Aloha! Today I am featuring blogger, writer, former newspaper journalist, photographer, mother, baker, and bff superwoman Bella Lu Mai and her recipe for an Hawaiian dessert called the Chocolate Haupia Cake. What is a haupia? According to wikipedia.com, it is a traditional coconut milk-based Hawaiian dessert often found at luaus and other local gatherings in Hawaiʻi. It is made from heated coconut milk mixed with pia, a Polynesian arrowroot. For this recipe today, the pia is substituted with cornstarch.
Now let me turn the attention now to Bella Lu Mai.
The amazingly stunning Bella Lu Mai
BELLA LU MAI SPEAKS:
(First things first - before you start reading this... toss a can of full fat coconut cream into the freezer. Get it right up against the coldest part of your chill box. You'll thank me later. I promise! okay back to our regularly scheduled blogging)
My good friend, James Toma here on THE ISLAND OF JAMZTOMA, asked me if I'd be willing to guest blog a post about an Hawaiian themed dessert.
(Naturally, I was thrilled to be asked! It was the perfect opportunity to bust out my favorite mixing bowls, pre-heat up my oven & start the search for a Hawaiian dessert.)
I love James. He's such a good soul. We've been friends since the late 1990's when he interned for a summer back then at Samoa Post in Faga'alu/ Nu'uuli, American Samoa. James was in charge of a teen section called ISLANDNEXT in which he featured poetry by local artists & articles of interest for the 12- 18 year old demographic.
That summer James got a hands on experience about what being in the journalism field is really like. It's not quite like it is in the movies, sometimes it's better & most times it's worse. The hours are long, the pay is short & the work truly never ends. The best part is the feeling when the thoughts from your heart & mind become solid words printed on newspaper for others to disseminate as they will.
Anyhow, James has certainly moved on from that summer & off to bigger & better endeavors on the US East Coast. It's been my privilege to watch him push his literary boundaries & write, write, write.
One can't be a writer, if one isn't writing.
(And James is certainly a writer!Keep on writing, James & we will keep on reading!)
But back to my first love, food...
There's this place Ted's Bakery in Sunset Beach that does this awesome fantastic Chocolate Haupia Cream pie that is out of the world crazy good. They make these jean busting chocolate pies fresh daily. It's Mother Hubbard's most favorite pie ever.
(I'm not much of a pie baker because pie crusts make me crazy in a not so good way. Don't get me wrong, I lurve pie! I can eat pie all day (& night) long (if its good pie!) but I have yet to master pie crust making & that's where most of the pie magic happens.)
But I do know how to bake a cake *winks* & this cake is inspired by that pie.
1 box of devils food chocolate cake mix
2 TB unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup of
3/4 cup of water
Combine the coconut milk & the water - set aside.
Combine the dry cake mix with the dark cocoa powder, stir to blend it well. Then proceed to mix the cake according to the instructions on the box, substituting the coconut milk & water combo for all of the water in the instructions.
Mix until moistened.
Prep cake pan & pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.Bake the cake for about 35 minutes or
when a toothpick (or in our case a stray butter knife) inserted into the middle, comes out clean.
Let it cool down.
While the cake is cooling, it's time to get to the filling & frosting!
(Weren't you wondering what to do with the rest of the can of coconut milk?)
2 cups of coconut milk
4 tbl cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
|Haupia in the pot|
Heat the coconut milk to hot but not boiling. Add in the cornstarch. Mix the cornstarch with a bit of water to make a slurry. Stir into the heated coconut milk until it thickens. Keep on stirring over the heat so it doesn't burn. When its thick enough for you, take it off the heat. Let it cool. When cooled, put it into the chill box so that it can thicken up even more.
When both the cake & the haupia filling are both cooled enough, you can split the cake in half (so you'll have 2 layers). Spread the filling between the two layers & return the cake to the chill box. It may take about a 30 minutes for the haupia to firm up between the layers.
Coconut Whipped Cream Frosting
1 15oz can of full fat coconut milk
Toss the can of coconut milk in the freezer for a couple of hours or over-night which ever works best for you.
When you open the can, the cream will have thickened up to the top. Scoop out the hard coconut cream until you get to the watery part. (Leave the watery part in the can for something else or drink it if you want too. I put mine in a protein shake.)
Sprinkle a tablespoon of white granulated sugar on top of the cold coconut cream & then start mixing it like you would for regular whipped cream.
(seriously, if you haven't tried coconut whipped cream - you're missing out!)
Frost as you like. I frost this cake with heaps of whipped cream.
Big fluffy heaping clouds of whipped cream.
(and I ignore the fat gram count while sampling this frosting!)
After frosting, stick it back in the chill box so that everything stays cold & firm.
When you're ready, slice & serve!
(There would have been pictures of the finished cake but the kids got to it first. Obviously, they have literacy problems since the sign on the cooling cakes said,"FOR PRODUCTION PURPOSES ONLY" & they ate it anyway. *grins* gotta just love love love my kids)
With love & delicious cake~
Short Auto-Biographical Blurb:
Cy deflects the murderous thoughts & stabs in the back of haters by flying under the Super Girl name Bella Lu Mai.
She speaks 2 languages fluently: English & Sarcasm. But also knows how to cuss in at least 7 other international tongues.
She loves food. She loves baking. She loves photography & popcorn. She loves cats & sometimes kids too.
(She has 3 children: all boys. Oh! The delicious irony in that)
She can be found at Delicious! writing about her on-going battle of the bulging booty & reflecting on the irony that God's will plays in her life. When she isn't chuckling at God's hand in her
messed blessed life, she is hunting down vintage Hawaiian cookbooks, a new husband (anyone interested in applying?) & happy desserts worthy of a 5 mile run.
I would like to take this opportunity to send out a great fa'afetai tele lava and mahalo to guest blogger Bella Lu Mai. May the Great Lord above bless you for eternity and give you strength in being a great mom to your kids and loving daughter to Mother Hubbard. hehe go Bel!