Serve these to guests as they stream in. Colour them pink and put them in a bag with a pretty ribbon, and they become irresistible gifts. They should keep for up to five days in the fridge.
Makes about 2 dozen
• 450g grated coconut (available from wet markets)
• 2½ cups sugar
• ¾ cup evaporated milk
• 4 tbsps butter
• ½ tsp vanilla essence
• A pinch of salt
• 1 to 2 drops of food colouring
1. Place coconut, sugar, salt and evaporated milk in a saucepan and heat over medium fire for about 15 minutes until mixture thickens. Stir often to ensure that it does not burn.
2. Add butter, food colouring and vanilla essence, and cook for another 5 minutes until the mixture is very thick and firm. It may be hard to stir at this point and the mixture should separate from the sides of the bowl in a lump.
3. Grease a 20cm tray or line with greaseproof paper.
4. Place the hot coconut mixture into the tray and press down firmly and evenly.
5. Leave aside for 10 minutes, then cut into squares. Allow it to cool completely — it will harden a little more. Store in an airtight container.