The two most evocative flavors of the tropics are coconut and pandan (screwpine). Combine them together into a single sweet confection and you have a “blockbuster” dessert! Just a couple pieces of this candy with your cuppa will satisfy any sweet tooth, that is if you can stop yourself from reaching for a another and another.
Coconut candy speaks to me of childhood more than any other treat. These delectable cubes were very popular back when I was in primary (elementary) school. They were a mainstay of many year-end class parties, birthdays, and festivals. Because coconut candy is vegetarian, it is a suitable dessert for all the different races in Malaysia. It is also very easy to prepare and require only five ingredients – coconut, condensed milk, sugar, flavoring, and food coloring. Furthermore, freshly grated coconut is inexpensive and easily available.
The previous time I posted about coconut candy was in January 2010. Back then I could not find fresh grated coconut and had to use dessicated coconut instead. I added a little butter and some milk to rehydrate the coconut and was delighted that it turned out really well. Two days back I made it again and decided to update my post with new pictures. To check out the post, click on the picture below.
This time round I found frozen grated coconut at the Indian grocery store. The texture is a little coarser than what I was used to but I am thankful for the supply as I can now make pulut inti, another favorite childhood dessert.
I decided to use some of the pandan paste that I have had for a while to flavor this batch of Pandan Coconut Candy. The paste is a combination of flavoring and food coloring, and so there is no need to add more coloring to the coconut. Pandan has the most amazing fragrance and this paste comes pretty close to the real thing. If you can’t find pandan paste, please use 2 teaspoons of vanilla and a few drops of food coloring. I hope you will give the recipe a try.
- 3 cups (300g) fresh grated coconut
- ½ cup (110g) sugar
- ½ cup (4 oz/160g) condensed milk
- 1 tsp pandan paste
Grease a 7-in x 5-in (18cm x 13cm) pan or rectangular container.
Combine coconut, sugar, condensed milk, and pandan paste in a non-stick pan on medium low heat.
Stir constantly until coconut clumps together, about 25 minutes.
Transfer mixture to prepared container. Level the surface with a spatula. Press down firmly with wax paper or plastic wrap. Set candy aside to cool.
After about 30 minutes, cut into 16 pieces with a well greased knife.
Allow candy to cool and set overnight. Remove cubes from pan and store in an air-tight jar.
Keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!