I haven't ever bought sweetened coconut, and I'm not even sure if it is widely available in Stockholm, or indeed London. I do remember avoiding a Nigella Lawson recipe after it called for shredded coconut (not sure if it needed to be sweetened), as I couldn't find it back in London. Or perhaps I didn't look. Who knows?!
Anyhoo, when I made coconut macaroons a while back, I needed sweetened coconut flakes, and as I had specifically bought coconut flakes, I was unwilling to find and buy new ingredients, so found out how to sweeten coconut myself. I misread the recipe, but the ratio is simple to remember for the future...
Sweetened Coconut Flakes or Shreds
Time: 10 minutes (+ optional 30-60 minutes drying time)
Yield: Ratios specified below yield 1 cup coconut
Storage: keep in an airtight container out of direct sunlight for up to 1 week.
- 1 cup dry natural coconut flakes or dessicated coconut
- 4 tbsp water
- 4 tsp sugar
- Heat the water and sugar in a small saucepan on medium high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar dissolves, wait until the simple syrup comes to the boil.
- Turn the heat off and remove the saucepan from the hot hob on to a heat resistant surface (e.g. a trivet).
- Add the dried coconut and stir until the syrup is absorbed evenly and all the coconut is moistened.
- If you can use them moist (e.g. you are adding the sweetened coconut to a wet mixture, use them straightaway; otherwise, spread the sweetened pieces out on a baking tray or some baking paper to dry for at least an hour.
You can store them for two weeks in an airtight container in a cool, dark area.
Did you spot the ratio?
If you consider 1 cup to be 4 x 1/4 cups, you have a 4 tsp: 4 tbsp: 4 x 1/4 cup of sugar: water: dried coconut.
That's how I remember it anyhow! Knowing this, you can adjust how much sweetened coconut you make accordingly!