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The coconut craze has hit, and I have to admit—I’ve embraced it. Not too long ago, people were avoiding coconut oil because of its saturated fats. Today, we know a whole lot more about fat and that coconut oil is actually good for us and, would you believe, may be linked to weight loss? Who knew?! And so the obsession with all things coconut begins. Today, there are so many coconut products available like coconut sugar, cream, milk, water, kefir, coconut bacon, chips and more.

These little clusters are a bit like “Caramel Corn,” if I may be so bold. A bowl of these and a movie = best night ever.

If you get a batch made and stored in the cupboard, they will be hanging around for the day you get inspired to turn them into bark.

Coconut Cluster Ingredients

200g (5 cups) coconut flakes/chips – soaked 1 hour and sieved
30g (2 tbsp ) maple syrup
100g ( 1/2 cup ) coconut sugar
2g ( 1 tsp ) vanilla powder
30g (2 tbsp ) coconut flour

Method

  • Make sure you sieve the coconut very well so there’s no excess water remaining— this will just dilute the flavour.
  • In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients.
  • Transfer to a Teflex-lined dehydrator tray. Don’t spread the mixture out too much, you want it to “cluster up” when it’s done drying.
  • Dry at your desired temp for 8-12 hours. Once the sugars have dried and crystallised, flip the clusters onto a mesh tray and finish drying until they are completely dry and crisp.
  • Store in an airtight container to be eaten as a snack, or add them to chocolate to make them ridiculous!

Coconut Cluster Chocolate Bark

⅓ recipe candied coconut cluster
150g (5 oz) dark chocolate
75g (2.5 oz) white chocolate (optional, for decoration – get my free white chocolate video )

Method

  • Chop the dark and white chocolate into small pieces—the smaller they are the faster they will melt. Pop 1/2 of each into separate stainless steel mixing bowls.
  • Fill a sauce pot about 1 inch with water.
  • Starting with the dark, put the bowl of chocolate on top, the bowl should not touch the water, or it can burn the chocolate.
  • Bring water to a simmer and stir the chocolate constantly, over a low simmer, until it has melted evenly.
  • Once the chocolate is melted, remove from the bowl from on top of the pot and add the remaining 1/2 of the chocolate you chopped up.
  • Stir that chocolate through until it’s all melted.
  • Line a baking pan with greaseproof paper (you could also use a silicone muffin mould and make individual clusters.) A little trick to get the paper to stick to the bottom of the tin and not move around. Dampen the baking tin ever so slightly and then press the paper down onto it.

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  • Pour half of the dark chocolate onto the paper and swirl it around, so it covers the base of the tin.

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  • Pour half of the white chocolate on top of the dark and, using a toothpick or the handle end of a fork, swirl the white into the dark to create a little marbling.

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  • Cover the chocolate with candied coconut clusters, don’t break it up too much, but have some larger chunks and some crushed pieces too.

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  • Using a spoon, drizzle the remaining dark and white chocolate over the top of the candied coconut clusters as a decoration and to make sure it all holds together once set.

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  • Pop it in the fridge to set, about 10 minutes.
  • Once firm, roughly break it into bark, and store in an airtight container at room temp — this is necessary for the crunch of the candied coconut clusters; if it’s left in contact with the air, it’ll lose its crunch factor.

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