Curious little penguins: a haupia pie

I really was inspired by all of the cute baby penguin videos I’ve been seeing on Instagram lately, and I just felt like they were a perfect inspiration for a cute dessert. I knew that using butterfly pea tea would work to effect the color of the ocean, while I could use kohakutou(Japanese rock candy) to represent icebergs. With flavors that I knew could work, I thought about coconut and lemon. Coconut could be a great vehicle for being dyed blue, while lemon compliments the coconut, can dye the butterfly pea different colors as needed, and is an easy flavor to incorporate into the kohakutou in that it tempers the sweetness so naturally.

For the dessert, we have a take on haupia pie, with a butterfly pea lemon curd, butterfly pea swirled haupia, lemon kohakutou, and coconut macaroons that I shaped into penguins. The penguins were honestly the trickiest part, in that I wasn’t sure if the way I molded them would work. But for the most part, they did and I was so excited to see them actually resemble penguins!


Makes 1 tart, about 8 portions:
For the kohakutou:
1/4 cup agar agar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
a pinch of salt
juice from 1 lemon

Bring all ingredients to a simmer and reduce by half while stirring to prevent burning on the bottom. Pour into a silicone mold and allow to set in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove and slice into pieces, then allow the pieces to set at room temperature overnight.

For the pate sucre:
1 cup all-purpose flour + more for rolling
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cold water

Blitz together flour, butter, sugar, baking powder until it forms a fine crumb. Combine with the water and vanilla to form into a dough. Chill down the dough for 30 minutes then roll on a floured surface to about 1/16th an inch. Press inside of a lined 6 inch ring mold, then trim the excess. Wrap the excess dough around a 4 inch ring mold and press into the center of the 6 inch, removing the center piece of the dough. Prick the dough and weigh down before baking for 40 minutes at 375 degrees F. 30 minutes into the baking process, remove the baking weights to allow the shell to continue baking. Cool completely before piping in your fillings.

For the haupia:
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon butterfly pea powder

Whisk coconut milk, sugar, cornstarch, and salt on medium heat until it thickens substantially. Take off heat and separate into two batches. Dye one batch with the butterfly pea powder and transfer the two mixtures into a piping bag, outfitted with a star piping tip. Cool completely before using.

For the lemon curd:
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon butterfly pea powder

Whisk all ingredients except for butter together until glossy and thickened. Take off heat and whisk in the butter and butterfly pea powder. Transfer to a piping bag.

For the coconut macaroons:
1 cup coconut flakes
3 egg whites
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cups granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon activated charcoal
chocolate chips
slivered almonds

Combine everything but the charcoal and chocolate chips. Reserve about 1/3 of your coconut mixture and separate the rest into small mounds on a nonstick baking surface. Dye the remaining amount with the charcoal and carefully place the darkened coconut on top of the mounds. Press two slivered almonds into the white portion of the penguin to form the beak and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. While still slightly warm, press the chocolate chips in to form the eyes.

Pipe in your lemon curd first. Then top off with your haupia. Garnish with kohakutou and the macaroons.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Virginia L. says:

    You’ve got me all curious abut these penguin treats…. so exotic and sweet! You have such amazing imagination and creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

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