This recipe is an adapted version of Paradise Bars (think healthy Bounty Bar) that appeared in the first Hemsley & Hemsley cook book. It must be one of the most copied recipes on the planet right now. The combination of dessicated coconut, coconut cream, coconut oil and honey when set creates a perfect texture and flavour for so many ingredients. Here golden berries add a wonderful acidic fruity kick – which just takes the whole taste experience up a notch. In addition they add a stack of vitamins too.My family, absolutely love these so I always make a large batch plus they are nutrient packed too. What could be better?
2 x 200g bars of creamed coconut
10 tbsp melted coconut oil
4 tablespoons Manuka or other good honey (use more if you have a sweet tooth)
A couple of pinches of Maldon sea salt
300g desiccated coconut
100g golden berries, roughly chopped
400g (85% cocoa solids) dark chocolate, unwrap and break into small chunks
1x 24cm square tin lined with silicone paper
Take the creamed coconut out of the cardboard packs and place them still in their plastic wrap in a bowl of really hot water. This will soften the coconut so it can mix easily with the other ingredients.
Remove the creamed coconut from the plastic wrapper and place in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the melted coconut oil, honey and salt. Add the desiccated coconut and golden berries and combine until evenly mixed to a dough like consistency (I use a stand mixer but you can do this by hand). Add a little water or coconut milk if the mixture seems a little too thick but not too much! . Don’t worry about it setting, the coconut oil and cream will reset when you chill the mixture.Place the dough into the lined tin. Press the mix down firmly and chill for around 30 minutes.
While the base in chilling, melt the chocolate in a glass or metal bowl over a pan of warm water. Don’t allow the water to touch the bottom of the bowl and keep it at just under boiling point. You may have to remove from the heat a couple of times. When the chocolate has melted remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Take the coconut base from the fridge and lay it on a chopping board. Cut it into small bars (this is rich so I usually cut into 24). Dunk each bar into the chocolate to coat and tap on the side of the bowl to removed excess chocolate. Place the bars on a tray or rack on silicone paper. I decorated these with some chocolate-coated golden berries and some plain ones.
Allow the chocolate to completely set before handling. Store in an airtight tin or jar. I wrap mine individually in clear self-seal bags as they are a great snack to keep in your bag when you are out and about.
Download a printable version of the recipe golden berry & coconut bars.
I met Terra-Fertil who sell these berries in the UK on twitter and they kindly sent me some samples to try. Better known as physalis they decorated a lot of dessert plates in the 1990’s. The fruits themselves although they look dramatic taste better dried as it intensifies the flavour. Terra-fertil sell these berries plain or coated with raw chocolate and raw cacao powder; both delicious.