After our healthy spin on the famous peanut drops, we thought of sharing another tasty Caribbean recipe with you: Jamaican coconut drops! What's this, you ask? It's a chewy coconut candy coated in crunchy caramel and seasoned with fragrant Jamaican spices. Simply irresistible!
The most important thing in this recipe is getting the coconut bits to stick together and keep the candy from crumbling. We spent a full day testing and optimising this recipe. Our goal? To make 100% error-proof and also a bit healthier.
Here's what we have done:
We cut the coconut into long strips instead of the cubes you see in the classic recipe. Using strips is smart because you get a much larger contact surface between the coconut bits. The coconut strips get entangled and form a sturdy "lattice", similar to hash browns.
We quickly dehydrated the coconut strips to keep the candy from sogging later on.
We tested various ingredients and cooking techniques to minimise both cooking time and the amount of sugar needed. We ended up using maple syrup for minimum effort, but we'll show you how to make the syrup yourself with sugar and water if you prefer.
We think you'd be quite proud of the effort! Our Jamaican coconut and ginger candies have fewer sugars than the traditional ones and take less than half the time to prepare. They are also very firm and will keep crunchy for days.
Interestingly, we could actually cut sugars by 100% by preparing the syrup with erythritol (a safe zero-sugar sweetener) instead of sugar. Still, we stuck with the more traditional ingredients to keep the recipe simple and accessible. But do feel free to try out this variation for an even healthier treat! We'll leave some instructions in the tips section.