It happened like this: I was walking by my friends office today and mid stride, I suddenly HAD to have one of the 'fun sized' Bounty bars I knew she kept on her desk. For my American friends, Bounty are what the rest of the world calls Almond Joy, sans the almond. It's just coconut and chocolate. Of course the ones she has on her desk are the sugar laden ones and decidedly high in carbs. I ate one anyway. But as the guilt sank in, I resolved to try and make some low carb treats I could keep handy so I wouldn't succumb quite so easily next time. I got back to my office and googled 'low carb almond joy recipe' and you wouldn't believe the number of hits I got! I'm clearly not the first to have had this idea. I then saw that the author of one of my favorite blogs was among the hits returned. Healthy Indulgences, hands down one of my guilty pleasures. It's written by a food GENIUS named Lauren. Seriously check out her blog. She is one of those rare people who comes up with original recipes that make your jaw hit the ground. I bet she could win MasterChef if she tried. Or at least place in the top 4. I digress. I've tried several of her recipes before and have yet to be disappointed, so hers was the one I decided to try.
If you are new to this whole low carb, healthy (yes healthy) way of eating, don't be frightened by some of the strange ingredients we tend to use like erythritol, coconut oil, xylitol and xanthan gum. Seriously, just go buy them. You will thank me for it later.
I started by mixing unsweetened shredded coconut, coconut oil, coconut milk and melted erythritol in a bowl. With my hands I put them on a cookie sheet and shaped them into fun sized candy bars.
Next I pressed a couple of almonds into the top to give it that almond joy feel. Then I put them on the balcony to freeze. Ha! Yes, you read that right. On the balcony to freeze. If you aren't as fortunate as I am to have a huge walk in freezer, simply use your small indoor one, it'll do.
After about 5 minutes, or 10, or 15 or however long it takes you to get the baby to bed, get them off of the balcony (or freezer) and get ready for the dipping phase! Where coconut meets it's lucious lover, dark chocolate ganache. (Don't worry, I'll put the recipe below)
After you've coated them all, and licked the extra chocolate off of your fingers about 19 times, but them back on the balcony to harden again. When you bring them back inside, you'll have something a bit like this:
Please excuse the tacky fingerprints in the ganache, but I've never been known for my finishing touches.
These are so good! Really hit the spot! And the ganache is made from 85% dark chocolate, and for fun I also threw in a few squares of Green and Black's espresso dark chocolate. This is a decadant treat and all your processed sugar eating friends are gonna wanna eat them ALL because they are just THAT good!
Recipe from Lauren at Healthy Indulgences
Makes ABOUT 20 bars
1 1/2 cups fine unsweetened shredded coconut
5-6 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup erythritol or 1/4 cup xylitol
2 batches dark chocolate ganache
Pinch of unrefined sea salt
1 packet of Stevia
Melt erythritol over medium heat in a saucepan until liquefied. Combine coconut oil, coconut milk, unsweetened coconut, salt, and stevia. Pour in hot erythritol and mix together thoroughly until coconut oil is melted. Put the coconut mixture on parchment paper and do your best to shape into fun sized candy bars. Top with almonds, pressing the nuts down gently into the filling. Freeze until filling is firm and cold.
Dark Chocolate Ganache
1-3.5 oz 85% cacao content chocolate bar
5 tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 cup erythritol or 1/4 cup xylitol, powdered
1 packet of Stevia
Pop it into the microwave and cook on high for about 30 seconds. Take it out and stir to melt chocolate. Keep microwaving for a few seconds and stirring until all chocolate is melted and the ganache gets thick and creamy. You may need to add extra cream to keep it thinned out.
Keep in mind, if you use the ganache, it won't 'harden', so you really need to keep them in the fridge or freezer.