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Warm Vanilla, Coconut and Tonka Bean Sago

Warm Vanilla, Coconut and Tonka Bean Sago


This dessert recipe will wow your guests.

  • Serves: 8 |
    8 servings

  • Prep Time : 60 mins |
  • Cook Time : 45 mins
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250 g large sago pearls

2 x 400 ml tins of coconut cream

1 x 397 g tin of condensed milk

1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla paste

2 dried Tonka beans (can be substituted with an extra 2 ml of vanilla paste)

1 C (250 ml) white sugar

50 g slivered almonds, lightly toasted

50 g dried coconut shavings, toasted

good quality vanilla ice cream

dried wild flowers and gold leaf, for garnish

1 small bar of good quality white chocolate

Bring a large saucepan of water to a rapid boil. Add the sago slowly while the water is boiling rapidly, as this prevents it from sticking together. Reduce the heat to a simmer and then cover. Stir every minute to ensure even cooking. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the outer layer is soft, but there is a hard white nucleus in the centre.

Strain the pearls and then rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Lay the pearls flat on a tray and refrigerate to cool. Keep aside until ready to plate.

Mix the coconut cream, condensed milk and vanilla paste together. Finely grate one Tonka bean into this wet mix (or alternatively add the extra vanilla  if using). Bring to the boil, add the sugar and stir in. Remove from the heat, check the flavour and adjust the sweetness to taste.

In a separate saucepan, add the pre-cooked sago pearls and enough cream mix to cover the pearls. Place over medium heat and reduce until the pearls become transparent again – the sago should be at a ‘risotto’ consistency, tender but with some resistance.

To plate, spoon a portion of hot sago into a bowl, place the toasted almonds and coconut on top of the sago to act as a heat barrier then add a scoop of ice cream on top, garnish with dried wild flowers (edible), small flecks of gold leaf and finely grated white chocolate. Serve immediately.