- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 4 large eggs
- 3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup Coco Lopez
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 6 cups 1/2-inch cubes day-old bread
- 1 1/2 cups mango, diced small
- Fried Coconut Strips, recipe follows, garnish
- Caramel Rum Sauce, recipe follows
- 1 cup coarsely grated fresh coconut, for cleaning coconut and grating, or making into ribbons, method follows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 10 by 14-inch baking dish with the softened butter. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the coconut milk, Coco Lopez, brown sugar, rum, 2 tablespoons melted butter, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and whisk well to combine. Add the bread and mango, and stir well. Pour into the prepared dish. Bake until firm when pressed in the center, about 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack until just warm, about 20 minutes. Serve warm, sprinkled with the fried coconut strips and drizzled with the caramel rum sauce.
Caramel Rum Sauce:
In a medium non-stick saucepan, combine 2 3/4 cups of the cream with the rum and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1/4 cup cream. Add to the warm rum mixture and return to medium heat. Simmer, stirring, until the mixture thickens, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve warm with the bread pudding. Yield: about 3 cups
Fried Coconut Strips:
- Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 cup coconut ribbons, see instructions, method follows
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Fill a 6-quart pot halfway with oil and heat to 360 degrees F.
In 2 batches, add the coconut to the oil and cook, turning with a slotted spoon, until golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Sprinkle with the powdered sugar while still warm, and sprinkle over the bread pudding.
Yield: 1 cup
To open and peel the coconut:
- 1 ripe coconut
Place the coconut flat on a work surface covered with a kitchen towel. Using a hammer or large meat mallet, drive a large nail or metal skewer into 1 of the eyes. Drain the liquid into a container and reserve for another use.
Place carefully whack the center of the coconut with a meat mallet or the blunt back of a large, heavy cleaver several times until it cracks open cleanly into 2 halves.
Wrap the coconut in the towel and whack it several times with a hammer to break into pieces. Using a short, heavy knife, carefully pry the meat away from the shell. (If necessary, loosen the meat from the shell by heating the coconut for 15 to 20 minutes in a 400 degrees F. oven.)
Trim any remaining brown skin from the meat with a small, sharp knife.
Yield: 2 cups