how much sugar is in sweetened coconut? For substitution
I want to make some coconut macaroons and my recipe calls for 5 cups of unsweetened coconut and 2.5 cups of sugar. I have sweetened coconut but not unsweetened and don't feel like going out. I know I've figured this out before but didn't write down my substitution and am having trouble finding it now. The bag of sweetened says that 2 Tbs has 5 g of sugar, and I found online that unsweetened has less than 1 g sugar in 3 Tbs. (so I'll assume zero to be simple) With that I figured that 5 cups of sweetened contains 40x5=200 g of sugar or about a cup, meaning I'd reduce the added sugar to 1.5 cups. Sound reasonable? I saw a lot of "advice" on the web about "reducing sugar by a tablespoon or two per cup" but don't know how informed that advice is.
(Yeah I know there are some volume issues in that I actually have less than 5 cups of coconut now, but coconut is pretty "fluffy" so I'd be inclined not to worry about it too much; maybe just reduce other things a bit)
I have bought various brands of sweetened coconut - whatever's the best price in that store. Seems to me that some are sweeter than others, just as the particle size and fluffiness differ. I'd be inclined to use very little sugar to start with - maybe a half cup - and to taste the mixture, adding more according to my sweetness preference. Although I'm sure it is precisely because of the sugar difference among brands, it IS annoying that so many recipes for sweet dishes call for unsweetened coconut, which is harder to find.
I ended up using more like 5.5 cups of the sweetened stuff and a cup and a half of sugar (so more or less what I figured above) and they came out perfect. I was just using the grams of sugar on the package to estimate; it would be interesting to check if different brands had different "grams of sugar per tablespoon".
I have been concentrating on learning Indian cooking lately and am too lazy to find unsweetened coconut. I take the sweetened, put it in a strainer, "wash" with hot water which gets rid of the sugar and propylene glycol and the remainder I let dry. It becomes fluffy, not sticky and tastes pretty good ( not sweet and better than before my water treatment). Not perfect, but it works