Toast Up Shredded Coconut In The Air Fryer For A Quick Dessert Upgrade

no bake coconut bars and coconut
no bake coconut bars and coconut - from my point of view/Shutterstock

Chocolate shavings and multicolored sprinkles provide a classic no-fuss way to level up simple desserts. But if you've been turning to them on repeat and they've lost their appeal, here's a tip — toast up shredded coconut in the air fryer for a quick dessert upgrade. This easy fix provides crunch, color, and an inviting aroma, enhancing everything from coconut bars to ice creams, key lime pies, tres leches cake, and dreamsicles. Simply mix the toasted coconut into your next bake or strew it on top for some tropical flair and a nutty, appetizing fragrance.

While ready-made toasted coconut is available in some supermarkets, it's a breeze to make your own batch. The process is as straightforward as placing your shredded coconut in a cake tin that fits snugly into your air fryer (so it stays contained within the dish and doesn't fall into the base of the appliance) before air frying for 5 minutes or so at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there are two crucial steps to this method that you must follow to guarantee that your coconut toasts up perfectly. Firstly, it needs to be spread out in a thin layer so it can brown quickly and evenly. Secondly, you need to give the shreds a shake every couple of minutes to prevent them from burning on one side. Monitoring your shredded coconut also allows you to immediately remove it from the air fryer if it looks like it's moments away from catching on the base of the pan.

Read more: 30 Types Of Cake, Explained

Toasting The Coconut Amplifies Its Aroma

toasted coconut flakes
toasted coconut flakes - Bwfolsom/Getty Images

The heat from the air fryer will remove the moisture from the coconut, which toasts up its consistency, lending it a crunch and golden brown color. Air-frying the shreds also brings out their natural sweetness and intensifies their inviting nutty aroma.

Once your toasted coconut has cooled you can incorporate it into your favorite desserts to give them an instant flavor upgrade. The shreds can be added to cake batter, stirred through frosting to make nutty icings for cookies, or simply scattered over an ice cream sundae or morning yogurt bowl with berries and homemade granola. Toasted coconut also makes for an attractive coating on frosted cakes, a deliciously fragrant topping on a stack of vanilla pancakes, or a quick alternative to chopped nuts and powdered sugar on chocolate truffles and energy balls. Any leftover coconut can be stored in an airtight container, ready to be busted out at a moment's notice to lend a lackluster dessert some instant oomph. In fact, you can even use unsweetened toasted coconut in savory recipes, such as coconut-crusted cod, or as a crispy garnish on Thai chicken curry to complement the fragrant and spiced coconut milk base.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.