I’ve been told that I don’t do enough dessert recipes, so with some time on my hands I decided to raid the cupboards and come up with a dessert recipe to share with you all. This recipe is somewhat refined from the one my dad would do, but it’s just as delicious and if I may be bold enough.. better that his! He’s old school when it comes to making sugar cake, as he prefers to get fresh dry coconut and do his thing with the grater. Besides not liking to grate coconut like a mad-man (my fingers still show battle scars from the last time I grated coconut), I noticed that I had some per-packaged shredded coconut so it was going to be a recipe for sugar cake I’d be sharing.
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
2 bay leaves
thick slice of fresh ginger
4-6 drops red food coloring (optional)
Important: If doing this dessert according to a gluten free diet, do go through the ingredients mentioned above to make sure they meet with you specific gluten free dietary needs.
The first thing we need to do is start the syrup we’ll need as the base for this. In a deep saucepan heat the sugar, water, bay leaves and a thick slice of ginger. Bring up to a rolling boil and allow to cook until it reduces and gets thick. (about 5-7 mins). You’ll have to constantly stir with a spoon or a whisk as I did.
Now it’s time to remove the bay leaves and ginger from the pot and discard (if you like the strong aroma and taste of ginger and bay leaves.. you can always grate the ginger into the syrup and crush the bay leaves). Add the essence and stir in the desiccated coconut (shredded or flaked coconut).. now add the drops of coloring and stir constantly. It will require about 5-7 minutes (on medium heat) to get to the consistency we’re looking for.(you can always follow along with the video below)
The idea is to burn off as much liquid as you can from the pan, so you have a thick and sticky consistency. A good sign that you’re close to where you want it to be, is when the coconut mixture starts coming away from the sides of the pan and somewhat clump.
On a parchment lined cookie sheet I then took spoon full amounts and made small heaps to form little sugar cakes. This will need to set (cool and take shape) before you can fully enjoy them. Remember we just made a syrup with the sugar so this will be extremely hot… do have some patience. Your kitchen will have the lovely aroma and coconut, essence,ginger and bay leaf… and I’m sure you’ll and your kids will love this tasty treat.
* If you have a 1 inch deep pan you can pour the cooked mixture into it and allow to cool, then cut into even squares. You can also be creative and do different colors and stack them to form a rainbow effect if you wish.
Store in an airtight container for maximum freshness and do refrigerate if you plan on keeping them more than a few days.