Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Whip it Up Wednesday - Coconut Burfi

Before: Plucked from the palm, a raw coconut.

During: Shredded coconut, plucked from the grocer's shelf.

Coconut Burfi - Slightly adapted from Savoring the Spice Coast of India - Fresh Flavors from Kerala


1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
3 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup non-fat milk powder
1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Carefully add the sugar and water to a heavy, large saucepan. You do not have to stir to combine; the sugar will melt and mix with the water as it heats. Cook the sugar water over medium heat for approximately 17 minutes, until thickened and slightly golden colored, to the one thread stage. (223 - 234 degrees F on a candy thermometer. For those inexperienced with candymaking, a thermometer is a godsend, but not essential.)

Combine the half and half and the powdered milk in a small bowl, mixing to dissolve the milk. As soon as the sugar syrup reaches the right consistency, quickly add the shredded coconut, then the dairy mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir the coconut and syrup mixture over medium heat until the mixture thickens somewhat, then stir in the ghee and vanilla extract. It will turn a very pale ivory color. Again, continue to stir until the mixture thickens considerably and dries out to at least 1/3 less than its original volume. It will start to get close to completion when you can see the bottom of the saucepan as you drag the spoon across it, and the bubbling, lava-like edges of the mixture disappear. I let the mixture set a moment to toast it slightly darker. This also helped to dry it out more. Turn out the mixture into a cake pan (approximately 9 inches) lined with well-greased parchment paper or foil, spreading it evenly. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before scoring the burfi into squares, diamonds or triangles. Do not fully cut through. Allow it to cool another 10 minutes, then cut around the circumference to loosen the burfi from the pan. Turn out the burfi onto a cutting surface to complete cutting through the shapes. Peel off the parchment paper or foil. Makes approximately 16 squares. --
After: The sweetest, buttery blond fudge, plucked from the pan.

This post is being sent to Jyothsna, hosting January's RCI (Regional Cuisines of India) featuring the cooking of Kerala.

Been There, Done That ~

Anise Turkish Delight

Other People's Eats ~


Coconut Cake

[Whip It Up Wednesday is an occasional post featuring recipes that only look like you slaved over them all day. Don't be daunted. Even though this involves careful watching, this is an easy recipe that will be ready in about an hour.]


Nanditha Prabhu said...

when i first glanced at the picture of the shredded coconut , i said wow! u have shredded it perfectly! then i saw the caption down"picked from the grocers"....:)
i hail from kerala and anything with coconut is my absolute favourite. pass me the slice please..........

Dhanggit said...

wheh i saw the photo of the coconut ..i was thinking OMG Susan how will you cut this thing up!! then i saw the shredded coconut "down picked from the grocers" made me laugh..anyways your photos are always jealous!!! you need to tell me your the way this coconut cake looks heavenly delicious!!!
come to think of it..i would buy a coconut tomorow in the market and try to cut it up and i'll do a post on it..we'll see how i will mess it up...hope i wont cut my fingers hahaha

ps, thanks for all your kind words really happy to be back

Ann said...

Delicious-looking, even if I did misread the title to say "coconut barfa"! (It's early and I have not yet had any coffee.)

Asha said...

It's a popular delicacy in Karnataka too where there are many coconut farms as well. Always loved this as a child. You have made them perfectly.Are you sure you are not a Indian?:D
I have enabled the comments now and back with a bang! Have a great weekend Susan!:)

TBC said...

That is a good-looking burfi, Susan. I have a version on my blog too if you are interested:-)
BTW, is that a kitchen towel you have placed the burfi on? It looks so beautiful, and did you know that those are the colors of the Indian flag- saffron, white and green.:-)
Love the presentation!

Richa said...

yummm :) like this coconut burfi a lot & i just regaled my college exp of eating this every single day :) i mk the cardamom version :)

Mansi Desai said...

that looks fabulous Susan!! I made coconut laddoos (balls) and these burfis, as we call it in India, are my absolute favorites!

your pic looks awesome with that colorful background:)

Suganya said...

Susan, I admire your dedication. You go to great lengths to learn new cuisines. Burfi is such a traditional Indian sweet. Those pics evoke so many memories - childhood and mom :(

The Passionate Palate said...

Never knew of these before. They look deeeeelicious!

Superchef said... granmom used to make these whenever we went to visit her for hols...the presentation is awesome! :)

Lucy said...

Isn't 'burfi' the most musical of words?

Just bought everything I need for this. Will report back - can't wait to try it.

Kevin said...

That coconut burfi looks really good.

Laurie Constantino said...

I've never heard of coconut burfa before, but now that I have, I want it bad! This looks incredibly good. I'm getting a sugar rush just looking at the picture...

Rachel said...

I love coconut burfi..and yours look perfectly done..I wish I got shredded coconut from the grocery!!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Mmmmmm.... This takes me back to my trip to India last year... Looks delicious, and contains all the ingredients I love. I look forward to giving it a try!

NĂºria said...

Never heard of coconut burfi before but it does look great! My dauther would love it, even her cologne is coconut smell!!!!!

Vaishali said...

Susan, This burfi brings back lots of memories- it looks delectable. I would love to try out a vegan version of coconut burfi by perhaps substituting some cashew or almond powder for the milk...

Cynthia said...

Like Nanditha, I too thought - what perfect shreds, Susan has made :) Nevermind honey, I enjoyed all your plucking!

Sylvia said...

Looks delicious Susan. Reminds me a brazilian treat called "cocada" made with coconut, sugar , condensed milk or water.
Everything that have fresh coconut I love

Susan said...

Hi, Nanditha. I’ve always wanted to use fresh coconut, knowing it is generally superior to processed products…but once I got it home, I realized there was no way I was going to crack it open without seriously injuring myself. : ) I’m pretty fond of coconut myself. Glad to learn you hail from Kerala.
Dhanggit – How, indeed, will Susan cut this thing up?! Well, still waiting. It is a beautiful specimen, full of milk, but I haven’t got a clue how to open it. I’m thinking screwdriver and hammer to drill the holes to drain it, and then wrap it in a clean towel before smashing it w/ a mallet? Hmmm…Promise me you will be careful if you take it on.

That coconut cake is a beauty, BTW. I’ve made it twice, but Asha had the good sense to post on it before devouring it. : )

Oh, and the photos are all about practice and experimenting, really.
Thanks, Ann. I can be dyslexic before coffee, too. ; D
Asha – Thank you. Yes, I’m sure I am not Indian, but you wouldn’t know it given how much I enjoy the fabulous recipes. Back from your blogging vacation already?
Hi, TBC. Thanks. I’ll go have a look at your recipe. That colorful background it actually a paper napkin. I keep many of them for this purpose. It happened to go best w/ the burfi…little did I know, but, of course, it IS the Indian flag!
Hi, Richa. Cardamom..yummm is right! I’ll be trying it again sometime. It was too good not to repeat.
Thanks, Mansi. I will in time try laddoos, too. I’ve never had them. I have a feeling I’m missing a lot. : )
Hi, Suganya. Thanks. I am nothing if not determined; it’s true. It’s so enjoyable to explore and create things that haven’t been in your own backyard. There’s a world out there that I want to be a part of without any disrespect to my own culinary heritage or others that are a bit on the back burner for the moment.

Food does have such a hook to feeling, place and people, doesn’t it?
Thanks, Jeni. To know them is to love them. : )
Thank you, Superchef. That is a very dear grandmother of yours. : }
Consider yourself snagged, Lucy. You will either love me in the morning or take me to task for luring you into calories that have no end. This stuff is drop-dead delish. Let’s compare notes.
Thank you, Kevin!
Thanks, Laurie. It’s powerfully sweet, slightly chewy, moist, yet crumbly.
Hi, Rachel. Thank you. It did come out well, I must say. I saved myself a lot of wear and tear by getting the shredded coconut.
Thanks, A Forkful of Spaghetti. There are other burfi to try, but coconut is a favorite w/ me, too.
Thanks, Nuria. I still use suntan lotion that smells of coconut. It’s the best!
Vaishali – Thank you. Nut powder sounds like a perfect vegan alternative, but I wonder if there is such a thing as soy milk powder. That might work, too.
Cynthia – Well, they are perfect shreds – they just are’t mine. LOL!
Thanks, Sylvia. I know there are many fine Latin coconut sweets, too. I love them all.

Nanditha Prabhu said...

I wish i was there to help you break up that coconut. back at home we have many rituals where breaking a coconut before the elephant god is consider like warding away all obstacles...we even used half of coconut as lamps during special occasions.. if i pen down all that its going to be yet another post. here in US i had not any instrument to break a coconut so i use a hammer. i will tel u a trick...have you see the three eye of the coconut close one of the eyes with you thumb holding the whole coconut in your palm.and just use a hammer to hit at the middle of the line which parts the coconut.did you get it? or did i confuse you? try to close the eye which singles out and it usually breaks into exact half.if it still doesnt work let me know..:)

Johanna said...

That photo with the coloured plate looks so festive and lovely that I would have a piece. Also love the idea of having a theme for posts!

Patricia Scarpin said...

This candy reminds of the "cocada" we have in Brazil, Susan - I know it would be a hit here!

Nora B. said...

Beautiful photos, Susan. It's eye candy to me! I can browse you blog all day, but then I would get hungry too. These burfi looks so tempting. I can imagine that the texture from the shredded coconut would make this such a pleasure to bite into.

p/s: I just got back from vacation and I am glad that I haven't missed the legume affair event. Will do my best to post something soon.

Ricki said...

this is so beautiful! I only wish I liked coconut!

Toni said...

I absolutely adore coconut! And plucking it from the grocer's shelf is my favored method of stocking it in my pantry!

Love the photos, as usual!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

What a coincidence! I just made coconut shrimp last night while my mom was visiting, and we got into this whole discussion about the superior taste of fresh coconut. I'll take your delicious post as a sign that I need to buy a coconut!

Shaun said...

Susan, lovie ~ The interesting thing about this particular post is that my mother made these for me as a kid, for I have always had a great love for it (and licorice). The strange thing is that if I were now to tell my mother that she used to make me Indian sweets, she would wonder what I'm talking about. I'm sure she got the recipe from some standard Kiwi cookbook or magazine cutout, and I'm sure it would not have been called burfi, but rather something that is anglocised and strips it of its provenance. Interesting childhood memories are flooding back...
I'm tempted to make them...
Thanks for the memories and photos to go with.

Emiline said...

Hallelujah does this look good! I'm a sucker for coconut.

Christina said...

YUM. Like a coconut macaroon, but not. Oh, this looks delicious.

Susan said...

Nanditha – I will try your method when I finally get up the courage. So far, I do follow you. ; ) There is a part of me, though, that doesn’t want to dash its pretty head in.
Hi, Johanna. Thanks. Themes are fun sometimes. Good to see you.
Oh, I do know how Latins love their creamy sweets, Patricia!
Thank you, Nora. Browse away – that’s what it’s here for.
: ) The texture of these is fantastic, I must say.
Thanks, Ricki. Burfi can be made in many other flavors, too.
Thanks, Toni. Sometimes you just have to reach for the convenience.
Hi, Susan. First licorice, now coconut. You and your mom have the most excellent taste.
Hi, Shaun. You, too, with the licorice AND coconut? I do hope you make these, perhaps for your mom? They are THAT good, perfection. They were gobbled up in no time. I’m so glad the post tripped your memory wires.
Welcome, Emiline! You will not regret the extra effort to make this, a coconut lover’s dream. Thanks for your visit!
Yes, Christina, sort of like a coconut macaroon, except with a creamery flavor that is impossible to resist. Thanks!

Srivalli said...

susan..thats such a lovely round up..and a great job!..thanks for having such a fund thing..