This is a recipe that’s ideal for child-centric bake sales – school fêtes, church fairs, that sort of thing. Kids love making sweeties, and coconut ice is one of the few sweets that doesn’t require any cooking, so it’s a safe recipe for little hands to get stuck into.
If you’re making this with children, it’s worth buying pink food colouring rather than just using a teeny amount of red. Children let loose on red colouring can easily produce coconut ice that looks like the St Valentine’s Day Massacre, so spend 40p on the pink stuff for a reliably Barbie-pink finish.
I have found myself a little queasy around condensed milk since John Prescott announced his uncanny ability to “sup a whole tin of Carnation…just for the taste” (and then spew it forth again). Coconut ice a very good way to rehabilitate the stuff. The amount this recipe produces will help you erase any such nasty images from your mind via the diabetic coma you’ll fall into if you eat all of it.
To make just over a kilogram of coconut ice, you’ll need:
400g dessicated coconut
400g icing sugar
1 tin (397g) condensed milk
½ teaspoon pink food colouring
In a large bowl, stir the dessicated coconut, icing sugar and condensed milk together until you have a stiff, sticky mixture. Remove half the coconut ice to a clean bowl and add the food colouring, then stir again until the colour is blended in smoothly. (Stirring this is hard work because the mixture is rather stiff, so children will need supervision.)
Line a small rectangular dish with cling film, making sure there is plenty overhanging at the sides. (Later, you will fold these overhanging bits over to cover the coconut ice.) Grease the cling film with a few drops of vegetable oil. Take the white portion of coconut ice and pack it firmly into the lined dish, making sure you produce an even layer. Pack the pink portion into a neat layer on top of the white layer. They will stick together firmly, thanks to the amazing adhesive qualities of sugar and condensed milk. Fold the cling film over the top and refrigerate the coconut ice overnight.
When the coconut ice is nice and firm from the fridge, turn it out of the dish, using the cling film to help, and peel the film away. Chop into little squares (a serrated knife is useful here), dust with icing sugar and pack in greaseproof paper for the school fête.