Local sweets 101.
Coconut candy:- Much loved, tropical treat that originated from Malaysia. Freshly grated white coconut flesh, truckloads of granulated sugar and liberal lashings of full-fat evaporated milk. To up the decadence quotient, a ‘healthy’ knob of butter. Extremely popular during Hari Raya and Deepavali, in a mindboggling array of colors. Semi-hard upon biting into a cube of this heavenly-smelling dessert, it almost instantanously dissolves in your mouth, spreading into a sugary coconut-ty molten mass. Only for those who like their coconut and their sugar though, cos that’s all this candy is about.
Coconut candy (recipe courtesy of Letchmi aunty)
3 cups freshly grated white coconut flesh, packed down
3 1/4 cups coarse white sugar
3/4 tin evaporated milk
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
desired food coloring
- Grease a 9″ tray with butter
- Dry roast the coconut in a non-stick wok over medium heat until most of the moisture evaporates and the coconut is slightly dry.
- Pour in 3 cups of sugar and all the evaporated milk. Stir well. Add extra sugar to taste.
- Stir stir stir. Continously. Until the mixture thickens and slightly comes off the edges of the wok. Will take up to 1/2 hour.
- Add softened butter and continue to stir.
- When the mixture is really thick, quickly add in vanilla essence and coloring.
- Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring all the time. The candy is ready when the mixture leaves the sides of the wok, almost like a lump. Also, the mixture will lose some of its shine, almost going matte.
- Working quickly, pour out the mixture into the greased tin and flatten top with the back of a clean spoon.
- Let cool ten minutes and cut into squares whilst warm. Let cool completely before breaking off into tiny brightly-colored squares and serving. Store in an air-tight container.