A few years ago I wanted to introduce my kids to being in the kitchen, I needed something relatively easy, fun and, most of all, yummy for the kids to make. I wanted them to enjoy being in the kitchen. To feel the satisfaction of making something people enjoy eating. My mom, in her infinite culinary wisdom, came up with the perfect project, her heritage Coconut Ice recipe. The kids have been asking to do it again, so this time we make it into a Christmas themed coconut ice!
No Bake Heritage Recipe for Christmas
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Now of course we can’t just make something, we need to bring in the science! We’ve had a blast exploring candy science, so it only made sense to embrace the science in this kitchen activity too.
At first glance it would seem that this candy has no science. You don’t cook it or try to change the chemical makeup of the ingredients in any way. But the science secret in coconut ice is that all the crystallization is done before it gets to us. The condensed milk is the magic ingredient that brings the science to our tasty dessert.
Condensed milk is cow milk that has been evaporated to the point where the moisture content is less than half of the original milk. Then sugar is added and slowly cooked. The finished product has crystallized lactose (sugar produced by the milk). The result is a stable sweet creamy milk that has produced many dessert wonders like candy, fudges, and sweet baked goods.
The best part is that since since you don’t cook this dessert even your littles can help make it! This is an easy and safe project for all ages.
Coconut Ice Supplies
1 loaf pan
Spatulas or spoons for mixing
Plastic wrap for lining the pan
Large bowl for mixing and two smaller bowls for colouring
Coconut Ice Ingredients
1 can (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk
3 cups of icing sugar
3 cups of desiccated unsweetened coconut
Christmas No Bake Coconut Ice Recipe
Prepare the loaf pan by lining it with two layers of plastic wrap.
In a large bowl mix the condensed milk with the sugar. Mix until you have a smooth paste.
Add the coconut and mix well.
Split the mixture into two bowls.
Colour one bowl by adding a small amount of icing color and mixing thoroughly. The amount you use depends on the depth of color you want and the quality of your food colouring.
Now it’s time to make the loaf! To get a nice effect we want to layer it and create nice lines, but you can do this part however you want and create your own look.
We took half of the colored mix and pressed it into the bottom of the pan. Then We took half of the white mixture and pressed onto the colored mixture.
Finally we repeated those steps again to create another green and another white layer.
In the morning remove it from the loaf pan. Using a sharp knife cut into slices approximately 1/2 inch thick.
Enjoy! Goes great with a warm cup of hot chocolate while sitting around the Christmas tree.
MORE KITCHEN FUN AND LEARNING
A delicious, easy, no bake treat.
- 1/2 cup condensed milk
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut unsweetened
Prepare an 8 inch square pan by covering the inside with 2 sheets of plastic wrap.
Mix the condensed milk and the sugar in a bowl until smooth.
Add the coconut and stir until all the ingredients are blended.
Put half of the mixture into the prepared pan and press down until smooth and even.
Add two drops of food colouring to the remainder of the mixture and mix until blended.
Place this on top of the white mixture and spread until even.
Refrigerate for two hours.
Remove from the pan onto a flat surface. Remove the plastic wrap and slice into squares.
Note: Technically there is no such thing as “unsweetened condensed milk”, it is always sweetened. Condensed milk is heated with sugars until it’s the consistency of heavy cream with 11 – 12 gms of sugar per tablespoon. Not to be confused with evaporated milk which is simply cooked to reduce the amount of water in the milk. Sugar is often added but in much less quantities – 1 gm per tablespoon. This gives evaporated milk a much thinner consistency. They are very different products. We did try both evaporated and condensed milk in creating this recipe and condensed milk produced a much higher quality result.