As Robert Oliver says in his book Me’a Kai “the Rarotongan Coconut Roll is what the Hot Dog is to the American”. Unfortunately I only discovered this on our last day in Raro, we obviously hadn’t been visiting the right Dairy’s (corner shop for non Kiwi’s) and only managed to sample one. It was very tasty with the coconut shredded through the swirl of sweet dough but it was lacking in the sticky coconut sauce I later discovered the traditional ones are baked with. Never one to miss out on anything, particularly when it is food related, my mission this weekend was to make the true coconut rolls with lashings of coconut and coconut sauce and since it was so close to Easter I decided we would have these instead of hot cross buns this year. I have used the recipe from Me’a Kai.
The coconut sauce the rolls are baked with really does complete the bun, giving it a sticky sweet exterior so don’t skip this bit thinking you might want to reduce the coconut content, if you are going to eat them you have to have them with their full calorie count to appreciate them. I found them quite irresistible, perfect breakfast food with a strong coffee.
Ingredients – makes 12 large rolls
4 cups flour
1 cup of grated fresh coconut (or 1 cup of desiccated coconut mixed with 1/2 cup of coconut milk)
2 tbsp soft butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp active yeast (8g sachet)
Ingredients – Coconut Glaze
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup grated coconut ( or 1/4 cup desiccated coconut)
1 tsp cornflour
Method – Roll
Mix the yeast and sugar with 1/4 cup warm water and put aside for a few minutes.
Put the flour, butter and coconut in a large bowl and combine.
Add the yeast, sugar and water to the flour and knead for 8 minutes. If the mix is too sticky add some more flour. It should be like a bread dough.
Shape dough into a log and divide into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a 20m log.
Coil each one into a roll shape and place onto a deep floured baking tray a few centimeters apart.
Cover with a cloth and rest in a warm place till doubled in size.
Meanwhile make the coconut glaze by putting all the ingredients in a small pan and whisking together to combine the cornflour.
Place pan over a low heat and cook for a few minutes until the liquid thickens.
Once the rolls have doubled in size, pour over half the coconut glaze and place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and pour the rest of the glaze over the rolls and serve warm.