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1 1/2 c. sugar
6 tbsp. water
4 c. milk
8 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon (if using semi-sweet chocolate)
Pinch of salt
1 3/4 c. finely grated fresh coconut
3 oz. Mexican or semi-sweet chocolate, ground to fine power in processor

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Set two 6-cup savarin (or ring) molds in large baking pan. Pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up sides. Set in oven.

Cook sugar and water in heavy small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves, swirling pan occasionally. Increase heat and boil until syrup caramelizes. Pour half of syrup into each mold, tilting to coat sides. Quickly return molds to water bath.

Gently blend milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon (if necessary) and salt in large bowl. Stir in coconut and chocolate powder. Divide mixture between molds; mixture should come to within 1/4 inch of top.

Bake until custard is set and tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. (Reduce oven temperature if water starts to boil or custard may curdle.) Remove from water bath and cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Before serving, invert onto platters.

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