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5 Best Coconut Desserts to Try in Houston

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Are you nuts about coconut? Are you a sweet freak who's exasperated with all those enterprising chefs wasting using coconut in savory curries and marinades? If yes, this list of five coconut desserts to try in Houston is for you.

5. Coconut Flan (Emporio Brazilian Cafe). Many go to Emporio for the feijoada and succulent skirt steak and rightfully so. Just leave room for the coconut flan--it's a welcome sweet, creamy coda to your protein-packed meal, and, I like to think, eases digestion of that n+1 empanada you ate.

4. Coconut Ice Cream (La Paletera). Although Robb Walsh ultimately chose dulce de leche over coconut at La Paletera for one of his favorite dishes in Houston he did describe the latter as "excellent." Right you are, Mr. Walsh, for the coconut paleta, a sort of fruit cream popsicle common to Latin American cuisines, has a subtle sweetness that simultaneously tickles and refreshes the palate.

3. Macaroons (The Village Bakery). These days everyone and their mother seems to be gaga for macarons, but I have and always will prefer this word with an extra "o" because that means coconut. At The Village Bakery you can find soft, larger-than-average macaroons that appeared to have waded halfway into a chocolate pond. The result is a confection that offers bites of thick, salty-sweet textured coconut combined with rich dark cocoa.

2. Coconut Cream Pie (House of Pies). There are many good coconut pies to be found in Houston, but I am especially fond of House of Pies' version. Their sky-high slice is thick with coconut fillings (itself speckled with shredded coconut) and topped with a generous layer of whipped cream dusted with toasted sweet coconut. Bring home a whole pie and serve with warm (you guessed it) coconut milk.

1. Coconut Cream Cake (Dessert Gallery Bakery & Cafe). The Dessert Gallery excels at making multi-layer cake that perfectly balances cake and frosting and its coconut cream cake is no exception. Approximately five levels of white cake are interspersed with thick strata of coconut icing mixed with liberal amounts of toasted flake coconut, begging the question, "Might you like some cake with that frosting?" Yes, a slice isn't cheap, but the $6 is worth not having to make several cakes yourself and layer them as perfectly.

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