In Victorian times the coconut shy was a popular feature at fairgrounds in the UK. You paid a few pennies to throw something at a coconut in the hope of knocking it over and taking it home as a prize. I remember this was still around when I was a child.
This led to the widespread popularity of desiccated coconut and the increased use of it in British cuisine. I remember the first time I made coconut ice, it was in my cookery lesson at Wembley High School and I was sharing a kitchen with my friend Susan Vernall. I’m now posting it here for Sue’s niece Janine Be who asked me for the recipe. Happy Cooking Janine.
Unfortunately I didn’t have the pink food dye required so substituted it with a red dye instead.
1 lb granulated sugar (454 g)
5 oz (141 g)
1/4 pint milk (150 ml)
Pink food colouring
Butter a shallow tin.
Place the sugar and milk in a saucepan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to the boil and cook gently until a little of the mixture dropped in cold water forms a soft ball.
Remove from heat and stir in the coconut.
Pour half the mixture into the buttered tin.
Add a few drops of the food colouring to the remaining mixture, stir and then gently pour over the first half of mixture in the tin.
Mark into bars (or small bite sized squares) and leave to cool. Cut when cold.