|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 15 to 20|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 7g||8%|
|Saturated Fat 6g||31%|
|Total Carbohydrate 19g||7%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||8%|
|Total Sugars 16g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||2%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
This treat is a staple of many home cooks in Ghana, each adding their own twist and varying the recipe to suit their personal preferences. Sweet caramel with a hint of lemon juice, fresh coconut, and water are all that it takes to make these simple and flavorful fruity balls. Other spices can be added, but this is the basic mixture many Ghanian families enjoy with a cup of tea.
If you're a seasoned cook and can handle the temperature of steamy caramel with your bare hands, use them to shape the balls. Alternatively use tools, such as spoons or an ice cream scooper for shaping.
Buy pre-shelled coconut pieces as opposed to a whole coconut. Cracking a coconut can prove to be quite a daunting task. As with any candy-making recipe, keep pets and kids out of the kitchen, use an apron and gloves to protect yourself, and always wear shoes to avoid slipping while handling hot caramel.
“This recipe was very simple to make and was full of coconut flavor with the sweetness of the caramel. Almost like a coconut toffee or brittle, this was a unique caramel dish sure to be a new favorite.” —Tracy Wilk
1 pound shelled coconut pieces
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, or margarine
Gather the ingredients.
Grate the coconut flesh from the shelled pieces using the large teeth of your grater, as larger shreds will contribute a chewy texture. Do this carefully, as the oil from the coconut may make your fingers slippery. Set aside.
Make the caramel by dissolving the sugar in the water and lemon juice in a small pot over low heat, then bring to a boil.
Allow the caramel to boil from 5 to 10 minutes without stirring, which will prevent granules from forming. Keep an eye on the mixture, as caramel can burn quickly.
Once the caramel is deep brown, add the shredded coconut and cook for 8 to 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. The coconut oils and natural moisture will release, and the mixture will become easier to handle.
When the mixture has developed a toasty coconut aroma, remove from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.
Grease a plate with butter or margarine.
Handling the caramel with care, form balls with moist hands, 2 spoons, or a small scoop. Place on the greased plate and allow to cool completely.
Serve at room temperature for a crunchy texture, or microwave for 5 to 10 seconds to serve warm and chewy.
Crack That Nut
Cracking open a coconut is not an easy task. Follow these suggestions if you're using a whole fresh coconut to make this recipe:
- Place your whole coconut in a plastic bag and tie a tight knot to contain the liquid once the coconut cracks open. Drop the coconut to a hard-surface floor, preferably cement and not wood (you might make a dent in it), or hold the bag by the knot and smash it against the floor once or twice until you hear the coconut opening.
- Or, take the bagged coconut, place it on a hard surface, and hit it with a hammer to form a crack. Take the coconut out of the bag, and pour the water out into a cup, place it back in the bag and crack with a hammer.
- Alternatively, place the whole coconut on a baking pan and put it into a 400 F oven for 20 to 25 minutes until it cracks open. Using silicone gloves, pour the water out and then leave the coconut to cool off until you can easily handle it. Crack open with the help of a hammer or the back of a big knife.