Friday, December 13, 2019

Homemade Dark Chocolate Bounty Bars

I've been making this recipe for almost 10 years now and it always brings me so much joy!

Bounty bars have a special story in my life (scroll down to the recipe if you don't care...).

When I was a wee little girl I would stay with my Nonna for days at a time with my cousins over the Summer.

Often she would give us a handful of change and send us out walking through Little Italy to the corner convenience store and tell us to buy whatever we wanted.

I always chose Bounty Bar! I guess I was way ahead of the coconut trend since I was loving the stuff for decades!

Of course I had to recreate them at home, so I did and I loved it. I perfected the recipe and published it in my first cookbook "Scientifically Sweet". Because it's the holidays, I want to share this special recipe with you and I hope you love it!

For the record - I came out with "dark chocolate" covered coconut bars before Mars did! None of this milk chocolate business here... ;)

When you see how simple it is, you'll be making these on repeat! Just wait and see! White chocolate adds creaminess and tempers the sweetness - otherwise I found that they just tasted too sweet. It's my secret ingredient!

Dark Chocolate Bounty Bars
makes about 24 small bars

8 oz/227 g sweetened shredded coconut (about 2 ¼ cups), divided
2 oz/56 g pure white chocolate, finely chopped
⅔ cup (160ml) sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp (10ml) light corn syrup
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
hefty pinch of salt
8 oz/227 g dark chocolate (64% cocoa), very finely chopped

Place about three quarters of the sweetened shredded coconut in a food processor and pulse just enough to break it down slightly. It should resemble coarse crumbs. Do not over-process because the mixture will become too fine and the fat in the coconut can cause it to clump up. Combine this coconut with the remaining of shredded coconut in a small bowl and set it aside. This will provide some texture contrast.

In a small saucepan over low heat, stir together chopped white chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup, vanilla extract and salt until chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Add coconut and stir it all together until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate mixture until rather firm, at least 2 hours.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set one aside for later. Remove the coconut mixture from the refrigerator and use clean hands to shape tablespoons of this mixture into 1 to 1½-inch cylinders or logs. If the mixture is still a bit sticky, place it in the freezer for a few minutes. Resist the urge to add more coconut or icing sugar because it will dry out the filling and make it crumbly over time. Flatten each log slightly and place them on prepared baking sheet. Continue with remaining coconut mixture. Place baking sheet in the refrigerator until coconut candies are firm, about 30 minutes.

Place 6 oz of dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot with ½-inch of barely simmering water. Stir constantly until almost completely melted (some small pieces of solid chocolate should remain). Remove bowl from over pot and stir until completely melted. Add remaining chocolate and stir until smooth and melted, placing bowl over hot water for a few seconds if necessary. Do not let the chocolate temperature rise above 90°F, or else it will lose its temper and won’t set up with a shiny finish and crisp snap.

Remove coconut candies from the refrigerator and dip each one in melted chocolate, using a fork to roll it until completely coated. Use the fork to lift the coated candy out of the chocolate and scrape the bottom of the fork against the side of the bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place dipped candy on the other clean lined baking sheet to set, using a toothpick to help slide it off the fork. Continue like so with remaining candies. If chocolate becomes too thick, heat it gently over the pot of hot water while stirring until it becomes easier to work with. Let finished candies cool at room temperature until chocolate hardens. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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