Cocada (Coconut Sweet)

The "cocada" is a rustic sweet made with coconut and sugar. It has arrived in Brazil as a ritual dish - "comida dos orixás" (food of the gods) - of "Candomblé", religion brought by "Yorubas", the African ethnic group that has mostly contributed to Brazil’s cultural integration process, specially in Bahia. (Information source: “Baianas do Acarajé: Uma História de Resistência”, Carolina Cantarino, Revista Sabores do Brasil n° 13, Ministério das Relações Exteriores do Brasil) 
In the amazing cookbook of African cuisine "O Tempero da Morena", from Eunice Meneses and Sónia Trigueirão, there is a "cocada" recipe, like "bombocado" made in Brazil. The "cocada" may be "branca" (white), or "preta" (black), this latest made with caramelized sugar, and can be enriched with fruits like pineapple, passion fruit, "cupuaçu", etc ...

Ingredients

Preparation method

1. Open the coconut and peel away the brown skin just from half coconut. Keep the coconut brown skin on its remaining half. Grate the coconut (separate peeled flesh from flesh with peel). We made half recipe with grated peeled coconut (white) and half recipe using grated coconut with the brown skin, to show the difference between both alternatives. 
2. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan with a thick bottom and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture "detach" from the bottom of the pan. It takes about 10 minutes. 
3. While the dough is still warm make "quenelle" shapes using two tablespoons, and arrange "cocadas" on a baking tray with baking paper. 
4. Let it air dry or sun dry. 
5. Store at room temperature. 

Note: to make "cocada preta" (black coconut sweet) the sugar should be primarily caramelized, before mixing with the other ingredients and stirring. To caramelize, put the white sugar in a saucepan in low heat, and when it starts to melt and brown, gently mix in the still other parts of not melted white sugar to make it brown. Take care to mix small quantities of white sugar with the brown melted sugar, so it won’t make crumbles. 

Yield: 10 "cocadas"
Posted on: 02 June 2012
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