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Vietnamese Coconut Caramels

Vietnamese Coconut Caramels

I learned how to make these caramels during my stay on An Binh island in the Mekong River Delta. This region lives for their sweets, most of which contain coconut for its creaminess and richness. These caramels are soft, chewy, have that distinct coconut flavor that I crave. They also happen to be vegan.

Wrapping the candies in rice paper is important because it helps them keep their shape (they'll puddle formlessly without it) and it's edible. You can add whatever flavoring you like but they're delicious on their own. If you do choose to add something extra, use a heavy hand and a flavor that can stand up to the coconut.


Ingredients

  • Mature coconuts
  • Mango syrup
  • Sugar
  • Flavoring (optional): choose between ginger powder, cocoa powder, etc. 
  • Rice paper

Directions

  1. Scoop meat out of mature coconuts, grind into shreds, and press to extract coconut milk. Continue until you have 1 cup of coconut milk, or use pre-packaged coconut milk.
  2. In a pot over medium heat, combine 1 cup coconut milk, 3/4 cup mango syrup, and 1/4 cup sugar. Add flavoring if desired. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring constantly, until caramel has thickened. 
  3. Pour caramel mixture onto a flat cooking sheet and let cool for 2 minutes. Cut a strip, move it to another flat cooking sheet, and cut into 1-inch chunks. Let cool and wrap in rice paper.
Mekong River Delta

Mekong River Delta

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City