A Royal Hawaiian Signature Dessert

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - August 16, 2006
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Parents And Children Together (PACT), headquartered at Kuhio Park Terrace and serving families for more than three decades, is one of Hawaii’s most important nonprofit organizations. Its programs range from Early HeadStart and the Community Teen Center to the Ohia Windward Spouse Abuse Shelter and the Family Peace Center. Originally slated for Aug. 25, PACT will hold its gala “Starlight and Slippahs” fundraiser at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel’s Monarch Room in December. PACT is taking reservations now for tables and individuals to attend; call 847-3285.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, an acnowl-edged family man and an ardent proponent of programs that assist the underprivileged, will be honored at the event, which includes live entertainment and a silent auction headed by Cappy Fasi and her committee comprised of Allene Suemori, Eileen Lota, Darlene McKinley from Neiman Marcus, Annie Kemp and Elissa Josephsohn.

Guests will enjoy a great Hawaiian-inspired dinner created by the culinary staff at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, who share their recipe for one of their signature desserts with MidWeek readers.

Coconut milk is used in many different ways. It is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine, and used to make curries, sauces and rice dishes. It is also good added to soups, stews, puddings and drinks and used to cook seafood, poultry and meat.

To make your own coconut milk, mix 1/4 cup finely grated coconut and 1 cup of hot water, milk or coconut water in a saucepan. Cover the pan and simmer for about 30 minutes. Cool slightly and strain the mixture through a fine sieve, pressing to extract as much of the liquid as possible. Let the milk set for a few minutes, and strain the cream from the top for lower-fat milk, if desired, or just mix the creamy mixture back into the milk. This coconut cream can be skimmed off the top and used to cook meat or poultry.

Coconut is said to be laxative and diuretic; coconut water is said to alleviate intestinal problems.


Part I

* 2 3/4 cups coconut milk (Hawaiian or Thai) Note: You may use low-fat or non-fat)
* 2 pounds sugar
* 10 cups water

Part II

* 2 3/4 cups milk (or 2 percent milk)
* 3 cups water
* 1 1/2 pounds cornstarch

(Part I) Using a sauce pot, pour in coconut milk, sugar and water; bring to a boil and simmer until sugar is well-dissolved.

(Part II) Dilute cornstarch with water and milk in a mixing bowl and reserve. Bring Part I back to a boil and slowly pour in Part II until you have a thick and shiny consistency; strain with china cap (strainer) for any lumps. Pour into molds lined with plastic wrap and chill overnight. When haupia is firm, cut into desired size and serve. Yield: five rings.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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