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Noxious coconut


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Betts

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 05:17 PM

What is the eye and throat burning gas that's emitted from coconut as it is starting to brown. I have one sheet pan in the oven and it's problematic but what do the big guys do when it's a quantity recipe? I have a popular recipe for toasted coconut macadamia macaroons and they are simple except for the toasting step.

Also - is there a way to get almost perfectly evenly browned coconut?

Betts

#2 tan319

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 07:08 PM

What is the eye and throat burning gas that's emitted from coconut as it is starting to brown. I have one sheet pan in the oven and it's problematic but what do the big guys do when it's a quantity recipe? I have a popular recipe for toasted coconut macadamia macaroons and they are simple except for the toasting step.

Also - is there a way to get almost perfectly evenly browned coconut?

Betts

Very carefully with much moving around of the coconut shreds.
Once you start getting a lttle color that's when you start rotating and respreading the coconut to evenly color.
Once you get there spread the toasted coconut onto a cool pan or surface because it will continue to brown or cook if left on a hot pan.
As for the noxious fumes, I've never noticed them unless it was a fresh coconut that was beginning to rot.
Perhaps you're allergic?
2317/5000

#3 elyse

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 07:16 PM

Interesting. I've never heard of this.

#4 tryska

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 06:11 AM

me either.

it is possible the coconut is starting to rot, or that you are allergic, or perhaps it's burning a bit.

#5 Bond Girl

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 07:12 AM

Betts, will you share your recipe? I love macaroons.
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#6 Betts

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Posted 08 December 2003 - 03:59 PM

This has happened every time I've made this recipe - upwards of 10 times and it is what makes frequent stirring an issue. Every time a fresh package of coconut. The fumes disappear about 10 minutes into the toasting and there is no problem when the cookies are baking.

This is more of a mystery than I thought.

#7 tryska

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Posted 08 December 2003 - 04:00 PM

packaged coconut? the sweetened kind?

#8 Betts

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Posted 08 December 2003 - 04:17 PM

For all who are interested .....I have a small catering business and these are VERY popular with customers.

Cconut Macadamia Macaroons

3 c sweetened flaked coconut
1 c salted macadamia nuts, chopped

2/3 c. sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg whites
pinch salt

6 oz semisweet chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Toast coconut and macadamia nuts on sheet pan about 12 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to a bowl and add condensed milk and vanilla.

Line sheet pans with parchment. Beat egg whites and salt until stiff . Fold into coconut mixture. Scoop tablespoon sized mounds onto the lined baking sheets and bake about 10-12 min until pale golden. Cool.

Dip the bottoms in the melted chocolate and place on a fresh lined baking sheet.

Yield : approx 20

Notes:

Although the recipe specifies unsalted macadamias, personally I like the salt with the sweet contrast and use salted nuts

Edited by Betts, 09 December 2003 - 02:31 PM.


#9 tryska

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 07:12 AM

perhaps the smell is coming from the sugars burning? what does the ingredients list on your package say?

#10 Betts

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 02:36 PM

No it's a chemical out gassing phenomenon and starts before there is any browning. Actually now that I am typing this, the fumes start to dissipate once browning gets underway and have disappeared once the toasting is complete. In 30 years of cooking this is the only recipe that I have dry roasted the coconut and the only problem with it.

I'm not worried about my health or safety when this happens and the result is worth the discomfort - it's just that either the coconut or me is odder than I thought.

Edited by Betts, 09 December 2003 - 02:41 PM.


#11 KarenS

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 06:58 PM

I believe that sweetened coconut is treated with sulpher dioxide ( to keep it white and moist). You will notice the same kind of smell when you open a box of dried fruit.

#12 Betts

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 09:50 PM

I believe that it is treated with something but had never noticed this when opening dried apricots and raisins which I know are sulfur dioxide treated.

#13 tryska

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 07:55 AM

it's most likely what it's treated with. of course an experiment to try would be toasting fresh coconut pieces and see if you get the same fumes.

#14 Betts

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 11:10 PM

I solved the problem by lowering the the toasting temperature to 325 and adding time of course. No more fumes and a more even toast.

Although I do not have the definitive answer, I'd put money on sulfur as a culprit.

#15 Pan

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 11:19 PM

I highly recommend avoiding all products with sulfur dioxide. It's a noxious chemical and major component of smog, so why would anyone think it's good to eat?

#16 KarenS

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 11:30 PM

Yikes, don't toast things at temps higher then 325 (convection) 350 conventional. It is too hot!