Coco Choco Clusters

Coco Choco Clusters Recipe

I was having second thoughts about running this recipe. My plan was to combine toasted coconut, almonds, ground coffee, and good chocolate into little bite-sized clusters. Simply stir all the ingredients together in a big bowl and then spoon the mixture out onto a baking sheet into little mounds. Sort of like a home-made Almond Joys for the cook who cant be bothered to make a real coconut filling, and who certainly doesn't want to do the dunking required to make a chocolate coating. I also thought it might be a fun kids recipe (you could skip the espresso beans). But in the end, they aren't really my thing...

Coco Choco Clusters

I should add, its not that I didn't like the taste or flavor of these. I simply think they are ugly. And they are fussy. But everyone around here seems to love them, Wayne used the word decadent, so I decided to share them with you regardless. A word of warning, while I don't normally encourage refrigerating chocolate - I promise you, if you leave these out in a summertime kitchen (yes, even in San Francisco) they will crumble in your hands. So, keep 'em cool.

Coco Choco Cluster Recipe

The specifics: I used Marcona almonds (already fried, so I did not toast them) and a 70% Dolfin Chocolate, this amber colored Halen Mon Gold smoked finishing salt, and Blue Bottle Coffee Yemen San'ani - not available on their site right now. To melt the chocolate use a double boiler or if you are like me, and don't own a double-boiler cobble one together using a tiny saucepan set under a larger mixing bowl. Fill the saucepan with an inch or two of water and bring to a simmer - place the big mixing bowl with the chocolate on top of the saucepan and let the heat come up and gently warm the chocolate. Stir occasionally until chocolate is completely melted and remove from heat. Also, make sure all ingredients save the chocolate are at room temp before combining or the chocolate will never set up - for example if the coconut is still hot from toasting.

2 1/2 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted and cooled
1/2 cup toasted almonds, cooled and chopped
7-8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon finely ground espresso beans (optional)
a big grain finishing salt - if you can get your hands on a smoked one, great

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Combine the coconut and almonds in a large bowl. Place the chocolate in a double boiler (or a bowl placed over a bit of simmering water) to melt along with the ground espresso. Pour the chocolate over the coconut mixture and stir to combine. Let cool a few minutes and then drop by the tablespoonful onto baking sheet. Finish with a few grains of salt on top of each. The mixture will be a bit crumbly, but will set as the chocolate cools. If your kitchen is on the cool side the clusters will set up over the course of an hour or so. If you want to speed up the process a bit, pop them in the refrigerator.

Makes 36 clusters.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • I think they look delicious! I will definetly try them. Plus, my little sister would love to help me make them since they're a little messy!

    Izzy
  • I'm a chocholic but not fond of coconut. Any suggestions for a substitute to hold these together and still have a no-bake recipe?

    Betsy
  • They sound a lot better than they look! Maybe leaving the almonds and coffee beans less ground up for some bite and texture (they look like wet tobacco!) then serve with some kind of cream or white chocolate topping to add a white/soft contrast?

    Jamie
  • Glad you shared them, as a coconut and chocolate fan they sound great. Some of the tastiest dishes aren't beautiful and I have had some exquisite food that was so so on flavor. I need to use my silpat more.

    Kim
  • I was thinking it wouldn't take much to pretty these little yummies up. Simply put a little melted chocolate aside and mix in a tiny bit of butter, pick some up with a teaspoon and drizzle the candies with a thin ribbon of chocolate... to go even fancier, try drizzling with white chocolate!

    Sarah
  • Well, *I* think they look beautiful! I can picture these on a plate full of strawberries - the bright dark red of strawberries would compliment the dark brown of the cookies :) My kids would love to make this - we made no-bake chocolate cookies last week and the boys loved them. I think we'll try this one next time. Thanks for posting it!

    Rebecca
  • sometimes taste trumps appearance. although we eat with our eyes and our brains; we still taste with our tongues and smell with our noses. I could see myself eating a few of those. save me a few. also, silpats are the bizness. i use mine nearly everyday. www.thechubbyvegetarian.com

    justin burks
  • We love anything even resembling chocolate at our house, so I'll try them. Sometimes it's fun to make something when you just have dabs of these ingredients--I do have 1/2 bag of coconut left from something else right now, so I'll be throwing this together this week.

    Beth
  • yeah...these are pretty much a chocoholics dream come true...

    Claire
  • They look tasty to me! It's a great summertime recipe too -- you get the pleasure of a cookie/sweet treat without the pain of using an oven in August. And espresso beans -- yum! I'll definitely be giving them a whirl. I think I'll try one batch with the smoked salt, and another with chili powder or maybe espelette.

    Becky and the Beanstock
  • I don't think they're ugly at all! So they're not all smooth & perfect, that's what makes them look like they could be really really tasty, and I'm sure they are! Can't wait to try 'em.... what a great combo!

    Kimberly
  • I think they sound delicious. When I read the opening words, I was expecting to see something unappealing but I think they look good...cute even.

    C
  • They sound really delicious and something simple like this is great when you have a craving but not much time!

    Deborah Dowd
  • Yah... its good to have so many recepies. Good show.I do not mind having some of your yammmmm...one's to see how it is, I trust it will be very tasty. Thank you. Shamal.

    Shamal
  • My mom would probably love these, since she just loves coconut. I quite like the look, especially since they have chocolate...as the saying goes, don't judge a book by its' cover.

    Mireille
  • they look like the no-bake cookies my mom always made whe i was a kid. melted chocolate, coconut and raisins. but they sound like they taste much better :p def want to give these a try.

    Phoenix
  • eh...beauty isn't everything! these sound really tasty. i'm not a huge coconut fan, but for some reason it sounds really excellent with all those other ingredients. this recipe also seems like a good to-go treat--i'll have to try it out!

    Lizzie
  • I don't mind ugly cookies as long as they taste good...and these look like they taste amazing! I'm definitely going to use smoked salt on them - I've been looking for more uses for it!

    cate
  • Looks darn tasty. Yeah, I guess they don't present TOO well but who cares! Hehee. It reminds me of something my sister made me after I had my baby a couple years ago. She cooked portions of healthful, tasty meals for me while I was recuperating from new motherhood. One of those dishes was a cocoa-powder, almond-butter mixture (forgot what the sweetener was...if anything) which was wrapped around a cherry. I haven't had anything quite like it since, but I'd love to try your espresso/coconut version. The fancy chocolates and salts sound exciting. Maybe I'll make it when my three sisters move into their house together this coming week. Thanks for the recipe. :)

    Uncle Hannah
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