Coconut pudding with prune sauce

Rosana McPhee shares her recipe for Manjar de Coco, a Brazilian coconut pudding recipe commonly eaten at festivals or family gatherings. Served with a sticky sauce made from luscious prunes, this is a wonderful summer dessert fit for a big family barbecue.

First published in 2016

This recipe is for the Brazilian delicacy, Manjar de Coco (coconut custard). It is also known as Coconut blancmange, or 'Treat of the Gods' and is a very simple, sweet treat that dates back to colonial Brazil. It differs from other creams and puddings, as it is traditionally served with prune sauce, rather than the more common caramel sauce. There are only a few ingredients in coconut pudding and it doesn’t require much culinary trickery. It is sweet, light and just delicious when served with my aromatic prune reduction. In Brazil, it is eaten at festivals all over the country and makes a fantastic, tropical addition to any summer celebration. As usual, every Brazilian household has its own recipe, but here is my version.




Coconut custard

  • 500ml of whole milk
  • 6 tbsp of cornflour
  • 500ml of double cream
  • 250ml of coconut milk
  • 100g of coconut, freshly grated or desiccated
  • 6 tbsp of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste

Prune sauce

To finish the sauce


Make the custard the day before serving. Pour 240g of the milk in a bowl and sift in the cornflour. Stir with a spoon until the cornflour has dissolved and set aside
Combine the cream, sugar, vanilla paste, coconut milk, grated coconut and the remaining milk in a medium saucepan and place over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan
Once boiling, gradually add the cornflour and milk mixture and continue to stir until the mixture has thickened over a low heat. Remove from the heat
Rinse a bundt mould with water (to prevent the custard sticking), then pour the custard into the mould. Cover with cling film, allow to cool, then refrigerate overnight
To make the prune sauce, heat all of the ingredients (except the whole prunes) in a medium pan and simmer for 10–15 minutes, or until the prunes have softened and formed a homogeneous syrup. Add the whole prunes and cook for a further 5 minutes
Let the syrup cool completely before turning the custard out onto a serving plate and drizzling over the prune syrup. Decorate the top of the pudding with a few of the whole prunes
First published in 2016

Brazilian food and travel blogger, living in London.

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