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Monday, October 17, 2011

How to Toast Coconut

The other day I needed to make toasted coconut and realized I'd never made it before. After reading a few tutorials online I chose this one.

I set my oven to 300º using the convection setting which is my favorite setting for just about everything.

I placed the shredded coconut on a jelly roll sheet as opposed to a baking sheet because its higher sides would help to prevent spilling the coconut as I stirred it to help evenly brown it. I proceeded to bake the coconut tossing it with a small spatula every 4 minutes or so.

It took longer than the instructions said it would. I spent 35 minutes continuously baking and stirring the coconut.

Here's the best tip I can give you: When you are toasting ingredients whether it's shredded coconut, sesame seeds, nuts or carmalizing sugar, do NOT multi-task. Stay focused and keep a watchful eye on what you're heating and toasting because a lot of ingredients go from barely browning to burnt in less than a minute.

My watchful eye and obsessive tossing of the coconut resulted in perfectly toasted shredded coconut! And the bonus was it made my house smell amazing!

Then I had to go to another site to learn how to properly store the coconut until I was about to use it. It appears best practices dictates storing the toasted coconut in an airtight container. You can freeze it for up to two months or leave out of the freezer and it may last a month at most. Keep in mind because it contains oil it can go rancid so I'm guessing the best thing is an airtight container stored in a cool dark place. Like a cupboard would be better than a counter top.

While you can turn your heat up higher to toast it faster I suspect you'd get a less evenly browned result so if looks matter go with the 300º and take your time.

If you use this tutorial I hope your coconut comes out crisp, sweet, toasty tasting and a beautiful golden brown!

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