Desserts and Breads

Photo: Cocada Amarela, Yellow Coconut Pudding from Angola and Mozambique 

Cocada Amarela

Cocada Amarela is a traditional dessert made in both Angola and Mozambique, neighboring countries with colonial histories with the Portuguese. It is a rich and sweet dessert that is best served in small portions.

To serve 8
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 cups of water
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 cups finely grated fresh coconut
  • 12 egg yolks
  • Ground cinnamon

Combine the sugar, water and cloves in a 4- to 5-quart saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Then continue to boil briskly without stirring until the syrup reaches a temperature of 230 degrees on a candy thermometer, or a few drops spooned into cold water immediately form coarse threads. 

Reduce the heat to low and with a slotted spoon remove and discard the cloves. Add the coconut, 1 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until the coconut becomes translucent. Remove the pan from the heat. 

In a deep bowl beat the egg yolks with a wire whisk or a rotary or electric beater for about 1 minute. When they thicken slightly, stir in 1 cup of the coconut syrup, then pour the mixture into the remaining syrup and stir together thoroughly. 

Stirring almost constantly, cook over moderate heat for about 10 minutes longer, or until the pudding thickens enough to pull away from the bottom and sides of the pan in a solid mass. 

Pour the pudding into a large heatproof platter at least 1 inch deep, or into 8 individual dessert dishes. 

Serve the cocada amarela at room temperature or refrigerate the pudding for about 2 hours to chill it thoroughly. Just before serving, sprinkle the top lightly with ground cinnamon.