Cocotende (Crunchy Fortune Cookie Shaped Coconut Bites)

Coco-tende

Cocotende

Coated in sugar syrup

Coated in sugar syrup

Cocotende are addictive crunchy and sweet fried treats originally from Zanzibar. My mother has changed its shape from a oblong shell shape into this fun fortune-cookie shape so that the newbie cook can make them crunchy! I think i’m liking this new shape, it looks much prettier than the traditional roll-shaped dough and fries into crunchy-goodness. I know, if you are a die-hard cocotende fan you probably think this is sacrilegious! But hey, it’s hard to fry the traditional shape!

Traditional cocotende shape

Traditional cocotende shape

After being fried, the cocotende are dipped into a sugar syrup and left to harden. In the first picture, some are tossed in confectioners sugar (icing sugar), which is perfect if you don’t want the hassle preparing the syrup and some are partially dipped in melted chocolate chips (another sacrilege!!) but oh so delicious. You know you want some :)

Recipe: Cocotende

Also known as: Koko-tende, Kokothende, Kokwa Za Tende

Categories: Appetizers/Snacks, Sweets/Desserts

Servings: Make 30-40 cocotende

Ingredients:

For cocotende:

  • 2 cups white all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fine semolina/whetlets (sooji)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut
  • 2 tsp custard powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder (elchi powder)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup luke-warm water, or as needed
  • Oil for deep-frying

For coating:

Traditional sugar-coating (double if you want to coat all the cocotende in this syrup):

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 4-5 saffron strands

For icing sugar dusting:

  • 2-3 Tbsp icing sugar

For chocolate coating:

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  • To make the cocotende dough, mix together the white flour, semolina, dessicated coconut, baking powder and cardamom powder.
  • Add the butter and mix it in.
Sooji

Sooji

  • In a cup, dissolve the custard powder and add it to the flour mixture.
Custard powder

Custard powder

Dissolve the custard powder

Dissolve the custard powder

  • Slowly add the water to make a firm dough. You can also make this dough in a food processor.
Firm dough

Firm dough

  • Divide dough into 3 portions and one at a time, roll out a portion into a large, 2-3 mm thick, circle.
  • Take a 1 1/2 – 2 inch (in diameter) cookie cutter/glass/lid to cut out small circles.
Cut out small circles using a cookie cutter or similar shaped object

Cut out small circles using a cookie cutter or similar shaped object

  • To shape into the fortune cookie see pictures or video below:
Bring two opposite edges together

Bring two opposite edges together

Then bring the other two together and pinch firmly

Then bring the other two together and pinch firmly

  • Once you have made shaped all the cocotende, heat about 2 inches of oil in a wok or karai to deep-fry the cocotende.
  • Fry on low heat, flipping about constantly for even browning. If they brown too fast they will not remain crunchy. As you can see there is no rapid bubbling in the oil.
Fry on low heat

Fry on low heat

  • When lightly-golden brown, remove to drain excess oil on paper towels.
Freshly fried

Freshly fried

  • Let them cool completely then make sugar syrup.
  • For sugar syrup, in a small pot add the sugar, water, cardamom and saffron.
Sugar syrup

Sugar syrup

  • Boil for 5-7 minutes till thickened.
Thickened sugar syrup

Thickened sugar syrup

  • Once the sugar syrup has slightly cooled, toss some of the cocotende in it to coat. Lay on a baking sheet to cool and the sugar to harden.
  • For the icing sugar, add the cocotende to a lidded tin, toss in the icing sugar and shake to coat all the cocotende.
Coated with icing sugar

Coated with icing sugar

  • For chocolate frosting, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave and dip half of the cocotende into the chocolate. Let it set before moving it into a storage tin.
  • The cocotende will stay crispy for about a week in an air-tight container.

Approx. nutritional content: It’s fried and dipped in sugar, so its calorific! So enjoy wisely.

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