can't believe it's 20 weeks already!! Good to know #cheesebabygirl is going strong! Your group texts with your mom are HI-larious!
I've never tried haupia before, but I'm such a fan of coconut-based puddings, I'm sure this will go down so well in my kitchen. Love the pairing of the caramelized plantains!
P.S. I'm watching Project Runway right now.
Carla (@charliesue) -
I mean, your mom painted your SONOGRAM. That's the cutest thing ever. I think your sister-in-law has the right selection idea.
(I'm still on Season 1 of Gilmore Girls. #slacker)
Sarah Menanix -
Bahaha - she didn't actually paint it. She literally sent a picture of the sonogram. Hahaha.
Christine // my natural kitchen -
Sarah! A girl - so so so exciting! Your baby is definitely made of lots of delicious foods hahah. This pudding looks so much like rice pudding, but creamier? Gah I bet it's amazing! I've never had sweet plantains but I know they're amazing when fried so they're salty and crunchy, and dipped in spicy sauce (that was actually an appetizer at my friend's wedding in Jamaica - so good). There are so many of your recipes on my "must make" list! xo
Your group texts are hilarious! Glad your baby girl is doing ok and growing! Never had haupia, but it sounds delicious!
traci | vanilla and bean -
Such a sweet inspiration for this recipe! Haupia is new to me, but I've gotta try it. The texture, and flavors sound quite enticing! Coconut with banana, ooohhhh and that vanilla bean... I'll take it! Congrats on your news, Sarah!
So, this post is a pretty big deal for me considering I am downright obsessed with plantains. These look to-die for and I seriously wish I could reach through the monitor and try one. I will definitely have to try making them soon!
Shikha @ Shikha la mode -
LOL "skerd." Love this!
I just made some Indonesian coconut pudding with mung bean flower. Take a look if you like. http://earthlychow.com/delicious-indonesian-coconut-pudding-tepung-hunkwee-puhun-tjemara