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For Chocolate Lovers only
 

Chocolate cake


OCTOBER 2002
RECIPES



Mud Pie Cookies

Two-Tone Coconut Crunch Squares

Chocolate Architecture 101

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Two-Tone Coconut Crunch Squares

Tips: Easy confections, with a pretty color contrast from two types of chocolate and a good crunch from coconut. Do not omit processing or toasting the coconut here; while both are added steps, the toasted coconut takes on a whole new texture, and the processed flakes mean easier cutting and eating. You’ll need a food processor to make these.

I store these in the fridge (airtight); I imagine you could also keep them at cool room temperature. They will freeze, but there seems little need to freeze them as they’ll last for at least several weeks in the fridge (if you can keep them well-hidden, of course). Be sure to bring the squares to room temperature before serving, as the flavor will be much fuller. Kids and kitchen novices can both help you make these, too.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 18 ounces (about 3 cups) milk chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. solid vegetable shortening (such as Crisco), divided
  • 6 ounces (1 cup) white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup chocolate sprinkles

Look at your coconut shreds. If they tend to be long, the finished candy will be more difficult to cut neatly and eat. If this is the case, place the coconut into the workbowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process in three bursts of about 10 seconds each, just until coconut shreds are chopped up a bit.

Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees F. With foil, line a shallow pan large enough to hold the coconut in a single layer. Place the coconut into the foil-lined pan; place pan into preheated oven. Toast for 10 to 14 minutes, stirring often. Watch carefully!!! Coconut can burn quickly. You want a light golden brown color. When done, remove pan to cooling rack. Stir coconut, then allow to cool completely before using. While coconut cools, line an 8 inch square pan, at least 1-1/2 inches deep, with a doubled length of aluminum foil, shiny side up. Press out as many creases as possible on the inside of the pan; fold excess foil back over the outside of the pan.

Into a medium heatproof bowl, place milk chocolate chips and 1 Tbsp. shortening (reserve remainder). Place over hot water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl); stir often until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water; dry bottom and sides of bowl. (Alternatively, chips and shortening may be placed into medium microwaveable bowl. Microwave at 50% (medium) power for 1 minute; stir thoroughly for about 1 minute. Continue to microwave for short intervals at 50% (medium) power, stirring well between each, just until mixture is melted and smooth.) Add cooled coconut and stir until well-blended. Turn into prepared pan and spread level. Chill for about 20 minutes, until partially set (if you forget and chill the panful for longer, it’s OK, but you’ll need to bring it back to cool room temperature before adding the white chocolate topping. If you try to put the topping on when this is cold, it might set before you can spread it evenly).

For topping, place white chocolate chips and reserved 1 tsp. shortening into a small heatproof bowl. Set over warm water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl); stir often until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water; dry bottom and sides of bowl. (Alternatively, white chocolate chips and shortening may be melted in the microwave, following the directions for the milk chocolate chips.) By spoonfuls, place the melted white chocolate mixture all over the top of the milk chocolate-coconut mixture; quickly spread topping into an even layer (you may find that a little of the milk chocolate mixture gets swirled into the topping as you’re spreading it—OK). Sprinkle the chocolate sprinkles over the white chocolate topping as evenly as possible. With back of a large, clean spoon, press the sprinkles very lightly into the white chocolate mixture. Chill for at least one hour, covering tightly when very cold and set.

To cut, remove the pan from the refrigerator at least an hour before you want to cut these into squares. If you try to cut these when they are cold, they’ll crack! Remove the uncut block, still in foil, from the pan. Place on a cutting board; peel back foil from sides. Use a large, heavy, very sharp straight-edged knife for cutting. Score the top heavily with the full length of the blade before cutting all the way through. Some of the chocolate sprinkles will probably be loose and will fall off as you cut. I make 36 squares out of a panful, but you can cut them smaller if you wish—they are quite rich.

I like to store these airtight in the fridge, but it is important to bring them to room temperature before they are served.

Yields: 36 or more squares.

© Stephanie Zonis provides the above information to anyone, but retains copyright on all text. This means that you may not: distribute the text to others without the express written permission of Stephanie Zonis; “mirror” or include this information on your own server or documents without my permission; modify or re-use the text on this system. You MAY: print copies of the information for your own personal use; store the files on your own computer for your personal use only; reference hypertext documents on this server from your own documents.

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