Coconut Caramel Cream Puffs

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Give this European treat a tropical twist with luscious coconut milk and coconut flakes.

Preparation time: 1 hour
Baking time: 30 minutes
Serves 10 to 20

Ingredients
FOR THE COCONUT CREAM PUFF
1⁄2 cup salted butter
1⁄2 cup water
1⁄2 cup coconut milk
4 eggs
desiccated coconut, for garnish
3⁄4 cup flour

FOR THE COCONUT PASTRY CREAM
2 cups coconut milk
1⁄4 cup white sugar
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1⁄4 cup cornstarch
1⁄4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons salted butter

FOR THE COCONUT CARAMEL
2/3 cup canned coconut
2/3 cup coconut sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Procedure
FOR THE COCONUT CREAM PUFF
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Melt butter, water, and coconut milk to a rolling boil.
2. Stir in flour and stir vigorously over low heat until mixture does not stick on the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and cool for a couple of minutes.
3. Beat in eggs one at a time with the mixture until it is smooth and velvety.
4. Pipe mixture onto a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper and dust with desiccated coconut. Bake until dry for about 20-25 minutes (depending on the size).
5. Cool cream puffs before filling.

FOR THE COCONUT PASTRY CREAM
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and whole eggs. Stir in 1⁄4 cup sugar and cornstarch to the eggs until smooth.
2. When milk and sugar boils, drizzle it into the bowl with the eggs in a stream while mixing so that you don’t cook the eggs. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly so the eggs don’t curdle.
3. When the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove from the heat. Stir in butter until it is completely blended in. Pour into a heat-proof container and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill before using.

FOR THE COCONUT CARAMEL
In saucepan, warm up coconut milk, coconut sugar, sea salt, and cornstarch. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Cool down before serving.

Recipe by Chef Kristine Lotilla
Photography by Justin de Jesus

This recipe was originally published in the April-May 2018 issue of Breakfast Magazine.