a sweet mess by accident: double coconut hard toffee

by Chen


Baking is not difficult; candy-making is, relatively.

This was my first time to get my hands on candy-making. I was so excited about it and had read many articles and a well-written how-to post. While my original plan was to make some soft and chewy caramels, some accidents happened:

* I burnt my first batch of syrup. It got overly caramelized and smokey, and the clean-up was totally painful.

* The fat content in regular coconut milk was lower than heavy cream, which led to the prolonged cooking time and partially “contributed” to the harder texture. I should have add some butter to fix this. Sigh.

* I let the temperature go up by 10F beyond the whatever-supposed-to-be stage and finally ended up with these hard candies. Instead of biting into them, now the best way to enjoy these coconut-y candies is to let them melt in the mouth slowly; otherwise, they do stick to the teeth.

Still tasty, though. Nothing could go wrong with coconut.


double coconut hard toffee
A hammer maybe helpful when breaking the toffee into pieces.

Recipe for one 8*8 pan

1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup light corn syrup

1 3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water

lightly toasted unsweetened shredded coconut for topping

Line an 8*8 baking dish/pan with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a 4-qt sauce pan, combine the coconut milk, salt, and corn syrup. Heat over medium heat and stir until warm and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In another 4-qt sauce pan, combine the sugar and water. Give it a stir to wet the sugar. Without further stirring, heat over medium-high heat until an instant thermometer reads 250F to 260F. You may need to tilt the pan a little to make sure the thermometer emerges in the syrup and measures correctly. Remove from the heat and pour into the coconut milk mixture. Be careful since the reduced syrup is very hot and the mixture will bubble up.

Immediately return the mixture to the stove and turn the heat to low. Stir until everything is well combined. Stop stirring and turn the heat to medium-high. Let the mixture cook to 260F. Remove from the heat and pour the base into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with toasted coconut and gently press into the candy base.

Once the base is completely cooled, put it in between two pieces of wax or parchment paper and use a hammer or other appropriate tools to break the toffee into pieces. Store in an airtight container.