For those who don’t know, Miami is home to the largest Cuban population in the United States, centered around Calle Ocho, or 8th Street. Every March there is a huge carnival celebrated in Little Havana, as the neighborhood is affectionately called. Cubanos, Pernil, Empanadas and other Cuban treats are feasted upon while carnival goers dance to salsa. This past Sunday was the 40th year of this celebration of Cuban culture. One of the sweet treats that you can enjoy on Calle Ocho is Coquito Acaramelados – Cuban Caramel Coconut Balls- now who can resist that?
Do you have some things you make that are a hit or miss? Sometimes you make it perfectly the first time around and other days you can try again and again but just cant get the results you want. That is me with caramel sauce. Today was a miss day. After two failed attempts, I gave up and instead used the bottle of Dulce de Leche I had for the caramel sauce. However, the instructions below I wrote to make the homemade caramel sauce which I have done in the past so I know the recipe works. It just wouldn’t work today. But truth me told, I loved these Coquitos even plain without the caramel sauce. They were just as delicious.
This week I have been focusing on festivals around the world that occur in March – we explored Irish, Aruban and Cuban culture. I hope you enjoyed the journey!
Don’t miss out on some of the other Cuban delicacies I’ve whipped up in the past:
This is a great treat to serve at parties or bring to any potluck and they are so quick to put together. Who can complain?
Coquito Acaramelados - Cuban Caramel Coconut Balls
- 3 cups dessicated coconut
- 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine coconut, condensed milk and vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly over medium heat, for 15 minutes.
- To make caramel, combine sugar and water and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, until it starts to change color. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
- As soon as the coconut mixture is cool enough to handle, form into 18 balls. When it starts to stick to your hands, wet your hands.
- Dip balls in the caramel sauce and leave to set.