On the Ninth Day of Christmas, The Country Kitchen baked for me… …Grown-Up Chocolate Coins
Do you remember when you were a kid and your parents Santa would hide a bag of chocolate coins in the bottom of your stocking, which you would find after you had poured out all the little presents and gushed over them as if Christmas was only going to happen once in your lifetime? I certainly do, and I adored these delicious little circles of gold. Pure chocolate hidden underneath a golden covering, just waiting for me to rip the tin layer off and pop into my mouth. They were brilliant weren’t they? So fun and you always felt like the richest kid because you had “money”, even if it were made of chocolate! But for some reason, it only ever seems to be children who get to enjoy these at Christmas. Why should adults have to miss out of all the fun, it doesn’t seem right does it?Chocolate Coins just like the ones in my stocking
I can remember watching a cookery show last Christmas which featured a demonstration from the woman behind the Barefoot Contessa culinary show, Ina Garten. She was busy making these adorable strips of Chocolate Bark sprinkled with crushed nuts and juicy dried fruits, and I can remember thinking to myself “wow they look so beautiful! I wonder if I could get the same effect in a coin shape instead?” I couldn’t see why not, it was just melted chocolate after all.Ina Gartens’ French Chocolate Bark
So I gave it a whirl, and experimented with coming up with a bunch of different versions that were a little more sophisticated and grown-up compared to the plain chocolate coins of my childhood. The great thing about making your own chocolate coins, apart from them being possibly the easiest things you can ever make, is that you can make them as simple or decadent as you like. There is no end to the amount of toppings you can cover them with – you could go for fruity, nutty, sweetshop-sweet, salty or even savoury. Oh yes, it is possible to make chocolate coins with savoury toppings and have them taste just as delicious. Anyone ever heard of chocolate covered potato chips? Anything is possible if you just give it a try and keep an open mind.A great idea for Valentines Chocolate Coins
So taking inspiration from Ina Gartens’ French Chocolate Bark recipe, I decided I would give these a shot as they would make perfect little gifts or stocking fillers. But I didn’t want to do them all the same flavour, with the same toppings. I wanted to make each gift different, using a variety of the chocolate coins to choose from. In the end I settled for five different toppings:
I was so pleased with these, and they tasted amazing. Especially the Cranberry, Mango and Pistachio one, that was definitely my favourite. Not to mention the colours on that particular flavour were so festive and just cried Christmas to me. If you are only going to make one of these, let it be that one, it will not disappoint.
These are the kinds of things you want to reach for after dinner and you need a fix for that sweet-tooth ache that always appears about 8:30pm… Or just eat them as little treats whenever you are feeling a little peckish! These Grown-Up Chocolate Coins don’t even count as naughty because they weren’t made of a huge amount of chocolate, which was Fairtrade by the way, I always buy Fairtrade Chocolate for all my baking adventures. Plus they are topped with dried fruits and nuts – and those are good for you, right? So there you go, no excuse not to make these exquisite Grown-Up Chocolate Coins.
But don’t feel you have to stick to only making these Chocolate Coins with white chocolate; this recipe works just as well with dark chocolate, and actually makes for a great display if you mix and match them into little parcels or place them in jars. This recipe from Cookbook Larder is superb, and I love the photography of the dark buttons against the stone worktop – gorgeous!
I also made some dark chocolate versions along with the white chocolate coins which I did in four different flavours:
– Goji Berry, Mango and Cashew – Almond, Cranberry and Apricot – Cranberry, Apricot and Hazelnut – Mango, Pistachio and Cranberry
Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of these ones, which I am really disappointed about as I would have loved to have shown them to you. Oh well, looks like I shall just have to make another batch and taken some more photographs!
Well I think that’s enough talk about chocolate for one evening, so here is my recipe for my not-so-childish chocolate coins. Maybe next Christmas I will find a little bag of these hidden at the bottom of my stocking…
Grown-Up Chocolate Coins
by The Country Kitchen
- 500g Fairtrade Chocolate, white or dark (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
- 50g Dried Fruit, e.g. Dried Cranberries, Dried Apricots, Goji Berries, Dried Mango
- 100g Unsalted Whole Nuts, such as Almonds, Shelled Pistachios, Cashew Nuts or Hazelnuts
- Cut the dried fruits and nuts into small chunks and set aside, each on individual plates or bowls.
- Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper and place on a flat surface.
- Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water, being careful that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water or it will burn the chocolate. Stir with a spatula until shiny and smooth.
- Once melted, drop a teaspoon of the chocolate onto the lined baking trays and sprinkle over the nuts and dried fruit. Do no more than 5 at a time otherwise the chocolate will start to set before you have put the toppings on.
- Put in a cold place and leave to set, about 2-3 hours.
- Once the chocolate coins are completely solid, wrap in cellophane bags or place in glass jars which can be air locked and store for up to 6 months. These make fabulous gifts, so decorate the bags or jars and give to your grown up family and friends (or just enjoy all to yourself!)
And with that I must leave you to dream of chocolate, I know I will tonight.
Happy Baking x