Sunday, April 7, 2013

coconut toffee


We've known each other a few months now, viewers*, so let's start getting real with one another.  Let's discuss things like late-night cravings and our dirty snacking habits. 

We all get pangs and cravings that toss us off the wagon (or is it "on the wagon?") from time to time.  Anyways, we're being bounced around some wagon in Dostoyevsky's Russia and its not comfortable.  We find ourselves halfway through a bag of chocolate chips at 11pm and sink into a dark hole of self-loathing and self-pity.  To combat all this bouncing and stay on a healthy track, I need to create a highly controlled environment at all times, especially in the kitchen.  Unless it is for a specific purpose, I don't buy sweets or ingredients to make sweets.  Sure, I'll always have flour, sugar, cocoa powder, etc. around, but the effort required to make something from scratch is a significant enough deterrent to pose any immediate danger to my health in those volatile evening hours...right?  right?

But I'm too clever for my own good.  Last week the cards were seemingly stacked against me: it was Passover (no eating flour), no eggs in fridge, no butter to be found.  No possibility of even an flourless mug cake (damn the inventor of the mug cake).  And then: sugar...coconut...cocoa...sea salt...toffee...
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. sea salt

Get a metal, glass, or ceramic bowl of your coconut flakes mixed with cocoa ready.

Generally a good caramel will require almost equal parts butter and sugar, but like I said, I didn't have any butter.  So melt the sugar alone in a small pot over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to break up chunks.  It will be very sticky and ever-so-slightly burnt when its done.**  Stir in a 1/2 tbsp. of sea salt when finished.
Pour the caramel immediately over the coconut flakes and cocoa and stir to combine.  The cocoa should melt and it will be very tacky.  Keep mixing until cool enough to touch, but still warm.
Press out onto a sheet of parchment paper, to whatever thickness you'd like.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Place in the freezer for a few minutes to cool a little and harden a bit before eating.
**Don't use anything plastic to make this and don't freak when your pot and bowl are crusted in very hard caramel.  Just boil water in that pot and it will rinse away.  Use the boiling water to clean the bowl.
*Are you still not "viewing" Mike and Tom Eat Snacks?

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