I’m going to go into a quick overview of the end-of-the-world (only out of obligation to the paranoid masses), then we’re talking candy.
Here’s what the “end of the world” looks like.
It’s certainly not this:
My favorite fact in this life. The sun (and Earth) is passing the equator of the Milky Way for the first time in 26,000 years. The implications of which are amazing. The capabilities of our solar system, the sun of which keeps us alive, and something so large it takes TIME to measure its size. To quote Genie, “Phenomenal Cosmic Power!!!!” The alignment of the sun in the direct center of the galactic equator? It’s mind blowing. More on this later. Why? I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.
Now, on to these:
Nope, these are not mine. I wish they are, but sadly, my recipe doesn’t call for this kind of beauty as the end result. It is somewhat a secret recipe, with very tentative, difficult steps to follow. But I will tell you my secret recipe. I’m feeling generous today.
1. Some coconut (Not just some, but A LOT. Probably more than you have, so stop here, and go out and buy some more)
2. Chocolate chips (Most think they can make this with one bag. No, not when you burn the chocolate the first time around and have to start over. Go ahead and pick up another bag while you’re out getting your coconut)
3. I make mine non-dairy, so make sure you have coconut milk (So Delicious is the best brand. Vanilla, sweetened. Nothing from a can.)
4. Now, because you’re already preparing to embark on a sugar high of a lifetime, get some powdered sugar (I beg of you to get organic powdered sugar. Your body down to its molecular structure will thank you)
5. Get some more powdered sugar, just in case.
6. If you happen to have coconut manna on hand, by all means, use it. If not, butter will do you just fine.
Manna is the inside scrapings of a young coconut, hardens when it gets cold
7. Vanilla extract.
Ok, here’s the directions. Now pay close attention, one false move and you may end up with bon bons as beautiful as the ones above.
Put your coconut in a bowl (eyeball about three cups or more)
Put about a cup or two of coconut milk in a separate bowl (eyeball about 15 ounces worth), now slowly add powdered sugar until you get the consistency of condensed milk (which is, guess what? Milk and sugar. Congratulations, you just made your own condensed coconut milk! Now market that shiznit and make some money!)
Add your invention to the coconut and stir. It should NOT be soupy, but it should NOT be dry, it should be formable (Is that a word?). Dig your hands in deep to stir (it’s easier to have a tactile idea of what your filling is going to be doing while it’s being flash boiled in chocolate)
When it’s proper consistency (can semi hold its form in balls), add your half cup of manna (room temperature) or half stick of butter (same) and knead into dough. What this should do is hold the coconut in place. If you’re using manna, it isn’t going to do much holding into place until after you chill the dough.
Oh yes, add the vanilla (one or two teaspoons, depending on your preference) whenever the hell you feel like it (before it’s chilled, of course.) And keep in mind if you use too much- well, vanilla extract is alcohol, the filling gets nowhere near hot enough to cook the alcohol away. You’re going to have alcoholic bon bons. Like I said before, personal preference.
Once you have a pretty formable dough, cover the bowl in cling wrap, toss in the fridge for a few hours, then well, pray. When it’s cold, it should be able to form a ball that WON’T fall apart. If it falls apart, add a little more liquid (as cold as you can), if it is still a bit crumbly, roll into balls, stick on a cookie sheet with wax paper, and freeze those little mothers until they have no choice but to stay together (I freeze them every time regardless, it just works better this way) Either way, chill it for a few hours before you make your candy. Wait impatiently.
OK, if you have a double boiler, for god’s sakes, use it! If you don’t, jerry-rig one out of a big sauce pan and a little sauce pan and make your life and this project more miserable then it has to be, just because you won’t go out and buy yourself a double boiler (something handy to pick up while you’re out getting more coconut and chocolate, come to think of it)
Start melting the chocolate, you know, dump the bag in the top part of the double boiler (we’re assuming you’re smarter than me here, and actually have one) and stir like you’ve never stirred in your life. Keep it at super low temperature. Some say to use a thermometer. I say eff it.
You need to have a cookie sheet with wax paper prepared. It’s handy if you had it in the freezer or had it chilling beforehand, it helps harden the chocolate faster.
I’m going over this next part really fast, because these directions are getting long, and if you’ve made it this far, by golly, you can make it all the way.
You can do it, I have faith in you!
Take butter/greased tongs. Pick up one ball of coconut stuff at a time, dip in chocolate, immediately pull from chocolate or it’s going to fall apart in the chocolate (nothing ruins your chocolate faster than spilling filling in it) drop onto cold wax paper, and repeat. The second that pan is full, throw that sucker back into the freezer, or fridge, and hope for the best. The faster that chocolate hardens, the better your bon bons. It’s going to take awhile. Wait impatiently again.
These aren’t mine, but I found a picture that looks similar to this recipe and how it really should look:
Now, here’s the real secret. This is a poor-chefs recipe. If you have experience and all the candy making supplies in the world, you’re going to be just fine. Ah screw it, you’re going to be just fine regardless. You can always mix it all up together, lay it out on the cookie sheet, wait until the chocolate hardens, break it up into bites and say “I meant to do that.”
Come up with an inventive name (My Magical Coconutty Slivers of Life) and make it a new tradition. Honestly, nobody is going to turn down offered chocolate/coconut candy just because it isn’t shaped like a bon bon (“Ew, I don’t want that, they’re supposed to be round, I don’t eat candy that isn’t round”) And if they do say it, they don’t deserve your candy anyway. Feel free to tell them so.
Well, this is my evening in a nutshell. I do this every Christmas season, while blaring Christmas music and drinking eggnog (You want to add a ton of fun and some extra patience to your endeavor? Add a bit of rum to that eggnog of yours)
Smile, and realize the solid truth. You only do this once a year.
Well, it’s hours before I make my candy. I better start. Everyone have a wonderful 12/21/12 and happy baking!!
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