Coconut fanatics, this one is for you!
Like many, I take pleasure in searching out beautiful confections. When I first saw Coconut Ice on display, the contrasting pink stripe drew me in and the name confused me. I soon found myself gathering recipes and any other information I could find about the fudge-like candy. The origins are claimed to be from the UK, but I could not find a substantial history to share with you. It is as much eye candy as it is the edible kind, and that's really all I needed to know.
I'm proud to say, that after much trial and error and many recipes, this one is the best. Take it from someone who has labored over a boiling saucepan of napalm sugar syrup and has tossed out her weight in organic coconut. Perhaps it is my lack of candy making expertise that caused the aforementioned to bomb terribly. All I know is that a blindfolded monkey could make this version, and it looks like a million bucks!
One word of caution: don't even THINK about using sweetened coconut. The end result is much too sweet and you will probably be sad that it doesn't taste as good as it looks.
Things I learned while making this recipe:
Abandon your wooden spoon. Mixing with your hands and squeezing the batter through your fingers will help to incorporate the ingredients. The mixture will be quite stiff.
Use a little strawberry or cherry candy flavoring in the pink mixture. It's delicious and provides another level of contrast.
Pink on top, or white on top? White is most commonly pressed into the bottom of the pan. This provides a crisp and uniform upper layer. I have used both pink and white on bottom and both versions were pretty.
A sprinkling of powdered sugar on top of the finished product makes a nice presentation. Bag and tie with ribbon for holiday gift giving.