Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Peppermint Cracknel and Coconut Chocolate

We were off to friends for dinner and a catch up after far too long a time. A few weeks earlier I had borrowed The Chocolate Cookbook by Christine France from our local library and I spotted this interesting recipe in it. The right opportunity to make it had now arrived. This is what I did:
  • Put 4oz vanilla sugar (specified granulated in the recipe) into a pan and onto a medium heat until liquified. 
  • At this point I took it straight off the heat as I've come a cropper with burnt sugar in the past and it isn't nice. It continued to cook in the pan for a little while and turned a lovely caramel colour. The recipe had stated adding 1/4 pt water with the sugar, but as a sugar thermometer was needed for this (and I don't yet have one of those), I thought my method was easier.
  • Added one drop of peppermint oil.
  • Poured this onto a piece of baking parchment and left to cool and harden.
  • Broke into bits and bashed around with the end of a rolling pin to crush as best I could.
  • Toasted 4oz desiccated coconut in a frying pan until golden - stirring all the time.
  • Melted 200g 72% dark chocolate in a pan over hot water.
  • Stirred in the coconut and peppermint pieces.
  • Poured into a silicone loaf tin and left to set.
  • Tried unsuccessfully to cut the chocolate into sticks.
  • Placed them as neatly as I could into a cellophane bag and tied them up with a bow and a label (no successful photo of that to show though).
These were meant to be chocolate sticks rather than chunks. When I tried to cut them however, they just broke any which way and were not going to be made into the delicate slim sticks I had envisaged - ho hum! Perhaps this was because my mint cracknel pieces were just too big. Despite the technical hitch, the end result was pretty good: nil points for presentation but 9 out of 10 for taste and texture. The tasting panel seemed to agree.

32 comments:

  1. I like the sound of the peppermint cracknel and I like the rustic look of your bars. Looks like proper homemade treats.

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  2. I wouldn't have thought of putting mint and coconut together, but it sounds as if it worked for you.

    Perhaps setting the chocolate in a larger tray would help with neater cutting - for when presentation is important.

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  3. My Mum used to make something similar to this but without the mint. It looks delicious.

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  4. Brings back memories and can just imagine the incredible aromas when you open up that tin! Fabulous looking recipe, as ever.

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  5. reminds me a little of peppermint crisp - an aussie chocolate bar with peppermint shards inside - my mum always puts it on pavolva with cream - so I think this would be lovely finely chopped on a cream topped pav

    btw - never heard of the term cracknel - except for australian actor Ruth Cracknel

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  6. ooh. I wish I could be on the tasting panel for these.

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  7. I think they look just as good as chunks rather than sticks! I really like coconut and chocolate, I think it's undervalued in baking ;)

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  8. Wow! I have never heard of cracknel before. Personally, I like the rather tattered and rustic look!

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  9. Sieht ganz lecker aus. Ich liebe Schokolade. Grüsse...

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  10. Ah you see, I think that presentation looks lovely...but then I've always been a chunky fan. I'll bet they tasted deeelicous!

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  11. I like the sound of this. I am of to buy peppermint oil and vanilla sugar and hope to give it a try very soon. I will let you know how it goes.

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  12. These look delicious. I love the chunky bars!

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  13. Hey, my hubby (another chocolholic) does not give a hoot about what his treats look like...as long a chocolate is a primary ingredient! But, I understand, as a blogger, that nil for presentation is not what you're going for. These look pretty darn good to me, though.

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  14. Love the name! Must try this, they sound the perfect treat to have with a cuppa. Your friends are so lucky!!!

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  15. Never heard of cracknel before, sounds like a great treat..loving the flavor of mint in it..must be refreshing and delicious!

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  16. I think your bars still look delicious. I've given you an award on my blog. You can view it here:
    http://cookinabar.blogspot.com/2011/04/sweet-as-candy.html

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  17. Absolutely delicious chocolate bar. First time here, lovely recipes.

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  18. While they may not look the way you envisioned they are lovely and I'll wager delicious. They certainly sound wonderful. You asked about the cornmeal. Here we have three types of corn. Blue, yellow and white. Meal can be ground from all three of them. White corn is less sweet than yellow corn and is better for certain types of baking. The bread can also be made with yellow cornmeal with a problem. It just will not be a traditional Portuguese loaf if made with anything other than the white corn. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  19. Just found your blog! Healthy + chocolate recipes? Yes, please!

    I followed you and am looking forward to the next post :)

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  20. These look really good. All the ingredients sound like they were made for each other. Presentation doesn't matter if they tasted as good as they sound!

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  21. Kath - thanks. It's usually fun but can also be a bit worrisome trying out new things ;-)

    Suelle - yes it did seem an odd combination, but it worked fine, although the coconut was more texture than taste. And yes, a larger pan would probably have been a good idea - in retrospect!

    Maggie - this could work with lots of flavours I think, or just leaving it with the coconut would be nice.

    Jill - thank you. Yes, they did smell rather gorgeous.

    Johanna - ahh, peppermint crisp sounds good, perhaps a bit like the ice breaker we used to have. Ha ha, no actresses were harmed in the making of this cracknel ;-)

    Corina - it would be fun to have a blogger gathering to try out each other's goodies.

    Pudding Pie - thank you for liking my chunks. I really like coconut and chocolate together too.

    Hazel - thankyou. Rustic sounds good, not quite so sure about the tattered!

    Janice - thank you.

    Nesrin - thank you

    CityHippy - it seems as though chunks are the preferred option. I should know by now that elegance is not my style ;-)

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  22. SewHappy - do let me know how you get on - hope you like it. I used vanilla sugar but the original recipe was just for straight white sugar.

    Baking Addict - thank you. I think I've come around to the chunky look now.

    Lizzy - thank you. Glad your husband understands these things ;-)

    Chele - thanks, but not half as lucky as your friends :)

    Suman - yes, definitely refreshing - a good after dinner treat.

    Cook in a Bar - thank you for your kind words and thank you for the award.

    Sensible Vegetarian - thank you for visiting and for kind words.

    Mary - thank you and thanks for explaining about the corn. I knew about blue cornmeal but not white.

    Jackie - thanks for kind words and thanks for following.

    All that I'm Eating - thank you.

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  23. Yum! The texture of this looks delicious. I think I'd eat too much of this one!! :D

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  24. I think the appearance is definitely in its favour. What's the point of making something homemade if people think it came from Tesco? This looks beautiful and chic.

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  25. Brittany - he he, eating too much is always something I find hard to resist ;-)

    Foodcat - thank you for your lovely and encouraging words :)

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  26. Wow, these sound really nice and very moreish!

    Maria
    x

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  27. Maria - thank you. If I hadn't given them away, I think I could have eaten rather too many.

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  28. Yum! These things can't be cut neatly, they have to be smashed and rough-hewn! It seems to improve their flavour.. ;-)

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  29. Celia - thank you. I shall heed your wise words and enjoy.

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  30. These would be nice as after dinner mints

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  31. Ooooh now this looks fabulous!!! What a fabulous tongue tingling combination!

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