Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Klapperys (Coconut Ice)

Klapperys (Coconut Ice) [photo]

Behold the kerkbasaar (church fete). Tables as far as the eye stretches packed full of cakes, knitted toys, secondhand goods, and tiny sets of clothes for all the little girls' dolls. Lucky draws (the so-called 'tombola tafel'), the heady aroma of pancakes (crepes) sprinkled liberally with cinnamon and sugar, the sizzle of vetkoeke frying in hot oil and the comforting flavour of a good old kerrie (curry) wafting in the air. Served alongside generous spoonfuls of sliced bananas, desiccated coconut and Mrs Balls chutney of course.

And what basaar (fete) is complete without a table (or two!) groaning under the weight of homemade sweets? Marshmallows rolled in toasted coconut, creamy fudge and sweeter than sweet klapperys (coconut ice). The familiar two-tone colouring is like a beacon for the under 10 year-old set, who seizes upon the cellophane-wrapped packets before handing over their silver coins. The pretty ribbon will land unceremoniously on the floor, the cellophane will be pawed at greedily to get one's hands on the pink and white delight that is inside. Sugary sweet beyond belief with that rich coconut-y taste, it's all too easy to pop one, two and even three into your mouth within a matter of mere minutes. 

Klapperys (Coconut Ice) [photo]

Many years after my 10th birthday, I still go crazy at the sight of these tempting little bites. Even if they aren't as firmly entrenched in the South African culinary history as I would've liked to believe. Yes, coconut ice actually originates in post-war England, when sugar was once again in abundance and palates were eager to indulge after the war time restrictions. There are two versions of this recipe, one has you boil sugar and water to create a syrup before mixing in the desiccated coconut, while the other is a shortcut, using condensed milk and icing sugar in lieu of the sugar syrup. 

Truth be told, I prefer the condensed milk recipe both for convenience, flavour and texture. It is much less crumbly than the first version and consequently has a much more pleasant mouth feel and smoother appearance. And how can the sweet flavour of creamy condensed milk ever be bad? Word of warning though: these are super sweet. Let me repeat that: they are sweeter-than-sweet. So unless you're a true blue sugar addict, you might want to give these a skip. Or give them to someone who truly appreciates full-on sugary goodness. You know where to find me.

Klapperys (Coconut Ice) [photo]

Klapperys (Coconut Ice)
Adapted from Eg Afrikaans
Makes 36 - 49 blocks (depending how big you make them)

1 tin (397g) sweetened condensed milk
400g desiccated coconut*
500g icing (confectioner's) sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
few drops red food colouring

1. Mix condensed milk, coconut, icing sugar and vanilla essence together in a large bowl, using a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. I found this became quite difficult towards the end using only a spoon, so I dug in there with my hands and kind of kneaded it lightly. Worked like a charm, although you do end up with coconut-caked hands. 
2. Divide the coconut mixture in two, pressing half down into a greased, square (20cm x 20cm) dish. 
3. For the remaining coconut mixture, add a few (literally only two or three drops) of red food colouring to the mixture and, using your hands or a spoon (I found hands easier again), work into the coconut ice mixture, until the whole ball is an even light pink colour. 
4. Spoon on top of the white layer and again, press down evenly, ensuring the top is fairly smooth. Place in fridge until firm (this takes an hour or two), then cut into small squares and serve.

*In some countries this is available in sweetened or unsweetened versions. Use the unsweetened version.

For a twist on the traditional, replace the red food colouring with any colour of your choice. You could also replace the vanilla essence with any flavour of your choice. Adding cocoa powder to the bottom layer and green food colouring and peppermint essence to the top one, makes for a great flavour combo as well.

31 comments:

Scandifoodie said...

They look sooo pretty! Sounds quite sweet, but this would be a perfect party treat!

Marisa on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

Jy behoort ingelegde wingerdblare in enige groot Spar, Checkers of Pick 'n Pay te kan kry - hulle kom onder die brand "Mediterranean Delicacies" (of so iets). Jy sal dit kry by die ander deli items soos hummus, olywe en anchovies.

arcadia said...

Ek het probeer 'n comment los op die dolmade-post, maar iets sukkel, so ek vra nou sommer hier - waar het jy wingerdblare gevind? ;-)

En jou klapperys lyk pragtig.

Krystle on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

OMG! I have not made this candy for a long time...This used to be my favorite candy. I like the pink color you use, they look so attractive!

Marisa on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

Hope you enjoy 'em Laura! Thanks for stopping by .

Marisa on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

Thanks for the lovely compliment Jane-Anne! These sweets are truly a part of our South African history, aren't they?

Laura Flowers on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

Marisa these are adorable!! I love the colors and I bet they taste amazing. I think I'll print this one for Christmas candy. Thank-you!

Laura

Jane-Anne on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

Oh, Marisa, this took me back so many years. There was a corner shop (well, it was on the corner of a field) within walking distance of the house where I grew up. They always had coconut ice, and I remember admiring the pretty pinks and whites. But yours are prettier.

Juanita said...

Pretty, pretty pictures! Coconut ice makes my teeth cry unfortunately :-)

Marisa on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

Wow, your mom was quite industrious! I am in awe of anyone making preserves in bulk (or at all for that matter).

Marisa on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

Aaah condensed milk straight out of the can! An old, dear friend of mine, that.

Kamini Pather on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

I am reminded of the year my mum made lemon curd, vegetable atchar, spicy kumquat pickle and a host of other bottles preserves to sell at our school fete. Thanks for the trip down memory lane :)

Jessica said...

*sqeeeeee* I LOVE coconut ice! What could possibly be better than condensed milk conveniently binded by coconut? (condensed milk straight out of the can, but that tends to be frowned upon *sigh*)
I sincerely hope that I will be able to try out your recipe soon!

Marisa on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

Your grandpa was a man of fine tastes I see. :-)

Marisa on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

Oooh yes, how could I forget bazaar pudding! Classic stuff.

TotallyCooked said...

thank you - so keen to make this

Ally said...

M, this is sooo beautiful! Yummy! :)

Hardspear said...

You forgot the bazaar pudding, sosaties & wors.

I too prefer the condensed milk coconut ice.

Rosemary Gough on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

This was my late grandfather's favourite, my Mom used to make it for all the time when she was a kid. As a true sugar addict, I also love the creamy flavour of the coconut with condense milk. Love pictures.

Marisa on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

Have tried the chocolate layer myself, but paired it with the traditional white. Read about the peppermint layer somewhere and really sounds like it would be great in combination with the chocolate. I'm definitely giving it a whirl!

Marisa on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

Hey, you've got Reese's peanut butter cups. I think it's a fair trade? :-) Nothing stopping you from making these though - it really is super quick & easy to do.

Marisa on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

Shh, don't tell anyone, but licking the mixture of your fingers after you've made it, is probably the best part!

Arnold on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

I am slightly older than ten but I struggle to walk past these when I find them, I simply have to buy a packet or two. I like the idea of chocolate and green layers, that is something I have not seen before.

Joanne Bruno on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

Why oh why do we not have these in the US? I love anything coconutty and the fact that they're so cute and pink never really hurts anything. These look, well, dreamy delicious.

Ishay Govender-Ypma on October 17, 2010 11:31 a.m. said...

Pretty as a picture! Also a childhood favourite...licking the condensed milk off my fingers. Thanks for the memories!

Tania said...

@Eliana, you are right, these are the perfect sweet treat. I made them yesterday and they are very yummy!
@Marisa, thanx for a great recipe, I'm sure these will definately be a hit at the school tuck shop!!!!

Eliana on October 24, 2010 3:16 a.m. said...

Since I love all things coconut, these look like the perfect sweet treat.

Tania said...

I'm definately making these today!!!

Marisa on October 26, 2010 7:57 a.m. said...

Glad you liked 'em Tania! You're right, these are a hit at tuck shops.

TotallyCooked said...

made this yesterday, so easy - so, so divine - thank you

Marisa on October 26, 2010 7:57 a.m. said...

My pleasure! Glad you enjoyed the candies.

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