Coconut milk...coconut cream...cream of coconut. Are they all the same?
Nope, they're not. Here's a breakdown:
- Coconut milk: equal parts coconut meat and water, cooked and strained. "Light" coconut milk has been strained twice to remove more fat. It's unsweetened.
- Coconut cream: again coconut meat and water, but the ratio of coconut to water is higher, so it's much creamier and thicker than coconut milk. It's used in similar recipes.
- Cream of coconut: a blend of thick coconut cream and cane sugar. It's syrupy and sweet and often found in the beverage aisle since it's commonly used in cocktails. Pina Coladas anyone?
Regardless which product you choose, be sure to shake the can and/or give it a good stir before using - the fat in coconut tends to separate.