It starts with toasted coconut flakes that are infused into heavy cream. Once it absorbs the coconut flavor we add cultured buttermilk and let it ferment to make toasted coconut creme fraiche. We can use it as it is or we can use it to make toasted coconut butter and its by-product, toasted coconut buttermilk. We use the fresh toasted coconut buttermilk to culture coconut milk to create a thicker, richer and more coconut-centric buttermilk. Then we let it ripen and thicken at room temperature. FInally we drain off the whey that separates out to produce coconut cream cheese. Now we can cook with the coconut whey and use some of the leftover buttermilk to culture a new batch of coconut milk, coconut cream, or toasted coconut milk (where we've infused toasted coconut flakes into coconut milk for a truly intense flavor) and begin the cycle again.
This initial foray into cultured coconut has revealed new paths to explore: coconut ricotta, a coconut version of an English posset, and testing the culture process with other "milks." We have begun thinking about the applications of all these coconut offshoots beginning with coconut butter spread on a baguette and spiraling outwards through coconut buttermilk scones, coconut butter laminations, coconut cream cheese frosting, the possibilities are endless. The process we've employed is not new, but the application of dairy cultures to coconut milk is to us. We are excited about the new world of ideas that has opened up and can't wait to test the theory with other nut and seed milks.