For the love of chocolate! It’s Valentine’s day tomorrow. And though I’m not much of a romantic, I have to admit that all the chocolate and strawberries around were making my mouth water. But I figure, if anything it’s time to show a little love to ourselves for getting through January’s dark and cold days! And let’s be honest with ourselves, none of us actually need an excuse to eat chocolate, right?
I used to really dislike coconut (mom- I know you’re reading this in disbelief), but now my tastes have changed, I have come to love that coconutty flavour in sweet things. Coconut actually has a naturally sweet flavour, so you don’t need to add a lot of sweetener to make a difference. Coconuts are also relatively high in fat, which help give you that feeling of indulgence. All in all, a perfect treat combo! Plus, that tropical flavour really does something to brighten up your day on a cold February evening. Or maybe it just ignites your imagination to bring you to somewhere tropical in your mind!
Coconuts being high in fibre and fat mean that they help slow down the absorption of sugar into your blood stream. So you shouldn’t get a huge sugar high (unless, maybe you eat lots of them- and let’s just say, you wouldn’t be the first one, they are pretty irresistible!). Desiccated coconut also provides you with lots of vitamins and minerals, such as manganese, copper and even iron.
The difference between these and a bounty bar?
The proof is in the ingredients.
PS: A little tip to reading ingredients; the first ingredient listed will be the one contained in the highest amount.
BOUNTY BAR: Sugar, Desiccated Coconut, Glucose Syrup (Sources include Wheat), Milk Solids, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Invert Sugar, Vegetable Fat, Emulsifiers (471, Soy Lecithin), Humectant (Glycerol), Salt, Natural Flavour (Vanilla Extract), Peanuts.
CARMEN’S COCONUT CHOCOLATES:
Coconut filling: Desiccated coconut, coconut cream, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, coconut syrup, cane sugar, vanilla paste.
Need I say more?
PS: If you are a last minute kind of gal (or guy), these will be ready in 1 hour (including a 40 minute freezer time, so really only takes about 20 minutes). Totally doable if you ask me, but I warn you, once you’ve eaten one you might not be feeling quite so generous to share them with anyone else!
RECIPE Total time: 1 hour Serves: Makes about 20 chocolates
1 ½ cups (120g) desiccated unsweetened shredded coconut
¼ cup (60ml) coconut cream
¼ cup (60ml) full fat coconut milk
2 tablespoons coconut syrup (or use agave, maple, or mild honey)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100grams dark chocolate (I used 85%)
1. Place all the ingredients except for the chocolate in a food processor and pulse until all mixed well (you can also just mix in a bowl, but the result will be slightly less homogenous)
2. Spoon the mixture into chocolate moulds, or just use your hands to make them into round balls as small or as large as you want
3. Place the coconut balls or mould in the freezer for about 40 minutes
4. When you have 15 min of freezer time left, it’s time to melt the chocolate. Fill a pot with a little water, and place a heat-proof bowl on top of it. Turn on the heat to medium.
5. Place about half the chocolate in the bowl and allow to melt slowly, until about 2/3 melted.
6. Take the bowl out of the pot to remove from the heat, and add the rest of the chocolate. Stir often to allow the rest of the chocolate to melt.
7. Once all the chocolate is melted, and when tasting the chocolate against your lip it no longer feels warm, it’s time to start dipping.
8. Dip the coconut balls/moulded shapes one by one into the chocolate to completely cover them. Remove with a fork and place on a piece of baking parchment or tin foil.
9. To achieve the same look as the photo, sprinkle a little cocoa powder on top of the chocolates before they are completely set.