coconut in baked goods: to toast or not to toast?
Making coconut cupcakes. The recipe calls for shredded sweetened coconut in the batter & on top of the lemon icing. Doesn't say to toast it first but i'm thinking it might be tastier. Thoughts?
it depends on what you want, if you want a toasted coconut flavor, go ahead and toast. If you want a fresher taste, (not sure how else to describe it), don't toast.
Just adding...it'll be a slight textural change too, from moister to chewier, esp as it's sweetened.
My aunt would always toast the topping coconut, but not the interior.
That said, as wyogal noted, it's up to your taste. Coconut is a fun ingredient.
If I am doing cake with coconut on the icing I would want it untoasted.
A bar or cookie I don't mind it toasted.
If you are toasting sweetened coconut, pay attention to stirring it around as the additional sugar leads to quicker and more uneven browning. Be aware, also, if you are toasting the coconut that goes into the batter, you are removing some moisture from the batter as well and may need to adjust your baking time accordingly.
Personally, I don't like toasted coconut on cupcakes or cakes. For me, it takes away from the pillowy softness and gives me the mouthfeel of eating bits of fingernails. Pies, cookies, anything that is already slightly crisp, I don't mind the extra texture and yummy flavor from toasting.
JungMann is spot on about toasting coconut *in* your cupcakes, so do keep a closer eye on them if you go that route.