Desiccated coconut is coconut that has been dried and grated or powdered. It is used in many different recipes. If you are having trouble finding it in the store, you can consider making your own at home. Follow these instructions to make desiccated coconut.
Ingredients and supplies.
- Bag of shredded coconut or 1 fresh coconut
- Baking sheet
- Fine grater
Prepare the coconut. If you have a bag of shredded coconut, then skip to step two. If not, you need to prepare the coconut before you can dry it. To do so, take a fresh coconut. Cut in half. Remove the husk and pour out the coconut milk from the center. Use the fine grater to grate or shred the coconut so you have small pieces.
Arrange the shredded coconut onto a baking sheet. You must spread a thin layer of loosely stacked coconut on the baking sheet. Do not clump or press together as that will keep the coconut from drying.
Heat the oven to 250 degrees then place the coconut pan inside. Bake on this low heat for five to ten minutes. The timing of this depends greatly on how moist the coconut was to begin with and how humid your climate is so you need to pay attention and check the coconut often. You aren't cooking the coconut, just drying it out a bit. Once dry it should be brittle to the touch instead of creamy. Remove from the oven.
Transfer the coconut to a bowl. If your recipe calls for the desiccated coconut to be shredded then you have what you need. Some recipes call for the coconut to be dusted on like a powder. For those recipes you will need to go one additional step forward.
Use a spoon to crush the coconut shreds against the side of the bowl. The coconut is dry so it should crumble into a fine dust with just a little pressure from the spoon. Otherwise, you can also grind it to a coarse or fine powder as required in a food processor.
Desiccated coconut can be used in recipes ranging from sponge cakes to curries. You can make your own desiccated coconut whenever you need to make recipes where desiccated coconut is a requirement.