Making candy.

Toasted coconut brittleI’ve been working on a number of projects lately regarding my business, Dolce Delights, and one of them has involved candy. I was recently asked by a friend of mine if I could try my hand at making some candy for his restaurant that will be opening up pretty soon in the Crosstown area. Exciting?! Totally. The thing is, I’ve never made candy before AND I don’t even own a candy thermometer. But this was a new reason to go out and get one (new toy!!!) — so I did. And I decided to make a toasted coconut brittle.

Candy thermometers are so fun. AND SO NECESSARY WHEN MAKING CANDY. Seriously! Without one, it’s almost impossible to tell exactly what temperature you’re at. And knowing temperatures are vital when attempting to make candy. (Basically, I’m telling you to go out there and get one ASAP).

There were a number of recipes that I saw online for brittle but were more or less around the same lines. Sugar, knob of butter, nuts, baking soda. Since I had already bought a large tube of corn syrup, I went along that route which resulted in some fantastic product.

Instead of a typical nut brittle, I decided to work with coconut since my friend is opening a southeast Asian restaurant and plus, it’s cheaper. Since I was going down that path, I wanted to see if it was possible to go completely vegan and use virgin coconut oil for that extra coconut taste and be vegan-friendly – it worked!

The only change that I would do for next time would be to take the more difficult route of actually adding the coconut to the candy mixture instead of just spreading out the coconut and pouring the candy over top of it. I found that it didn’t penetrate all the way to the bottom and there were chunks of dried coconut (which is great, but not the route I wanted to go in). I think the brittle would have a better finish and appearance if it was thoroughly mixed in and incorporated into the actual candy. Notes for next time.

Anyways, don’t let me keep you on making this. It’s so simple, basically fool-proof and can last up to one year. Go ahead and give it a try!
Toasted coconut brittle Toasted coconut brittle Toasted coconut brittle Toasted coconut brittle Toasted coconut brittle Toasted coconut brittleToasted coconut brittle (adapted from All Recipes)

What you’ll need:
– 2 cups dried coconut, sweetened (unsweetened if you can find it)
– 1/2 cup corn syrup
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
– 1 tsp baking soda

What you’ll need to do:
1. In a toasted oven or saucepan, toast the coconut until very fragrant and slightly darkened in colour. Spread the coconut and set aside on a large, baking sheet with 1″ sides that is lined with a non-stick baking mat (ie. Silpat).
2. In a deep small pot, combine the corn syrup and granulated sugar over medium heat until the sugar is fully dissolved. Insert the candy thermometer.
3. Cook the candy without stirring until it reaches 265F and add the coconut oil. Stir until it is all incorporated.
4. Continue to cook it until it reaches 290F and remove from heat. Add the baking soda and stir vigorously as the candy will loosen up.
5. Pour the candy over top of the coconut and spread it with a spatula until the whole pan is coated. Let it cool for an hour or until everything is rock hard. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container. Lasts for 1 year.

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