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- First line an 18 cm (7 inch) square tin with nonstick paper.
- Put the granulated sugar and water into a medium-sized, heavy-based saucepan and heat gently, without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved.
- Bring to the boil and let it simmer steadily until the temperature reaches 120 °C (240 °F) on a sugar thermometer, or a little of the syrup dropped into a cup of cold water forms a soft ball.
- Remove from the heat immediately and add the vanilla extract and desiccated coconut.
- Stir the mixture for 5–10 minutes, or until it begins to thicken and set, then pour half of it into the prepared tin and smooth it level.
- Colour the remaining half pale pink with a drop or two of the colouring, then pour this on top of the white coconut ice, spreading it to the edges and making sure it's level.
- Press it all down quite firmly with the back of a spoon, and leave it to harden.
- Turn the coconut ice out and cut it into squares using a sharp knife.