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Coconut Clusters

You can't get much easier than melting some chocolate and drizzling it over toasted coconut. This is a great addition to a cookie or candy plate.

By John Scharffenberger

Coconut Clusters

John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg | The Essence of Chocolate | Hyperion 2006

"This easy combination of coconut and chocolate looks decadent but can be made in just minutes. This treat is fun to put together with kids and a nice addition when you're filling gift tins for holiday gifts. We prefer unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut but sweetened works as well." – John Scharffenberger

Yield: About 3/4 lb.

1 to 3 cups coconut
6-8 oz. milk or dark chocolate

To toast coconut, preheat oven to 300°F. Spread 1 to 3 cups of coconut on an ungreased baking sheet and place in oven. After 2 or 3 minutes, toss the coconut with a spatula or tongs. Toast another minute or two until the coconut is a light golden brown. Coconut toasts very quickly so remove the baking sheet from the oven as soon as you see the flakes begin to color.

Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper. Melt 6-8 oz. of either milk or dark chocolate (chopped into small chunks) in a hot water bath (set metal bowl in a wide deep skillet half full of simmering water; do not let water boil and do not splash water into the chocolate; stir until melted) or in the microwave (short bursts 10-20 seconds on medium high, stirring after each burst until melted). Place coconut in a small bowl. If you like, you can add nuts or dried fruit to the coconut – raisins, diced apricots, cherries or even mangoes – or keep the mixture simple with coconut and chocolate.

Drizzle melted chocolate over the coconut, tossing with a spoon. Stop adding chocolate as soon as there's enough to coat the coconut. Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate until set.

The Essence of Chocolate© 2006 John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg . Photo © Hyperion. All rights reserved.

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