Taste the World - Cook Islands - Poke


*Official name: Cook Islands *Capital: Avarua *Official Languages: English, Cook Islands Maori *Government: Constitutional Monarchy under the United Kingdom *Area: 91 sq mi* Population: (2011 census) 14,974 *Currency: New Zealander dollar (NZD) Cook Islands dollar *Time Zone: CKT *Drives on the: left *International code: CK (data from Wikipedia)

For the Cook Islands, I've made Poke. A banana custard cake, with a light and natural sweet flavor. 




  • 2 1⁄2 lbs ripe bananas (about 8 average sized)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 7 ounces arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 2 cups coconut milk (purchased or homemade)


 1. Peel the bananas and mash roughly. Add them to a pot along with the water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until the bananas assume a purplish color (add more water if needed). Take off the heat and allow to cool naturally. Be careful near the end because the bananas can caramelize and/or burn.


2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the arrowroot & milk in a small bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

3. Pour the banana mixture in to a large bowl and mash with the sugar. Add the arrowroot/milk mixture & mix well.


4. Butter an 8x8 baking dish and pour the mixture into it. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until set and golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.


5. Take your baked poke and cut into 2" squares. Place squares into individual bowls and pour the coconut milk over the top. Allow to soak into the poke and serve.