I found a great recipe for coconut jam in The Guardian. It could have been fabliss except for the nostril-flaring amounts of white sugar. My mouth felt like a badger’s arse afterwards with all that clawing sweetness, fuzz-bombing my tongue.
Spices can add great complexity to a dish, and can happily negate the need to knock us out with sweetness. So I switched the white stuff for coconut sugar, halved the amount of sweetness, and added cardamom to make the coconut sing. The result? A requiem for MacGyver.
Coconut sugar is a great sub for anyone looking to keep blood sugars a little more subdued. We’re not looking at a health food here – just a less evil variety of sweetener than that bad white bitch. This new exotic sugar is tastier than white sugar, and sufficiently pretentious to earn bragging rights with that annoying athletic dude in your office.
True disciples carry little dinky pouches of coconut sugar around in their hemp-woven tote bags, to sprinkle into beverages and conversations during the day. Let’s all blame Gwynnie (a favourite hobby of my husband’s).
Coconut sugar’s unique minerally taste comes from its modest stash of, erm, minerals. There’s a snifter of potassium, iron and zinc in there, causing great pandemonium among the glitterati in LA.
Aside from its titillating nutritional profile, this is one very tasty sugar with an equally spectacular price tag. So the fantastical fairy tale ends there I’m afraid. Gram for gram, it’s more expensive than quinoa hand-harvested by Justin Bieber.
Cardamom and Coconut Custard
You can release your inner MacGyver too, and switch the cardamom for cinnamon or chai spices. Or a DVD boxset of The Fall. Tag me on your instagram feed so I get to highfive your genius #thevirtuoustart @susanjanekitchen
2 cardamom pods
400ml really good coconut milk (I buy mine in tetra packs at Asian stores)
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
60g – 70g coconut sugar
Squares of dark chocolate, to serve
Gently coax the black seeds from the cardamom pods. Crush with the base of a wine bottle, or something equally as lethal. Add to the coconut milk, egg yolks and coconut sugar.
You’ll need a shallow bowl to fit snugly over a saucepan of barely simmering water. The water needs to be maximum 1 inch deep. Stir with a metal whisk when the sugar has dissolved, to prevent the mixture curdling. It’s almost like making lemon curd.
Move constantly until the mixture thickens like a custard, and coats the back of a spoon – about 8 minutes. Podcasts are really useful at this stage, because you can’t neglect the cooking process, even for 10 seconds.
Pour into little pots or espresso cups, and set in a fridge. Serve with squares of pitch dark chocolate. Fab stuff.