I was speaking to a friend last week and she asked “So what’s the plan for Valentine’s Day?” Am I the only one who gets asked stupid questions? Every year I reply “Nothing special” and feel like a freak. This time I answered “Oh I am wearing my new black, lacy corset with the pink stilettos and taking the dog for a walk”. The man of the house heard this and choked on his beer and peanuts and the gawky teen rolled his eyes and muttered under his breath. Did I say something wrong? Freak! So, my friend and soon-to- be enemy pressed on ”Seriously, how will you show love, come on” Show my love? Oh yeah…..for the last 5 years we wake up at the crack of dawn to pack food and drinks so that a young boy can pursue his passion, I load endless number of dishes into the dishwasher and piles of colour coordinated laundry into the washing machine, I tolerate male blindness and make lost T shirts appear out of thin air, I have cleaned blood, puke and poop endlessly, driven at 100 km/hour on empty roads to get the boy to training on time, held hands, prayed for patience and rejoiced at the victories, cried for our losses, smiled when I wanted to bash up the 2 men. We have shared, fought, kissed away tears, made up after a spat, held hands and assured each other, tied a fractured wrist in a splint, massaged aching backs, iced sore shoulders, supported each other’s dreams, gone to hell and back and lived every minute of everyday for each other through thick and thin, sick and sin. If that doesn’t show love, nothing will. I guess everyday should be a celebration then.
So 2 days before the advent of the “romantic day” Man of the house flew away on business leaving me with the temperamental teen. Teen declares “I want something different, coconutty” Since no heart shaped candies were likely to come my way I decided on these coconut caramel bites to please the teen and see if it evoked any romance in my 40 plus heart. Fat chance!
I have seen this recipe on one of the cooking shows where vegan food and vegan cheesecakes are ooh-ed and aah-ed over. They used coconut oil in the recipe. My only relationship with coconut oil went as far as my hair, so I decided on butter. Ofcourse being a healthy treat they omitted sugar but I did not want to risk feeding them to the bin so sugar won over healthy. I have no big love for home made chocolates but these little treats are quite good. They are chewy in the centre with the bitter chocolate coating offering a contrasting flavour. Teen was generous with his praise and going “Mmmm”. I got a Happy “Momentine” hug and make some more soon whispered in my ear…..ha ha….Love is in the air.
COCONUT CARAMEL BITES
MAKES- 15 PIECES
130 grams finely shredded, dessicated coconut (unsweetened)
200 ml coconut cream
50 grams sugar
1 teaspoon butter
190 grams dark chocolate (baking)
Line a tin or cookie sheet with non stick paper, In a shallow saucepan heat sugar with a teaspoon of water on medium heat. The sugar will start darkening at the edge. Swirl the pan so as to avoid burning the sugar. Do not stir. Let the sugar darken to a golden brown.
Put off the heat and add the coconut cream. It will start spattering. Put the heat on medium and stirring constantly heat the mixture for 4-5 minutes till it thickens. Add in the coconut and continue stirring on low heat till the mixture comes together to form a sticky dough. Turn off the heat and add the butter and mix.
Spoon the mixture onto the lined sheet and shape into a 4’ by 8’ rectangle, using your wet fingers or the back of a spoon. The layer should be even and a little thicker than ¼ inch. Freeze. After 40 minutes in the freezer remove and cut into 15-16 squares. Do not separate yet. These are quite a heavy treat so don’t be too generous. Freeze for another hour or 2.
Line another large cookie sheet with non-stick paper. Melt chocolate over a double boiler/ bain-marie. Do not over heat chocolate. Stir occasionally. When partially melted remove from heat and stir, so that the remaining lumps melt in the residual heat. Remove filling from the freezer. Break into the cut pieces. Using 2 forks dip each piece of filling into the chocolate, turning over to coat it evenly. Place on lined sheet. Sprinkle with dessicated coconut (optional) Working fast coat all the pieces and return tray to the fridge.
Remove from the fridge (30-40 mins). Store in an air tight container. Keep refrigerated