Usually I pass right by recipes that have more sugar than good sense when looking for ideas. But with 200 people extolling the virtues of 80 pounds of sugar mixed with a little chocolate I felt an obligation to take a closer look.
Either these folks think sucrose is a food group, or this thing was so freaking good no one cared that it contains enough sugar to crack a tooth. After making several batches and suffering through a few diabetic comas from taste testing, I think the conclusion might be that it is freaking good. This chocolate traycake (I love the Brits) is like a baked candy bar, so crazy good the amount of sugar didn’t matter (though we did cut it back a bit).
It comes from BBC’s Good Food website and is a recipe from Sarah Cook. The description is what made me take a longer look – storecupboard treats. Anything called storecupboard reminds me of a pantry filled with chocolate. Or a story about chocolate in a cupboard.
I made the recipe as is, remembering that self rising flour is not much of thing here in the United States so I added the requisite stuff, baking powder and salt. Plus golden caster sugar is a tough thing to obtain and it isn’t anything like brown sugar which has molasses added to it. India Tree has something similar but it’s expensive. The commonly agreed substitution (thank you, Nigella) is to use superfine baker’s sugar (that thing in a milk carton in most groceries). Or find raw sugar and whiz it up until it is very fine. I also tried it with some coconut sugar and while it was tasty, not the same thing. I’d go with superfine and then if you really want to be authentic, order some caster sugar.
Be sure to use only unsweetened finely shredded coconut in this recipe. If you even try to use the sweetened stuff found in most grocery stores, this will surely crack your teeth. I like Let’s Do Organic . Plus unsweetened tastes good and the sweetened coconut often tastes like bad car exhaust.
My final recipe melts and browns the butter until it gets a little color and then lets the sugar melt a bit into the hot butter. Last in to the hot mixture is the cocoa which is stirred in until it looks melty. The surprise when melting these three together is that there so much sugar in the recipe that it never completely liquefies. The goop remains goopy and stirs up like a clod of mud. It’s supposed to look like that so don’t panic. Let the pan cool until you can touch the bottom without burning your hand. Add the eggs a little bit at a time and stir the crap out of it until it becomes shiny and more like batter. All the grainy stuff disappears. It doesn’t hurt that the eggs go in cold so that it hedges any confluence of the heat and eggs making little scrambled eggs.
It’s a simple recipe, and when it comes out of the oven you’ll have to resist sticking a spoon in it for a taste. Wait until it is stone cold. And it’s even better if you can cool it to room temperature, cover the pan with foil and refrigerate overnight. It slices quite well while cold and tastes like a fudgy candy bar. The original recipe said it makes 16 squares, but only if your blood sugar can handle it. Cutting it into 32 small-bite bars makes more sense. It is ridiculously good, but ridiculously rich and sweet.
Also, just so you know. Everyone will be fighting over the edge pieces which are just about the best thing ever if you like chewy, gooey chocolate fudgy bars.
It’s kind of silly to call this stuff cake, but hey, whatever.
|Chocolate Coconut Cake Bar Bites|| |
- 230 grams unsalted butter, melted and slightly browned (16 tablespoons or 1 cup)
- 400 grams superfine granulated sugar (2 cups)
- 80 grams unsweetened cocoa (1 cup)
- 4 extra large eggs, very cold, beaten
- 1 tablespoon brewed coffee
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 130 grams Canteen flour blend (1 cup) (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 90 grams finely shredded UNSWEETENED coconut (1 cup)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x9 pan with foil or parchment all the way up the sides. Use butter to hold parchment in place if necessary. In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat until it begins to snap, crackle and pop and turn a pale nutty color (very pale). Add the sugar and stir until it begins to melt slightly and is fully incorporated though there is too much sugar to melt completely. Stir in the cocoa until all the lumps disappear. The mixture will come away from the sides of the pan and be very thick and will look grainy. Remove from the heat and cool until you can barely touch the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in ⅓ of the egg into the chocolate stuff and beat until it is fully mixed in and the batter starts to look very shiny and smooth. Add remaining egg and thoroughly blend into the batter. It should look shiny and smooth. Beat in coffee and vanilla. Stir baking powder and salt into the flour. Add to the chocolate batter and stir and fold until the flour is completely mixed in. Fold in the (unsweetened!) coconut and then scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake 30 minutes. Rotate pan and turn temperature down to 325°F if the edges are getting too brown and crusty. Bake 10-15 minutes more or just until a toothpick comes out with gooey (but not raw batter) crumbs from the center. It should be a bit gooey, but feel free to bake it a little longer (probably best to turn down the temperature to 325°F) until that toothpick comes out with gooey crumbs. Cool on a rack for sixteen days (ok, not sixteen days) or a few hours until cold to the touch. For easier slicing, refrigerate the pan until very cold, even overnight – wrapped in foil. Remove from the pan using the parchment or foil and cut into 16 diabetic coma pieces or 32 bite size pieces. Expect it to be very sweet, but crazy good, almost like a candy bar. Gets better the 2nd day.