Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coconut Ice is nice...

A few weeks back I allowed myself to be talked into running a cake and treats stall at The Shambles Easter Fayre in Newent. (Unfortunately, thanks to the fabulous Easter weekend weather, it was a bit of a washout - as you can read here)

I love baking, especially sweet treats, so it's not really a hardship.  I thought I would use the opportunity to try something new...

Over Christmas I made fudge to give as presents ( I did intend to blog about it but, if you remember, my laptop had other ideas over Christmas...) It went down very well and I was surprised at just how simple it actually was to make. This week I thought I would have a go at Coconut Ice. And, as it also turned out to be a lot simpler than expected, and as my laptop is playing ball again now, I thought I would share it with you!

Coconut Ice

You will need:

75ml milk
450g granulated sugar
15g butter
110g desiccated coconut
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
Pink food colouring (optional but cute)

1. Bring the milk to the boil in a large pan, add the sugar and butter. Heat slowly until the sugar has dissolved and butter melted...
Rolling boil - keep it looking like this for 10 mins....

2. Bring to the boil, cover the pan and boil gently for 2 mins.

If you have a sugar thermometer the temp should be about 116C (240F) - I don't so I just get it up to a rolling boil and keep an eye on it...

3. After 10 mins or so take a small spoonful of mixture and place the spoon in very cold water - the mixture should solidify slightly and you should be able to roll it into a soft ball between thumb and forefinger.

4. Remove from the heat and add the coconut and vanilla. Beat briskly until the mixture is thick and creamy.  Pour half the mix into an 18cm (7inch) square cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper.

5. Add the pink food colouring to the other half and spread that on top. Leave to set in the tin, then cut into squares.

The finished article didn't look quite as 'professional' as the picture in the recipe book (but then do they ever?) but they tasted fabulous. The Other Half was particularly impressed and not at all disappointed when I brought a couple of unsold bags back from the market...

So there you go - apart from the obvious hazards of boiling sugar and having to keep a close eye on things (this is not a recipe to do with littlies running about) it really is very simple. And a whole lot cheaper than buying it from a retro sweet store!!

This recipe came from a fabulous book 'The Dairy Book of Home Cooking'. I was sent a copy to review before Christmas but due to laptop issues I couldn't blog a review back then.  It is absolute jam packed with brilliant recipes - all the basics you will ever need plus loads of extras! Easy to follow recipes, lovely illustrations and loads of excellent advice as you would expect from the producers of  'The Dairy Diary'.

This book would be a perfect gift for someone just starting out on their own. Honestly, if you only want one cookery book on your shelf you could do a lot worse than this one!!

Priced at £10.49 it is available here

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