Bukayo is something like a coconut candy, almost like a panutsa (panocha). And we do use panutsa or jaggery goor/panela for the sweetener/binder, although brown sugar and even condensed milk are also good (the latter would not turn completely solidify though). For the coconut, they can be in strips (if from the fresh coconut with green husk), or shredded (if from the dry coconut with the browned husk).
I have not seen green coconuts (or buco) in the UK, so we use the dry, brown ones (niyog). We don’t have a traditional kudkuran to shred the meat delicately like soft lattice-ribbons, so we use a food processor–it’s not the same, but will do for someone desperate like me.
This one I’m posting is soft and sticky just enough to be compacted. If you want it to be like fudge, or with sugar crystalising around every little bit of coconut, then you’ll have to add more sugar and will have to spend more time stirring.
1 small brown coconut (including the coconut water)
1/2 tin coconut milk (full fat)
100g jaggery goor (I also added two big tablespoons of demerara sugar)
a few drops of vanilla
1/2 tbsp milk poweder (optional)
1. Crack open the coconut* and collect and set aside the water.
2. Grate the coconut (using a kudkuran, or dice into small pieces and chop finely in a food processor).
3. Place a big saucepan on the hob, and pour the coconut water and add the jaggery goor (broken into small pieces). Keep stirring until the sugar dissolves.
4. Add the coconut milk to melt, when boiling add the vanilla and the grated coconut meat.
5. Keep stirring until the mixture dries and becomes sticky. Near the end, just before turning off the stove, sprinkle the powdered milk and give it one last stir.
6. Place in a greased tray**, leave to cool before cutting into squares.
* There’s a tip on how to easily crack open a coconut and cleanly if you have a machete or something similar like a large and very heavy knife. Hold in your hand the coconut with the ‘dimples’ and the bottom pointing to the base of your thumb and your other four fingertips. With the blunt edge of your knife, give the coconut a bit of a whack in the middle (perpendicular to the ‘dimples’ and the bottom part)–that’s the weak part of the shell, and it will just crack open very easily. You’ll need to have a bowl underneath ready to catch the coconut water.
** Traditionally, a long banana leaf would be cut and passed over the fire (to make it pliant, shiny/greased and sanitised), and the cooked and still hot bukayo will be scooped and dropped onto the leaf in individual portions–when they dry, they could be easily peeled.
I have more pictures below, I hope they show as mosaic–the new WordPress displays the pictures in the Reader as individual images even when I choose a different template.