Cocoro Offers Light and Dark Coconut Sugar That Are Ready to Take over Your Baking PantryJanuary 5, 2018
Back in 2013, Jamie Lao was looking to export a healthier alternative to refined sugar, and was visiting farmers to explore the possibilities with muscovado. It was by happy accident that she stumbled upon a community of farmers that were experimenting with creating a light coconut sugar, contrary to the dark, caramel-colored coconut sugar we see in the market. Light coconut sugar was something that Lao (and we at Pepper.PH) had never before encountered.
Lao found the difference between light coconut sugar and dark was fascinating, and as someone who experiments in the kitchen for fun (and also runs a brand called Avroko, a sort of culmination of those experiments), found that the light coconut sugar offered more versatility and could even be used as a substitute for white sugar. The coconut sugar could easily replace refined sugar at a 1:1 ratio, and Lao found that her coconut sugar-based pastries would remain chewy for longer than their refined sugar-based counterparts.
We don’t do any refining. It’s about the time and temperature of cooking. The ivory variant we produce using a low heat and a longer cook time. This allows the moisture to be carefully removed, without too much caramelization. The Dark Caramel variant, we use higher heat to allow for more caramelization. In my opinion, Ivory is sweeter; it can be used in anything and does not darken your finished products as much. Dark caramel has a deeper aroma, and it gives body and texture but isn’t as sweet. So it’s perfect with rich chocolate cakes, gingerbread or mocha cakes because it allows the other flavors to come out.”
With the brand Cocoro (a portmanteau of the words Coconut and one of her favorite Miyazaki characters Totoro), Lao offers the two types of coconut sugar in remarkably beautiful packaging that you wouldn’t want to bother transferring the granules to a sugar bowl. But beyond beautiful design, their coconut sugar itself is a marvel at the versatility of the local “nut” (We know, it’s a fruit). The coconut sugar is proudly sourced from their plantations in Davao and Cagayan De Oro.
A local brand of coconut sugar that offers two variants, making their coconut sugar a suitable refined sugar substitute for baking.