Chocolate Coconut Cake Pudding | Travel, Reflection, and New Beginnings
May 27, 2017
Now that school is officially out and finals are a thing of the past, I can finally focus on spending time in my own head. I'm not sure if I'm just speaking for myself, but whenever I go on break, whether it be a vacation or staycation, I always feel the need to spend time by myself. I know this sounds counterintuitive because time off of school is often seen as time set aside for family and friends back at home. Yet, I feel the need to distance myself from everything for a little bit and just be with myself.
I think this stems from the inherent nature of my relationships with people during the school year. More often than not, I find myself surrounded by people I know. Even when I study with my friends in silence, there is a mutual recognition of each others' presence as a source of potential conversation. The smallest and most trivial things seem to have an urge to share themselves with a larger group of people.
I see travel as one of the most crucial parts of vacation, where I can spend time to me, myself, and I. Travelling alone is something I became accustomed to as an international student. Through attending events or summer camps overseas, going on vacation, and flying back and forth between my two homes, I essentially gave myself the perfect medium for some much needed solitude. And with solitude, comes reflection.
So of course, as I was flying back to Texas for the summer, I naturally began to churn out my thoughts, feelings, and emotions about the past year. Travel is the perfect time for reflection because it's a time where you get to be honest with yourself without having to worry about generating results for someone else. For those wrapping up the academic year, the ride or flight back home is a perfect time to reflect.
Reflection is all about learning. Learning about yourself and those around you, and how you impact each other and your surroundings. It's an important part of life every person goes through, and it is crucial to progressing to a better place. Thus, I hope that by sharing my reflection, I can inspire you to further contemplate on your life experiences.
The most important thing I can take away as a reflection would be the realization that I still have so much to learn about myself.
From a professional standpoint, I am still just beginning to explore the balance between the things I love and the things I'm good at.
From a personal standpoint, I realized how vulnerable I was to certain physical and emotional situations. Confidence took on a different meaning, and I subjected myself to a whole new array of emotions I couldn't handle by myself. I have my friends and family to thank for pulling me out my own head during these times. If it weren't for them, I do not know where I would be, emotionally, now.
The end of the year marks a new beginning for me in terms of the way I think about life and the way I choose to live it. I will no longer be satisfied with my complacent complaining about Ithaca's long, winter months, my fear of failure, and the constant comparison I make with others. Next will be my year. And so will the year after, and the one after that. I hope it will be yours too.
This week's bake is something of a new beginning. It's something fun and new I have never tried or even heard of before baking it. Everyone has heard of bread pudding, made from leftover bread and custard. But cake pudding? Now that's something new...and delicious. The already moist cake makes for a decadent pudding. The recipe changes the texture of the bake to something akin to the offspring of a dense, chewy brownie and a light, crumby cake. Serve a slice of this with a scoop of homemade coconut ice cream and you have a winner.
For the Chocolate Cake
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 cup of sugar
6 + 1/4 tbsp. of cocoa powder
1 tsp. of baking powder
1/4 tbsp. of baking soda
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup of whole milk
1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted
1 tsp, of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of boiling water
For the Coconut Custard
1 cup of full-fat coconut milk
4 egg yolks
2 tbsp. of melted butter
20g of granulated sugar.
Coconut Ice Cream
- 12 oz of sweetened condensed milk
- 375ml of heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup of coconut cream
- Whipped Cream and/or Ice Cream
- Toasted Coconut Flakes
- Fresh strawberries, sliced
Combine and sift all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa, and salt) in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and eggs until smooth.
Gradually add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking until fully incorporated. Drizzle in the boiling water and whisk until thee batter is smooth.
Bake in two 9-inch cake tins lined with parchment paper in a 160C/325F oven for approximately 35-40 minutes.
Heat the coconut milk and vanilla extract until it just simmers.
Slowly pour the hot coconut milk into the eggs, whisking constantly to avoid curdling.
Set aside to cool.
Coconut Ice Cream
- Whip the heavy cream to medium-stiff peaks and set aside.
- Whip the coconut cream until it is thick enough to hold its own shape.
- Carefully fold the whipped coconut cream into the whipped cream. Then fold in the sweetened condensed milk.
- Chill in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
Cut the cakes into small, 1-inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl
Pour the cooled custard over the cake cubes and mix until well coated. You may not need all of the custard. Mix in chocolate chips if desired.
- Pack the soaked cake into one 9-inch cake tin lined with parchment paper.
Sprinkle the top of the cake pudding with a layer of granulated sugar.
Bake in a preheated 160C/350F oven for approximately 45-50 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
Garnish with whipped cream (or ice cream), toasted coconut, and strawberries.