Monday, January 09, 2006

on Island time

I promised a batch of homemade Coconut buns - but it's not going to happen folks, I went clothes shopping yesterday, and while I don't usually discuss such topics in public..."the time has come - the walrus said" the Christmas/New Year eating and drinking fest ends now, so it is "templefood" time in the words of Nigella - see her book "How to Eat" the "low-fat" chapter, basically you eat porridge for breakfast (with golden syrup for her, honey with ginger for me) a baked potato with cheese for lunch for her (with broccoli and cheese for me) snack on fruit, vegies or low-fat fromage frais "gloop" if desperate, and dinner is a small amount of fish or chicken, loads of vegies, predominantly Asian flavours, I like her approach and attitude to dieting - just get on with it - and don't bore people by talking about - so I will cease now!

Back to the Coconut bun recipe, this recipe has providence - when I was a child my Mother worked fulltime, so needed a childminder during the school holidays, often we ended up at the home of my Speech and Drama teacher, her husband and numerous children, her husband was Samoan and it was from him that I learnt these recipes, as I helped him make the dough in an old baby bath, and watched with delight as they grew golden and fragrant in the oven, then we rode in the car with him as he delivered them to dairies ( convenience stores) all over Ponsonby and Grey Lynn. When I worked at WINZ as a case manager, I had a lot of Samoan colleagues, they were amazed when I brought "Pani popo" in for morning tea, smiling they always asked me"how can a Palagi (pronouced "palangi" - European) like you make pani popo?", I told them the story and had them over to my house to show them how to make them.

here is the recipe, no photo I am afraid

Coconut Buns (Pani popo)

1 quantity of dough (from recipe for cinnamon buns)
1 can (440 - 500 mls) coconut cream ( I use lite, it doesn't change the taste)
1 C white sugar

stir the sugar into the coconut cream, set aside for now.
Make the dough into rolls as described in the previous recipe, brush the dough with some of the coconut syrup before rolling up, but not much, cut into buns.
Place the buns in a greased roasting pan (alternatively place them in foil pans, 6 to a pan). Leave to rise while the oven heats,when risen, pour the syrup over the buns, it should come up the sides by at least a centimetre, you can make more syrup if you like, as long as the buns are no more than 1/3 submerged, bake until golden - open the oven twice during cooking to baste with the coconut syrup.
The syrup becomes gelatinous as it cools, absolutely delicious.
Serve warm if possible and should be eaten on the day they are made (can be re-heated i n the microwave)