I am joining another edition of Su’s Virtual afternoon Tea, this time with a cup of coffee and a traditional sweet from the Mexican Pacific coast, particularly from the state of Colima: Cocadas de yema – Yolk Coconut Sweets:
The state’s capital city of the same name, Colima, is also known as “The City of the Palm Trees”, which grow all around the state. Not surprisingly, coconut is one of the state’s main crops, and in addition to coconut water, milk, oil, soap, and fibre for agricultural and industrial uses, the white flesh is enjoyed as nourishment, and as the main ingredient of this delightful treat.
Yolk Coconut Sweets – Cocadas de yema
2 cups shredded coconut (preferably freshly grated*, or dry from package)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup milk
½ cup coconut water (or water, if using dry coconut)
2 egg yolks (use whites in another recipe)
*NOTE: I started with one fresh coconut (see how to process at the end of the post, or click here for printable directions). I got about 4 cups of shredded flesh (I used the extra two cups in another recipe), and half a cup of coconut water. If using dry shredded coconut, try to find the unsweetened type, or if sweetened, reduce the amount of sugar by a couple of tablespoons.
Dissolve sugar in water in a pot. Bring to boil over high heat, and allow to cook until shinny and syrupy (photo below, left); when a spoonful is tilted back to the pot, it will form a loose thin thread (223-234 °F, 106-112 °C if using candy thermometer). Add shredded coconut and milk (photo below, right):
Bring back to boil, then lower heat to medium and cook, stirring, until coconut becomes translucent (about ten minutes). Turn off heat and wait a couple of minutes, then add egg yolks (photo below, left); stir to incorporate. Turn on heat at low, and do not arrest stirring until the liquid thickens and becomes custardy (photo below, left):
Remove from heat and pour into an 8×8 inch baking dish, flattening the top with the back of a spoon (photo below, left). Bake in the oven at 375°F (190°C) for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown (photo below, right):
Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting into rounds with a cookie cutter, or slicing into nine square portions with a knife:
My husband does not usually like to eat coconut, but these custardy treats were a big hit (note that one square is already missing from the tray in the photo above, LOL).
If you can afford one, a digital food thermometer is very useful to accurately determine meat doneness, and hot liquid temperatures, such as for oil and syrups, as in this recipe. There’s a lot of literature on the matter; I recently purchased the one shown below and I am very satisfied with its performance. For your convenience, click on the images below for products available on Amazon™. DISCLAIMER: Any reviews included in this post are my own, for items I have purchased, not provided by any company; as an Amazon Associates Program affiliate, I might receive a commission for any purchases originated from the links below, at no extra cost to you:
How to process a fresh coconut:
To choose a coconut at the store, assess its weight and then shake it close to your ear; it should appear heavy for its size, and make a swishing noise.
First look at the three dark depressions that look like a face (not an aquiline profile for sure). To collect the coconut water, use a screwdriver or a corkscrew to puncture the “mouth”, or the smallest of the dark round depressions (photo below, left); place coconut on a cup or small bowl, with the hole facing down, and let the juice drain. To open the shell, hit along the equator with the claw of a hammer on a very firm surface; the shell will make a sharp cracking sound and neatly break into two pieces (photo below, centre). Check the inside of each half, making sure there is no mould (if there is any mould, the juice and flesh are not safe for consumption). Place the halves on a firm surface, inner side down, then hit with the hammer to break into smaller pieces (photo below, right):
To extract the flesh, insert the tip of a paring knife between the shell and the flesh, then give it a twist to pop the flesh out of the shell (photo below, left). Discard empty shells. Rinse flesh pieces and pat dry; they will still have a thin layer of brown tissue attached, which is edible, but it may be removed with a vegetable peeler or paring knife; make sure to have a firm grip on the coconut piece, and strike in between of the brown layer and white flesh swiftly and away from hands to avoid accidents (photo below, centre). Clean pieces may be kept in a bowl with lid, covered with the coconut water, and stored in the fridge for up to one week. To shred flesh, use a cheese grater (photo below, right):
I am sharing my recipe at Thursday Favourite Things #465, with Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn, Pam @ An Artful Mom, Katherine @ Katherine’s Corner, Amber @ Follow the Yellow Brick Home, Theresa @ Shoestring Elegance and Linda @ Crafts a la Mode.