Tropical desserts

If there’s one thing I love, it’s dessert. In fact, when I was a kid, I swore I had two stomachs — a dinner stomach, and a much larger dessert stomach.

There are a bunch of foods I really miss from back home, but there are definitely some perks to living near Southeast Asia, namely, cheap tropical fruits.

The other day, I made my own mangoes and sticky rice. Actually, it was just white rice cooked in coconut milk, sugar and a little vanilla. Jeff bought the mangoes off the street, and I think they’re not quite in season yet, they were a little… bleachy? But still, this was a delicious and relatively guilt-free dessert.

Even more common than mango is pineapple. Street sellers carve pineapple and skewer it on a stick so you can eat delicious, pineapple “popsicles.” You can also get pre-skinned, swirly-carved pineapples on the street for cheap.

Since I had a bunch of coconut flakes that Jeff bought on impulse, I made a coconut pineapple cake. It was pretty decadent, and definitely not healthy. I actually found it a little too sweet, but it tasted better the longer it stayed in the fridge. The recipe is here.

I didn’t have cake flour or corn syrup and made interesting substitutions. You can add corn starch to all-purpose flour to make cake flour, but I also didn’t have that, so I added corn flour. Ok, I knew they were different, but I figured it was sort of similar. Since I didn’t have corn syrup for the icing, I used lemon, and the icing turned our fine. Jeff really made fun of me when he found out how I substituted for those things. I also had to make a square cake because I didn’t have cake pans. If you make this, consider cutting the sugar — it was way too sweet — and adding more pineapple layers. Actually, I wouldn’t even ice the cake if I made it again. The pineapple and the cake itself are both sweet enough already.

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