Coconut is relished fresh or desiccated, as coconut cream, cream of coconut, coconut syrup, coconut milk or simply as grated coconut. Sweetened cream of coconut is essentially a thick paste of fresh coconut and is a vital ingredient in "mocktails" -- mixed non-alcoholic beverages, cocktails and desserts. Cream of coconut is commercially available at liquor stores and confectioners in both liquid and powdered forms. Often, it is difficult to get sweetened cream of coconut, but it is possible to make sweetened cream of coconut with ingredients that are readily available.
Sweetened Condensed Milk
Prepare coconut extract by blending grated fresh coconut to a fine paste. Coconut extract is also readily available. Add sweetened condensed milk to the coconut extract. This smooth, thick, sweet paste can be used in lieu of sweetened cream of coconut.
Cream and Coconut Milk
Take one measure of full-fat whipping cream and half a measure of coconut cream powder. Blend along with one measure of canned coconut milk. Remember to use only top layer of the coconut milk without shaking the can. This blend is a good substitute for cream of coconut and can be sweetened with powdered sugar or by using sweetened cream instead of plain full-fat cream in the recipe.
Sweetened cream of coconut can be made by mixing coconut syrup, instead of sweetened condensed milk, and coconut extract. To make coconut syrup, mix 1/3 measure of water and an equal measure of sugar. Heat the mixture to melt the sugar and condense the mixture to about half its original volume. From a can of coconut milk, strain the water and retain coconut solids. Mix the solids into the syrup and blend until smooth. This blend is coconut syrup. Add coconut extract so that the syrup thickens further.
Refrigerated Coconut Milk
Prepare coconut milk by boiling equal proportions of coconut water and grated coconut kernels. Once the boiled mixture has cooled to room temperature, strain the coconut milk and refrigerate the strained liquid. The chilled liquid separates into a thick cream with thin water. Scoop out the thick cream and add sugar syrup to it to get a substitute for sweetened cream of coconut.
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