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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Coconut Candy

Almond Joy is by far my most “favoritest” candy and it’s all because of the coconut. After Paz tagged me for the Childhood Food Meme, I started dreaming about Guamanian Coconut Candy. I have a Guamanian cookbook and did a bit of research on the internet, just to see what variations there might be in recipes. Basically if you Goggle “coconut candy, Guam” you will find this recipe.

Coconut Candy

3 C. sugar
1 C. milk
3 C. grated coconut

1. Boil the sugar and the milk over medium heat until it forms a thin syrup (232-240 F).
2. Add grated coconut, stir frequently to prevent burning.
3. When the mixture thickens, drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper and allow to cool. This should make 24 pieces.

This can’t be all that constitutes one of the best candies I’ve ever tasted! After an hour of searching for variations, I set out to try the recipe.

I made quarter test batches to test the recipe 3 ways:

Batch #1
I boiled the milk and the sugar together until the candy thermometer read 238F and then finished the recipe. This batch failed as the sugar mixture was overheated and when I added the coconut, everything hardened to a solid mass.
Batch #2
This time I toasted the coconut until it was golden and then mixed it with the syrup at 235F, another hard mass formed.
Batch #3
I did not toast the coconut and boiled the syrup until 220F, added the coconut and then poured the resulting candy onto a baking sheet in three intervals, after 1 minute of stirring in coconut, after 2 minutes and after 3 minutes. After the candy cooled a bit, I cut equal sized pieces into squares but they were really gooey so I decided to roll them into balls and coat the with toasted coconut. They tasted good but not great so I tweaked the recipe and came up with the following:

Coconut Candy
For a dozen or so small candies

1 ½ C. sugar
½ C. coconut milk
1 ½ C. grated coconut, I think the flakey stuff would have worked too
Pinch of salt
½ t. vanilla
Toasted coconut for rolling candies in

1. Boil the sugar and coconut milk until it reaches 220F, this happens fast, in about 5-10 minutes. Add the coconut, stir for an additional 2-3 minutes and pour on a non stick baking sheet or waxed paper to cool. Before they are 100% cool, roll them into balls and dip them in the toasted coconut. They should be chewy, serve warmish or totally cooled.

Note* The candies I used to eat on Guam were brown. I think next time I will toast the coconut before I add it to the syrup, today I ran out. The caramel part used to be brown too, most likely from caramel coloring. Now I have an idea to make the caramel with butter and coconut milk and sugar so the whole batch comes out brownish. Stay tuned!


At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This looks very nice to pop into my mouth. ;-)

I enjoyed reading the process that you went through, till you got it just right.


At 5:54 PM, Blogger Gia-Gina said...

Thanks Paz, I better not eat too many, I have not started running yet.

At 6:54 AM, Anonymous Sabrina said...

It looks so good and now I am curious... I will try soon...


At 9:30 AM, Blogger Joe said...

This coconut recipe sounds and looks very good! Thanks for sharing your reviews - it's very tempting to try it out!

At 9:25 PM, Blogger Scott said...

I skim a lot of blogs, and so far yours is in the Top 3 of my list of favorites. I'm going to dive in and try my hand at it, so wish me luck.

It'll be in a totally different area than yours (mine is about diabetes recipe) I know, it sounds strange, but it's like anything, once you learn more about it, it's pretty cool. It's mostly about diabetes recipe related articles and subjects.

At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My father who grew up on Guam always used to use brown sugar in his coconut candy. Try it next time!


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