The old-fashioned, eye-catching coconut candy has long been a favorite in Israel. In the early days of Israel, it was handcrafted in small artisanal shops and displayed in large glass jars. These days it’s mass produced and available almost everywhere, from small grocery stores to large supermarkets. But, it’s easy and fun to make at home.
This recipe comes from pastry chef Michal Goldberger who prepared the bars for Cafe Asif’s nostalgic desserts project alongside her take on Hana Shaulov’s meringue cream cake and an icebox cake with a ricotta filling.
1 cup (100 grams) desiccated unsweetened coconut, toasted (store-bought or see recipe for instructions)
1¾ cups (350 grams) sugar
1 cup (250 grams) water
3½ tablespoons (70 grams) glucose or corn syrup
2 tablespoons (30 grams) butter, room temperature
2½ cups (250 grams) desiccated coconut
For the coating:
1 cup (100 grams) desiccated coconut
A few drops of food coloring or raspberry syrup
- Toast the coconut: Preheat a dry pan over medium heat, then pour the desiccated coconut in an even layer. Toast until golden, stirring occasionally to prevent it from burning. Cool.
- Place the sugar, water, and glucose/corn syrup in a small pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes and remove from the heat. If using a candy thermometer, bring the mixture to 230F (110C).
- Place the desiccated coconut (both toasted and untoasted) and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix to combine. While continuously stirring, add the syrup and mix for 2-3 minutes more.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Prepare the coating: Meanwhile, place the desiccated coconut and raspberry syrup or food coloring in a bowl and mix well with your hands. For consistent coloring, it’s best to wear gloves during this process.
- Once cool, divide the coconut mixture into 30 equal pieces and roll to evenly-sized logs. The mixture will still be a little warm and stick — that’s ok. Evenly coat the logs in the pink coconut mixture to cover and transfer to a tray. Allow to set for a few hours at room temperature before serving or store the candy bars in an airtight container for up to two weeks or even longer.