Toasted coconut brittle

This gorgeous amber rubble is my secret ingredient. Sprinkled over shop-bought coconut ice cream it makes an instant fuss-free dessert, lifting an already sumptuous treat to new heights.


  • 350 g ( cups) caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 125 g (½ cup) butter
  • teaspoon salt
  • 200 g (4 cups) toasted coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)


Line a baking tray with parchment.

Put 60 ml (¼ cup) water, the sugar, golden syrup, butter and salt into a large pan and cook gently without stirring until the sugar melts. Turn the heat to high. Cook as the sugar first bubbles, then caramelises and eventually reaches the hard-crack stage or 154°C (309°F) on a sugar thermometer.

Immediately remove from the heat and mix in the coconut flakes. Quickly add the vanilla and the bicarbonate of soda and stir to incorporate them without overmixing.

Quickly tip the mixture onto the baking tray and use the back of a spoon to smooth it out thinly, not worrying about being neat or even. Leave to cool and harden.

Snap into pieces or smash to a rubble in a mortar. Store the brittle in an airtight container. It will keep for a couple of months.