How have I not experienced the phenomenon that is toasted coconut until now? The mere scent of the nutty sweetness drifting from the oven is enough to make me smile in anticipation.
Toasted Coconut Marshmallows
courtesy Gourmet Today
2 cups finely shredded dried coconut
2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes unflavoured gelatin
1 cup water
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
Put a rack in the middle of oven and preheat oven to 350F. Toast coconut on a baking sheet in oven, stirring occasionally, until golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
Lightly oil a 9-inch square baking pan. Sprinkle bottom with 1/2 cup toasted coconut.Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup water in bowl of mixer and let soften while you make syrup.
Combine sugar, corn syrup, remaining 1/2 cup water, and slat in a 1- to 2- quart heavy saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium heat, without stirring, washing down any sugar crystals from sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Insert thermometer and boil, without stirring, until it registers 240F (soft-ball stage). Remove from heat and let stand until bubbles dissipate.
With mixer at low speed, pour hot syrup into gelatin in a thin stream down side of bowl, being careful to avoid beater. Increase speed to high and beat until very thick, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla and coconut extracts and beat for 1 minute more.
Spoon marshmallow mixture over toasted coconut in baking pan and press evenly with dampened fingertips to smooth top (it will be very sticky). Sprinkle top evenly with 1/2 cup toasted coconut. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature until firm, about 2 hours.
Run a sharp knife around edges of marshmallow and invert onto a cutting board. Cut into 3/4-inch-wide strips, then cut each strip into 3/4-inch squares.Put remaining toasted coconut in a small bowl and dredge marshmallows in it to coat completely.
* To avoid stickiness, make the marshmallows on a dry day.
* The marshmallow squares keep, layered between sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place for up to 1 month.