Times surely do change! If you were to hand me a Bounty Bar 10 years ago, I would have looked at you like you had just insulted my existence. I thought Bounty Bars were totally granny chocolates and anything with fruit in my food dictionary I despised; especially in my desserts!
I don’t know when I came to my senses and discovered that coconut was in fact delicious, and makes the ultimate dessert ingredient to use. These days, I’ll go so far to say that I don’t know what my life would be like without dear coconuts around, as I almost employ one or more of its products on a daily basis. Very ironic, I know!
I use coconut nectar in this recipe as a sweetener, making it a whole new level extraordinarily tasting. Coconut nectar, and the coconut palm sugar that is made from it, have been produced and enjoyed for over 6,000 years.
It is made by harvesting the sap from the coconut palm blossom. The sap is then boiled down to remove all the water it naturally contains, leaving a thick, caramel-like syrup, which can then be cooled and bottled. To make coconut sugar, that same syrup is cooled and then rubbed, creating granules of the delectable coconut sugar that I love so much.
Coconut nectar is high in minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron. It is happily low glycemic, ranking 35 on the GI scale, compared to agave at 42, and cane sugar at 68. This is due to coconut sugar’s composition of long-chain saccharides, which are absorbed by the body at a slower rate than something like refined white sugar. Coconut sugar also contains amino acids, which are thought to slow down the rate at which the sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, acting as a “buffer” of sorts.
These bars are really fun to make and everyone will love them. Get any kids you have; your children, nephews, nieces, grandchildren etc. involved and create some candy bars that you actually won’t want to share with anyone!
Makes 10 bars
2 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp coconut nectar/maple syrup
2 tbsp raw honey
Pinch himalayan/sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp cacao butter
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut nectar/maple syrup
In a bowl, combine coconut oil, coconut nectar, honey, salt and vanilla and whisk. Set aside. Add in the desiccated coconut and water, stir well, using your hands if necessary.
Line a 7×7” baking pan with cling film, leaving plenty of extra to hang over the sides. Press the coconut mixture firmly into place, especially around the edges. Wrap edges around the mixture and place in the freezer to firm for at least 15 minutes.
In a glass bowl over a some heat, add in the coconut oil and cacao butter. Add honey and whisk to combine. Remove from heat and add in the raw cacao.
Place a piece of parchment paper underneath a cooling rack. Make space in your freezer for the rack to fit. Remove coconut from the freezer, cut into 10 bars of equal size. One by one, place a coconut bar into the liquid chocolate and turn over a couple times to coat. Remove with a fork, allowing any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl, then place on the cooling rack. Repeat with the rest. Place rack in the freezer for the chocolate to harden for 15 minutes. Remove from freezer and repeat the process, giving each bar with one more coat of chocolate. Return bars to the freezer.
Remove bars from rack and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two months. Eat and enjoy!