Cocada Amarela (Angolan Coconut Custard) is a dessert from Angola that was greatly influenced by Portuguese influence. Water, sugar, eggs, and coconut mix together to create a (VERY) sweet custard.
Let’s Make Some Custard!
Custard is deceiving. It looks easy, right? Boil some water, add some sugar, pour in egg yolk… voila!
Really, though, custard is a challenging dessert to make. There’s quite a bit of technique necessary for this recipe. If it’s not done perfectly, your custard won’t come out as that perfect, smooth, sweet heaven that we all know and love.
Don’t let this scare you, though, because I’ve already done the hard work for us! I attempted this recipe a couple of times, but it took me until the third try to proclaim that I was proud of my result. I’ve made the mistakes; now YOU can learn from them.
Most recipes called for 3 cups of water for this dish, but after two very watery custards, I reduced it down to two. This allows the custard a better chance at setting properly. However, when you add the sugar into the water and bring it to a boil, make sure that you keep the water temperature below 220 degrees fahrenheit. If the water temperature increases much higher, the sugar will begin to crystallize into a candy, and the custard will harden into a dense texture as it cools.
There is one step in this process, though, that is necessary before all others: adding the egg yolks.
Think about this scenario…
You’re cooking eggs in the morning for breakfast. You wake up and put the pan on the stove to warm up. In the meantime, you crack two eggs into a separate bowl and whisk them to combine. Once the pan on the stove is hot, you pour your eggs into the pan and begin to stir them with a spatula. As the heat warms the eggs, they begin to curdle, and soon enough… yay! Scrambled eggs!
Now Think about Making Custard…
You have a pot on the stove filled with boiling water and sugar mixed together. In a separate bowl, you crack a few eggs and whisk them together. Then, when the liquid has reached an acceptably hot temperature, you pour the eggs into the warm pot and start stirring. You look in bewilderment at your pot because… are you seeing that right? This isn’t turning into a beautifully combined custard… there are scrambled eggs floating in your water!
How Do I Avoid Making Scrambled Eggs Instead of Coconut Custard?
Making custard is difficult because if you don’t follow the instructions correctly, you’ll end up with a big pot of liquid with little bits of scrambled egg floating around inside (like me on attempt 1). The trick here is to take about a cup of your hot liquid, pour it into your eggs, and whisk the mixture. The temperature of the water will warm the eggs up. This way, the eggs aren’t as shocked when they hit the warm water, so instead of scrambling, they are able to whisk right into the water and make a custard-like texture.
If you can get these steps right (and you will with a little bit of practice), this dish is SO worth it. A unique twist on a classic dessert, this Angolan coconut custard was the family favorite of the week for sure. As you try your experimentations, make sure to let me know how they go! As always, I want to hear your learning process!
Cocada Amarela (Angolan Coconut Custard)
Cocada Amarela is a dessert from Angola that was greatly influenced by Portuguese influence. Water, sugar, eggs, and coconut mix together to create a (VERY) sweet custard.
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 cups grated coconut unsweetened
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla butter and nut extract
- ground cinnamon to taste
In a medium sized saucepan combine the sugar, water, and cloves and bring to a boil.
Stir and boil until the liquid reaches between 220 and 230 degrees fahrenheit. If it is too low, the custard will be watery, and if it is too high, the custard will harden into a candy.
Once desired temperature is reached, reduce heat to low and remove the cloves. Add the coconut into the mixture and cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally so as to avoid burning.
Take off of heat.
Put your 6 egg yolks in a medium sized bowl. Add vanilla and nutmeg. Beat with an electric mixer for about 45 seconds-1 minute, until the eggs show air bubbles when you stop beating them.
Take one cup of the mixture from the stove and mix it into the egg mixture (this warms up the eggs so that they do not scramble when added to the pot).
Place the sauce pan back on the stove on very low heat. Pour the custard into the pan and cook for about 12 minutes, stirring (slowly) constantly so that the eggs do not curdle.
Pour into individual dessert dishes, sprinkle with cinnamon, refrigerate for two hours, then enjoy!
Recipe copyright by Alexandria Drzazgowski, The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only.