I have always wondered why some of our dishes have been relegated to obscurity. Perhaps is the humble provenance of those dishes, something we have written about before, that keeps them away from the refined table. Maybe it’s time the revolution reached the cupboards.
Jalao (Coconut and Honey Candy) is one such humble dish that still languishes as colmado fare, and although a childhood favorite with its fresh taste and chewy texture, it is never served to guests. A shame really.
It’s funny how we strive to cook and serve some of our most complicated desserts, which become a source of headache and much rendering of garments amongst our beginner cooks.
I suggest that if you are new to cooking you might start with the simple recipes; they might not impress your guests with your culinary prowess in the same way as a properly-made tres leches, but they will enjoy the simpler ones all the same.
Can we perhaps re-discover these dishes, present them in a dignified manner and serve them with pride?
- 1 teaspoon of oil
- 2 1/4 cups coarse coconut flakes , divided
- 1 cup of dark honey
- 1 tablespoon of finely grated ginger
Grease a tray with the oil.
Mix in honey, 2 cups of coconut flakes and ginger. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it starts boiling stir vigorously until the honey has turned a very dark caramel color (about 5 minutes).
Pour the mixture on the oiled tray. Cool to room temperature.
Cover your hands with a bit of oil and make balls about 1.5 in [4 cm] in diameter. Rest on the oiled tray.
Serve at room temperature. For a bit of contrast you can sprinkle with coconut flakes.
This can also be made with molasses, but frankly I dislike molasses very much and couldn't bring myself to even try.
The color of your jalaos will depend on the color of the honey you use.