Monday, February 13, 2006


Trying to get into the mood for Valentine’s Day, I decided to give the Coconut Chocolate Bites recipe from this month’s Gourmet a go. It looked good, looked easy and I conveniently had all the ingredients in the cupboard.

I’ll start with the pluses, as there are many. This was a cinch to do; it really did take about 30 minutes to do (and that includes chilling time). The taste was fantastic and loads better than a Mounds or a Bounty bar. Using a dark chocolate- I used a 78% as I really enjoy bitter chocolate- was the perfect foil for what could easily be a sickly sweet treat. The quantity it yields makes it an easy item for a potluck- a little square goes a long way.

Now for the Could be better ifs- I hesitate to use the word minus because I think that overall it is a great recipe. The coconut quantities in the recipe didn’t quite fill my 9-inch square pan but I figured it would be ok since you sandwich it. As I re-read the recipe I realised that in fact I needed an 8-inch pan so that explains a lot. It calls for an offset spatula to press the mixture in the pan but I found it much easier to use my hands and use the spatula at the end to pack the coconut. These were really very minor niggles since it didn’t affect the taste, it just meant that I needed to trim the halves a bit. My biggest bitch about this is that the sandwiched halves kept coming apart even after some gentle squashing to keep it together.

What would I change? The Boy wanted more coconut and well, what the hell do you do with two bags of coconut and half a can of condensed milk left over? So I made batch number two in which I doubled the coconut and condensed milk quantities and found that it did fill the pan better but it would be thicker (especially when sandwiched). When it came time to do the chocolate I decided not to sandwich it and instead to leave it as one layer with chocolate on both sides. If you decide to do it this way, follow the recipe through to step three (where one side get covered with chocolate). Let it chill for 10 minutes, melt the another 4 oz of chocolate, flip the coconut over and pour it on the other side. Let chill another 10 minutes, cut into 1-inch squares and you’re done.

Would I make this again? Absolutely. Everyone at work loved it and it was a nice change for the people allergic to gluten who usually get denied the tasty baked goods that are brought in. I probably won’t be making it too soon as I have quite possibly eaten my weight in coconut bites and have a sudden aversion to coconut!

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