I am beside myself with (Almond) Joy!
I can’t deny it, America has some pretty good candy, but nothing – and I mean NOTHING – tastes quite like the tropically sumptuous, coconut-filled joy of a Bounty Bar.
It’s taken two years, yes TWO years, for me to discover the irresistible choc-tastic coconut paradise that is the Almond Joy. I had always thought of Hershey’s chocolate as something that should only be eaten as a last resort, in a choc-mergency. You know, like in some weird kinda Twilight Zone when ALL of the shops, petrol stations and convenience stores are closed and you cannot, for love nor money, get your hands on a single piece of chocolate. Then, there it is, in the deepest darkest corner of the kitchen cupboard, one solitary Hershey bar, acquired as part of some well-meant gift, but destined to sit all lonely at the back of the cupboard for eternity.
Hershey chocolate is banned from my mouth – full stop. Or is it? Well, I think the mighty Almond Joy may have just stopped me in my anti-Hershey tracks. Straight from the mouth of Mr Hershey: “when your sweet tooth spontaneously strikes, there’s one thing that will surely satisfy it—coconut, whole almonds, and milk chocolate”. Hurrah, you have won me over Mr Hershey!
Just imagine the delightful coconut-ty chocolate deliciousness of a Bounty Bar, but with the added culinary delight of a cheeky almond, proudly sat atop – kapow, yes that just happened!
This week’s recipe is my tribute to the Almond Joy, the bar that restored my faith in the mighty Hershey chocolate factory – a Mini Almond Joy Tarts recipe. But, I haven’t simply taken the Almond Joy and converted it into mini tarts – that is way too easy! I have taken the Almond Joy and truly flipped it, to create a crisp coconut crust on the outside and a smooth, silky chocolate cream on the inside, all perfectly topped with a single, precious whole almond – yes, yes, yes!
Begin by pre-heating the oven to 350°F (180°C). Place a third of the coconut flakes into the bowl of a food processor, then add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms a ball, which should take around 1 minute – easy, peasy!
Now place your coconut “ball” in a small bowl and top with the remaining coconut flakes and coconut flour. Now the fun part! Start to kneed and combine the mixture with your hands – don’t be shy, get in there! – until the mixture is totally combined. Now divide the mixture into the cups of a mini muffin pan (or a regular muffin pan for larger tarts) and press the mixture into the sides to form the tart crusts.
Put in the oven and bake for 12 – 16 minutes, or until the crusts turn golden brown. They are rather delicate and prone to burning, so keep checking their progress and cover with a sheet of foil, if they look like they are starting to get burnt. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
Pour the cream into a small saucepan and place over a medium heat on the hob. Remove the pan from the heat as soon as the cream begins to boil. Pour the hot cream into a heat-proof bowl, add the chocolate chips and stir just enough to combine the two. Set the bowl aside for 10 minutes and leave it – that means no stirring, tasting, or dipping in tempted fingers!
Once the ten minutes are up, whisk the chocolate and cream together until it becomes smooth and silky – creamy chocolate filling, done!
Fill the coconut crusts with the chocolate cream and top each tart with an almond nut. Refrigerate until the chocolate sets, around 3 hours.
Mini Almond Joy Tarts
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
5 Cups (400g) Sweetened Coconut Flakes
2 Cup Coconut Flour
1 Cup + 2 Tbsp Heavy Cream
2 Cups Chocolate Chips, Semi-Sweet
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Place 1/3 of the coconut flakes into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms a ball (approximately 1 minute).
Place the mixture into a small bowl, add the remaining coconut flakes and coconut flour and, using your hands, combine together.
Press the coconut mixture into the cups of your mini muffin pan to form the tart crusts.
Bake for 12 – 16 minutes, until they turn golden brown. Check the crusts for burning regularly and cover with a sheet of foil, as necessary.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
Pour the cream into a small saucepan and place over a medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat as soon as the cream begins to boil.
Place the heated cream and the chocolate chips into a heat-proof bowl and stir just enough to combine the two.
Set aside for 10 minutes. NOTE: do not be tempted to stir!
Now whisk the chocolate and cream together until it becomes smooth and silky.
Fill the coconut crusts with the chocolate cream and top each tart with an almond.
Refrigerate until the chocolate sets, approximately 3 hours.