I love when something forces you to learn. It is easy to get stuck in the usual rotations of life, but sometimes we get an opportunity handed to us that blesses our minds with new information that can reignite our excitement. For me, promoting a luau was just what I needed as a reminder that there is so much food out there that we don't know about.
Over the weekend, I was honored to be part of the United Noodles Second Annual Luau where we served plate lunches filled with kalua pork, mac salad, lomi salmon, and rice. It was so amazing to see how many Hawaiians who now live in Minnesota appreciated eating food that reminded them of home. When we lived in Japan, one of the most comforting things when we were homesick was eating something familiar. It felt good to provide that feeling, but it was also wonderful to see people enjoying Hawaiian food that they didn't necessarily know existed. With Hawaiian music playing in the background and bellies full of delicious Hawaiian food, it was almost enough to forget the chilly Minnesota temperatures outside.
One of my favorite new-to-me recipes is this chocolate and haupia tart. Haupia is a Hawaiian coconut pudding made of coconut milk, shredded coconut, sugar, and cornstarch. It is creamy and the smell will immediately transport you to a beautiful Hawaiian beach. Paired with rich dark chocolate, this dessert is a crowd pleaser for sure.
The luau was a huge success this year, but if you missed it and would like to learn more so you can be ready for next year (or if you'd like to see me talk about my favorite topic: food!) check out the video by clicking here!
Mahalo to everyone who attended the luau! Hope to see you back again next year!
Chocolate & Haupia Tart
- 1 store bought chocolate or graham cracker pie crust
- 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes and softened
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 shot of espresso (or about 2 tablespoons strong coffee)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 egg yolks, beaten
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened are both fine)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
- Combine the heavy cream, espresso, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add the chopped chocolate and butter.
- Pour the warm cream mixture over the chocolate and stir gently until the chocolate and butter have melted completely.
- Add the egg yolks, stirring to fully incorporate them into the chocolate.
- Pour the chocolate filling into the pie crust. Place on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven and let it cool completely before transferring it to the refrigerator for 3 hours before topping with the haupia.
- In a small saucepan, combine the coconut milk, sugar, coconut and salt. Stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Reduce the heat slightly and add the shredded coconut. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. In a small bowl, make a slurry by whisking the water and cornstarch together.
- Whisk the slurry into the saucepan with the coconut milk mixture.
- Continue cooking and stirring until the liquid thickens, about 3 minutes.
- Allow the haupia to cool for about 20 minutes, then pour it over the chocolate tart, spreading it into an even layer.
- Return the tart to the refrigerator and chill over night.
- Before serving, top the tart with chocolate shavings, toasted coconut, or toasted and chopped macadamia nuts.