Monday, May 7, 2012

Jamaican Coconut Drops



these chunky little glistening globs are deeeelicious!

three ingredients...fresh coconut, fresh ginger and brown sugar.

they are definitely a labor of love...BUT they are totally worth the effort.

each ingredient shines on it's own, but together they make a fresh almost healthy tropical treat.  
 i have yet to go to Jamaica, but i discovered these are a very traditional treat and found just about everywhere...maybe as common as our chocolate chip cookie...? 


they sound easy enough to make, with only three ingredients...but it's  those three ingredients that are a bit of a bear...the cubed coconut meat, diced fresh ginger and cooked down brown sugar.  still, i say well worth it.

here are some tips i have found very helpful...

#1...THE COCONUT...getting to the meat of the matter
buy the brown dried coconut and shake it to make sure it still has it's coconut water.  poke holes in the eyes of the nut (the three indentations at one end).  drain water and reserve for a cool refreshing drink.  now, whack the coconut on the ground to get a nice crack in it,  place on a sheet pan in a 400 F degree oven for about 10 - 15 minutes.  remove and let cool to the touch.  whack it again on the ground or with a hammer to break open and into large pieces.  the meat should now be easily removed from the shell.  gently pry out the meat with a butter knife or i use the end of a screw driver.  the meat will still have a brown outer layer...use a potato peeler to remove this and you will have beautiful white coconut meat ready for dicing.

#2  THE GINGER...to peel...simply use the edge of a spoon to scrape off the outer skin.  it's much easier than a paring knife and less wasteful.

#3  THE BROWN SUGAR...can't help ya there.  reducing the brown sugar mixture just takes time,  near continuous stirring and a watchful eye.


JAMAICAN COCONUT DROPS

1 lb. coconut meat diced...from 1 1/2 0r 2 brown coconuts
i used almost 4 cups
4.5 ounces (125g) fresh ginger diced...about 1 cup
2 cups packed golden brown brown sugar
3 cups water

spray a large cookie sheet with non stick spray (or i used parchment).  combine all ingredients in a large heavy bottom sauce pan. stir ingredients over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil.  attach a candy thermometer to the pan or just stick it in to check where your at. boil until the mixture starts to thicken and the temperature reaches 295 F degrees.  use a large spoon to continuously stir so as not to burn on the bottom or the sides of the pot...stir more towards the thickening stage.  one of the recipes said 15 minutes, but mine took more like 40 minutes.  
NOTE...it is hard to get a proper read on the thermometer when it is almost done.  look for the sugar to caramelize, sugar begins to form at the bottom of the pot and it becomes very hard to stir.
lower the heat to the lowest flame or setting...working quickly, drop about 2 tablespoons of mixture for each coconut drop onto prepared baking sheet.  let sit until cool and firm.  
these are best eaten within a few days.  i noticed the sugar becomes more crystallized the longer they sit, but still yummy.

10 comments:

Jonathan said...

I made these with my mom, having researched several recipes online. I wanted to thank you for detailing the labor involved with preparing the ingredients, and would like to offer suggestions to enhance the flavor profile. Other recipes added salt, vanilla, or allspice, all of which we found to work quite well. But the best tip from this recipe was to bake the coconuts in order to ease them out of the shells, but I didn't find it necessary to peel off the Brown skin as it doesn't affect the taste.

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Jonathan. thanks soooo very much for the great comment. i love these tasty bites, but wish they weren't so labor intensive...the coconut IS kinda difficult, but well worth it. i probably WILL make them again and i will look into some additions as you suggest. i had to try it classic the first time, but there are definitely some open possibilities...thanks again

Alexx said...

This was actually quite easy to make! I love jamaican candy... Now I can make this whenever I crave (:

Hilary Christman said...

How many does this recipe make?

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Hilary...so sorry i don't remember, but a friend just made them last week. ...2 1/2 dozen?....maybe? depends on how big you make them. i will try to ask her how many she made.

Denise Wilson said...

My Aunt makes these delicious nuggets of goodness. Her secret ingredient: finely grated orange peel.

Jules and Ruby said...

HI Denise!
YUM...orange peel sounds like a delicious addition. if i make these again i will do. these little buggers are a bugger to prep for. i wish she had a secret to cracking, peeling and dicing the hard coconut...LOL

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boro31 said...

Thanks for the recipe i had been looking for it. I remember grandma making this but she used only medium coconut (the ones with the meat not too soft not too hard) it was fun because the kids had the job to see which ones were the good ones so we ate the too soft or the too hard and drink all the water .

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