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Sago (tapioca) pudding with ginger-caramel and coconut ice-cream

At a restaurant I once had sago pudding inspired by the Malayan sago gula melaka. Whenever my grandmother would make Rote Gruetze, a berry dessert from North Germany, she would use sago to thicken the sauce. In this dessert sago itself becomes the main ingredient which I really like. After cooking the sago you need to rinse it under cold running water to remove the starch which makes it very sticky, but let me assure you, the beaten egg white makes all light and fluffy again. The sago has no sugar in it as the sweetness completely comes from the syrup and ice-cream. The coconut milk adds a refreshing note to it and prevents it from becoming too sweet.

My mother-in-law once gave me little Buddha moulds which I think are fun to make the sago pudding in. I made this dessert for German friends visiting Sydney as it is nothing you would necessarily come across in Europe and it's also great to prepare ahead.

Sago pudding with ginger-caramel sauce

300g sago
1 egg white
200g palm sugar, chopped
½ cup water
4 tbsp white sugar
2 cm piece ginger, peeled, sliced
1small can coconut milk

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and when boiling, add sago. Stir frequently as the water returns to the boil, to avoid them sticking. The sago will float to the surface and be transparent when cooked. Strain and rinse with cold water a couple of times to remove the starch.
In a clean bowl beat the egg white until soft peaks form. Add sago, stir to combine and pour into four jelly moulds. Cover with cling film and refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.
Stir palm sugar and water over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Stir in white sugar. Stir until completely dissolved. Add ginger and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until syrup has thickened slightly. Strain through a fine sieve into a pouring jug and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour.
Carefully turn sago puddings out onto plates and serve topped with a little of the coconut milk and syrup, accompanied by the coconut ice-cream and toasted coconut.

Quick coconut ice-ceam

For this you need an ice-cream maker.
(makes approx 4 cups)

1 cup coconut cream
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

Place coconut cream and both milks into a large jug and refrigerate until cold (at least an hour).
Pour mixture into an ice-cream maker and churn until finished. Put in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to two week.

Serve with toasted shredded coconut.

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