The idea to create my own coconut for baking never really occurred to me, but after reading how easy and tasty it was on the Cupcake Project I knew I had to try it. She is also responsible for me making my own Oreo cookies and well, that certainly turned out awesome.
The key to finding a good coconut in the store (which we found out after purchasing ours) is to shake it and listen for the juice inside, you should hear it. If you don’t the coconut is dry and probably not usable, hence the prop coconut you see in the cupcake pictures.
The process went rather smoothly, once your coconut is bought, you poke a hole in one of its little eyes (I know sounds gruesome). My husband took his drill and made a hole but you could also take a clean screw driver and a hammer to it. Around here power tools rule so we went that route. Once you have a hole you then take the coconut and put the hole over a glass and let it drain. Once all the coconut water is out you then take it outside, or in the garage as we did and bash the sucker against the cement. It will split open, you then collect your pieces and head to the sink.
Then the process of removing the shell from the flesh begins, this is definitely the least fun part, so if possible have your significant other do it. 🙂 A butter knife works well for this process. Once the shell is popped off, you then take a veggie peeler and peel away the brown skin. Then rinse all the pieces and dry them on a paper towel. If you do not have a food processor then you will have to shred it by hand (sorry) but if you do have one just use the shredder attachment, if you don’t you can chop it instead. If you chop it the coconut will be slightly chunkier and not as pretty, in my opinion.
Next, measure your coconut (so you know how much sugar to add) and put it in a saucepan with whatever coconut water you go out of the shell. You then add 1/3 the amount of sugar as coconut. (example: 2 cups coconut = 2/3 cup of sugar) At this point I added some water because I didn’t seem to get much coconut water out of my shells compared to the amount of coconut and I didn’t want it to burn in the pan. I added enough water in to be soupy-see picture below. You then bring it to a boil and then turn it down to low and let it simmer uncovered for about and hour, best to read that part before 11:30 at night,(mine was on med/low to get a good simmer). The liquid should turn into a syrup, drain that out and save for whatever you want- its delicious. Next lay the coconut out on a cookie sheet to dry overnight. On the other blogs the coconut turned a yellowish color, mine however remained white, I have no idea why but it still tasted wonderful so I really didn’t care. Use it, refrigerate it or freeze it.
Source: Cupcake Project