Monday, 12 August 2013

Variations on a Theme: Neapolitan Coconut Ice

Yes, yes: I know I'm going on a little coconut ice trip recently, but it's totally delicious! This recipe is a little different from the traditional kind, as it uses a little cocoa powder, too. Introducing Neapolitan coconut ice!

Once I saw the usually white and pink coconut ice, it instantly made me think of the white, pink and brown striped appearance of Neapolitan ice-cream. Here in Ireland, Neapolitan ice-cream is actually vanilla, strawberry and lemon, making a white-pink-yellow appearance, but lemon doesn't go so well with coconut in my opinion; lime, yes, but lemon not so much.

This is made in three layers, like the usual two layers but with an extra chocolatey stripe. Because cocoa powder overpowers any already present colour, it can go into the pink mixture so you don't have to make another batch of ice. Just one third kept white, remaining two thirds coloured pink, pink third poured out, and remaining third coloured and flavoured with cocoa powder and set into the tin. Simples!

This is a little more fiddly than the usual coconut ice, but it's totally worth it!

  • Make a quantity of coconut ice mixture according to this recipe, and stop before you do any pouring into tins or colouring of any kind.
  • Now, it's time for a little bit of maths. Overall, the weight of the entire mixture will be 24 ounces (680 grammes), so each coloured layer will be roughly 8 ounces (225 grammes). However, the chocolate layer will need to be a little thicker for two reasons: a) because most tins widen out as they get taller, so the chocolate layer will be thinner as a result, and b) there will be two layers of straight out coconut versus one layer of chocolate flavoured, so if it's a little thicker you'll get a little more chocolatiness.
  • So, set your 8 inch square tin (20 centimetre) on a weighing scales and set to zero. Take the raw, white coconut mixture and pour in 7 ounces (200 grammes) of the mixture into the tin and flatten out with a spoon.
  • Return the rest of the mixture to a low heat (just to keep it soft) and add in a few drops of food colouring to make it a delicate pink colour. Pour in another 7 or 8 ounces (200 or 225 grammes) of the pink mixture on top of the white. Flatten out with a spoon.
  • Once again, return the mixture to a low heat and add 2 tablespoons (60 millilitres) of sieved cocoa powder; mix well but gently to thoroughly combine, then pour this remaining mixture out onto the pink layer, flattening out with the spoon.
  • Leave to set as directed in the recipe.

And there you have it! Stripy coconut ice with an added cocoa flavoured layer. The texture of the chocolate layer is a little crumblier than the other two layers, due to the added cocoa powder and also the prolonged mixing, but it still holds up and has a delicate melt-in-the-mouth texture. I could eat a whole batch by myself, but I don't recommend that course of action!

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