Cheers for cocoa and coconut
Last week I discovered something new on our already well-stocked local supermarket shelves — ready-to-eat dried young coconut chunks. Fleshy, moreish and versatile, the chunks are great chopped into salads, salsas or stews, added to smoothies or enjoyed as a snack.
Roasted coconut chips are also relatively new and add tropical-flavoured garnishes to pavs, pastries, soups, stir-fries and sweet or savoury salads. I normally store them in a jar in the fridge to keep them crisp and fresh.
Fine desiccated coconut — the dried and grated flesh — is graded by size. It’s the everyday coconut to be used in most baking and desserts. The longer shredded variety — sometimes called long thread coconut — provides character for sweet treats in the form of coatings or garnishes.
Dutch processed cocoa powder is also a relative newcomer to supermarket shelves. It’s the bakers’ choice because of its bitter-sweet flavour and dark chocolate colour. It’s also gluten-free.
Dutch cocoa undergoes a process to neutralize the acids making it mellow in flavour and much darker than common cocoa powder. Because it is neutral and does not react with baking soda, Dutch cocoa should be used in recipes containing baking powder, unless there are other acidic ingredients in sufficient quantities.
Refreshing and moreish. Get the recipe
Self-saucing winners. Get the recipe