My lovely sister-in-law gave me Life is Sweet which is about old-fashioned confectionary. The style of writing is hilarious and the recipes seem easy enough. My eyes lit up when I saw on page 79 a recipe for Coconut Ice. I love all things coconut. I found out recently that my favourite coconut choc bar made by a company named after a planet, is not vegetarian. Many tears later I remembered this book and thought I’d have a bash at the ice. I’m sure it won’t be as good as the C.I. that you can get on St Ives high street but home made sweet making is a new adventure for me.
Being a cautious biddy, I chose to make half the quantity hence saving a can of condensed milk for millionaire’s shortcake (though last year’s attempt at that was DISASTROUS!)
So I have
250g icing sugar
1 397g can of condensed milk
200g desiccated coconut (I used Natco’s fine desiccated coconut but think that a finer version should be used!)
Pink food colouring from Morrisons which is made of beetroot so natural and is 100% vegetarian.
First sift the sugar into a bowl. Icing sugar has a tendency to go everywhere as it’s so fine. I must have looked like a ghost as some blew all over me!
Then pour in the milk. I used my spoon to get the last gooey lot out of the can (waste not, want not!)
Next add the coconut and mix well. This took a bit of time and I was alarmed at how quickly the mixture seemed to start setting. It’s a bit of a strange, but not unpleasant, sensation mixing the stuff up. I was surprised at the creamy colour since the picture in the book shows the icing as white. Perhaps when it sets. Or perhaps I didn’t have enough of the sugar and coconut.
Half the mixture is meant to go into a baking tin lined with clingfilm. I came a cropper here as the stuff stuck to my hands and each time I tried to lift my hand out of the tin, the clingfilm came too. It was horrifying! So I abandoned the tin (which would have been too big anyway as I was only using half the ingredients) and decided to use my silicon fairy cake tray instead.
I’m going to leave it overnight to set and hopefully the blocks will just pop out of the tray. I’ll update the post tomorrow. And before any of you think I’m having it all to myself, rest assured, half is going to a mate. Of course, if it doesn’t work or taste nice she can have it all. Only joking – I’ll just cheat by jumping in the car, driving 10 miles to the Hope and Greenwood shop and buy some ( though suspiciously they ingredients they list don’t include condensed milk and the aforementioned mate may become wise to my deception?!?)
Today I took these out of the fridge and they were still a little squishy so hadn’t really set as hard as the coconut ice I’m used to. That must be down to the condensed milk which is in the book recipe but not in the shop version ingredients.
This is what the chunks looked like when I squeezed them out of the silicon tray:
The taste is creamy and coconutty without the sugar overdose that you find with shop versions. Plus a major advantage to making the ice at home is I know it’s vegetarian compared to buying it (a lot of sweets use non veg colouring which is full of nasty e-numbers). To make it prettier, I decided to divide and roll the chunks into small balls which gave me a nice marbled effect. I think that these would taste even better wrapped in dark chocolate but I am sure that would send me into some sort of diabetic coma!