Thursday, March 8, 2012

Coconut Ice

Let's jump right back itno our adventure through Honeydukes:

"Creamy chunks of nougat, shimmering pink squares of coconut ice, fat, honey-colored toffees; hundreds of different kinds of chocolate in neat rows; there was a large barrel of Every Flavor Beans, and another of Fizzing Whizbees, the levitating sherbet balls that Ron had mentioned; along yet another wall were 'Special Effects' sweets: Droobles Best Blowing Gum (which filled a room with bluebell-colored bubbles that refused to pop for days), the strange, splintery Toothflossing Stringmints, tiny black Pepper Imps ('breathe fire for your friends!'), Ice Mice ('hear your teeth chatter and squeak!'), peppermint creams shaped like toads ('hop realistically in the stomach!'), fragile sugar-spun quills, and exploding bonbons" (Prisoner of Azkaban 197).

This marks the second time I'll try to make Dinah Bucholz' recipe for coconut ice. Coconut ice is basically coconut fudge, and for some reason it is usually pink. Both times I've made it it's tasted delicious, but it seems to me that I always somehow scald the milk (or maybe milk always darkens when cooked, but I don't think so), which means that my coconut ice turns out to be caramel-colored. This (to me) makes it pointless to dye it pink. Oh well, it might not be pretty, but it'll taste good! 

You Will Need:
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups whole milk
2 Tbs golden syrup or light corn syrup
1/4 stick (2 Tbs) unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup ground dessicated coconut (shredded sweetened coconut is fine)
few drops red food coloring

1. Grease an 8 x 8" square pan and line with parchment or wax paper.
2. Combine the sugar, milk, golden syrup, butter, heavy cream, and salt in a LARGE saucepan (as you cook, it expands like crazy, so you should definitely use a 4qt pot or larger).

3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the butter is melted and the ingredients are combined. 
4. Clip a candy thermomenter to the side and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches 238 degrees. This takes at least 30 minutes. Be patient and DO NOT turn up the heat!

5. Remove the pan from the heat and wait until the mixture cools to 125 degrees. This also takes a long time; you may want to place the pot in an ice bath to speed up the process a bit. 
Note that it's no longer white :(

6. Remove the thermometer and add the vanilla and coconut. Beat/stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture loses its glosses and is very thick (10-15 minutes). You really might want to enlist some help!

7. Assuming your mixture is still light enough, add a couple drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly (or get really fancy and scrape half the white batter into the pan, then dye the other half pink and pour it over the top!). 

8. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Cool completely before cutting into 1" squares. Store in an airtight container (it keeps for several weeks).

Yummy! Despite the fact that my coconut ice has yet to turn out the correct color, it is still quite delicious! I definitely recommend that you give it a try! Enjoy!

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