This pudding is delicious by itself for a snack, with coconut, strawberries, or blueberries added, or combined with cubed, leftover vanilla cake and strawberries to make a scrumptious trifle(see "Another Successful Birthday Cake" for gluten-free, egg-free, dairy free recipe)
1 -14 oz can minus 1/4 cup coconut milk; @ 1 3/4 cups)
The 1/4 cup remaining can be refrigerated and used for smoothies, white sauce, etc.
1/4 cup cream of coconut(opt)
1/4 cup water
3 Tablespoons cornstarch + enough water to form a medium- thick paste.
(opt) drop molasses to add dimension
In small container(2 cup or so), combine cornstarch and enough water to form a paste. In saucepan over medium-high heat, heat coconut milk, cream of coconut, and water, stirring. When hot(before simmering), pour most of the liquid into the cornstarch mixture, stirring. Return to saucepan over medium-low heat, letting bubble and thicken 1-2 minutes. Cool in fridge, it will thicken more. Or enjoy warm.
For chocolate pudding, add 1/2 - 3/4 T. mini chocolate chips per 1 cup hot pudding. Stir until melted. Or, if pudding is cool, heat chocolate chips in microwave(try 30 seconds) until beginning to soften, then stir in. I use Enjoy Life Chocolate chips which are free of dairy.
(opt)You can omit the cream of coconut and add some sugar to taste instead. If you want a creamier pudding, you can add a little coconut cream(I keep small cubes of this on hand in the freezer- I'd add maybe 1-2 ice tray cubes). Note: coconut cream is not at all the same thing as cream of coconut.
For a thicker pudding, use more cornstarch. Try 4 T.