Food Feature: Preparing Jamaican coconut drops
Each week we feature a different recipe, and in recent weeks, the focus has been on traditional Jamaican recipes. We have showcased dishes for breakfast and dinner, but this week we will be showing you how to make a popular Jamaican dessert, coconut drops.
Also called drops, cut cake or chip-chip, Coconut drops is popular for its taste and affordable price.
Below is a traditional coconut drops recipe courtesy of eatjamaican.com.
I cup chopped ginger
2 cups of brown sugar
2 medium-sized dried coconuts chopped to yield 3 cups of freshly chopped coconuts
3 cups of water
1) Break open the coconuts. Taste to ensure the coconuts are fresh. Remove the coconut 'meat' from the shell with a knife. This is dangerous as you run the risk of cutting yourself. Therefore, you should proceed cautiously until you get the hang of it. Cut the coconut 'meat' into pieces approximately two inches in diameter or smaller. Cut these into very small pieces of approximately 1/8 of an inch by cutting the coconut into 1/8 vertical strips that remain intact at the bottom of the larger piece of coconut, then cut across in 1/8's of an inch down to get very small pieces that are approximately 1/8 inch square front to back. (If cutting the coconut by hand is too much for you an alternative is to chop it up in a blender using the chop setting. That will work fine, but it won't be the traditional way.)
2) Chop a quarter of a pound of peeled fresh ginger that has been cut into small pieces in a blender using the chop setting. Use only enough water to make the blender operate smoothly.
3) In a large uncovered cooking pot, mix one cup of this chopped ginger and water, 2 cups of brown sugar, 3 cups of firmly packed coconut and 3 cups of water. Bring to a rapid boil and reduce the flame from high to medium. Allow the mixture to cook until it thickens. Reduce the flame to low from medium. Use a large spoon to continuously turn the mixture to prevent it from burning or sticking to the cooking pot. The idea is to cook the mixture until the sugar begins to caramelise. When sugar begins to form at the bottom of the cooking pot and it is very difficult to turn the mixture with the spoon, reduce the flame to the lowest setting. Use a tablespoon to spoon the mixture and drop it on to the smooth side of aluminium foil or into a baking pan. Allow to cool.