Another Monday rolls around and it’s looking like it’ll be another busy week! I won a meet and greet with Daniel Merriweather on Tuesday. (I must confess I don’t know who he is, but it seems he’s a new guy so I don’t feel so bad.) Can’t wait to see what his music sounds like. Then on Thursday I am really excited about meeting Trisha Yearwood at her new Home Cooking book signing. I’ve tested a couple of recipes and so far they are pretty tasty so I can’t wait to share those with you.

OMG I feel like I could eat the whole platter of this dessert! The caramel may seem overkill, but trust me it’s so much better with it on there. I cheated and didn’t make my own, but I used up a jar I had stashed in the fridge. (I had to make room for all the new ingredients I’ve been buying.) I did post the recipe for it below if you want to make your own. My only change would be to add toasted coconut on top, but either way it’s to die for. If you don’t want to make it in the spring form pan you could easily make individual servings in cups.

Coconut Pudding with Caramel Sauce
(Adapted from Ralph Rucci)

3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
3 cups freshly grated coconut
3 cups heavy cream, whipped
1 cup fresh shaved coconut
Caramel Sauce

1.Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup water, and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Spray a 10-inch round nonstick spring form pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

2.Bring half-and-half to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add gelatin mixture and sugar and cook, stirring, until gelatin and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

3.Stir in almond extract and grated coconut; stir in whipped cream. Transfer pudding to prepared spring form pan and transfer to refrigerator until chilled and set, 2 to 3 hours.

4.Unmold pudding onto a serving platter and sprinkle with shaved coconut. Serve with caramel sauce.

Caramel Sauce
Makes about 2 cups.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 1/3 cups light-brown sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat butter and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Add egg yolks, cream, and salt, and cook, stirring, until smooth and creamy. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in vanilla and serve.

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