Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Coconut Roughs

As a little kid, my one true passion in life was the pursuit of lollies (that's candy to all the folks in America).

When either of my parents paid a visit to the corner shop in the evenings, my sister and I always hoped they would return with a little extra something for us. Quite often they did, but there were also times when they did not. These were very disappointing occasions indeed!

Control over my lollie supply became a reality when my mother began paying my sister and I pocket money. I was paid a grand some of twenty cents a week (I do believe my sister got fifty cents, which after a couple of years of protest, I was awarded as well). With that twenty cent piece in my hand, my first thought was what lollie I could get for my money? My favourite chocolate bar at the time was Chokito - a very expensive proposition, at twenty five cents a bar - and certainly out of my price range.

The more attractive option for me was a Golden Rough - at twelve cents each, I was left with eight cents to purchase a bag of mixed lollies, usually on my way to school, as soon after breakfast as possible! Mixed lollies were in fact great value for money then - many were priced at two for one cent, so with my limited budget, it was possible to get quite a good stash.

When I was ten years old, my neighbour, Vera Mudford, hired me to walk her five year old charge, Michael, to school each day. Michael was in infant's school - he was a bit of a brat, but not intolerably so. It was easy to put up with him for the fortune I was paid at the end of every week - fifty cents!!! With this money in my pocket, Chokitos were within my grasp!

On my first pay day, I told my sister I was off to the corner shop to buy two Chokitos - one for me and one for her. She was delighted. I hot footed it up the street, cut behind the local library, then down the block to Dunny's corner shop (it seemed a mammoth journey back then, but these days, I'd probably be able to walk it in five minutes flat). I purchased the precious Chokitos and headed for home. But the thought of having those Chokitos in my hot little hands was too much for me to bear - all that money had given me a feeling of immense power (at least in my own eyes). Suddenly I was capable of buying a grown up's chocolate bar without anyone controlling my purchasing power. It was almost too much for me to handle. I rapidly scoffed one of those Chokitos on the trip home and found it impossible to part with the other.

That purchasing power certainly grew to be a terrible monkey on my back. Years later as an adult, I never failed to collect one or two chocolate bars on the way to work each morning, and usually had consumed them both by 9.30am! It has taken many years to iron that terribly bad bug out of my eating habits. These days, I mostly choose rice crackers to snack on. But there is still the odd morning when I'm tempted by a Coconut Rough... I try not to feel too guilty about it when I give in to temptation. Old habits, it seems, die hard.

Ingredients
125g dark cooking chocolate
65g copha (vegetable fat solids)
100g shredded coconut

1. Melt chocolate and copha in microwave oven. This should take about four minutes. Check chocolate at two minutes, thirty seconds - it should be melted. Stir copha into chocolate, encouraging it to melt, but return to microwave for further heating to complete the process.

2. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin with olive oil spray.

3. Pour melted chocolate and copha mix over shredded coconut. Mix until coconut is completely coated with chocolate.

4. Spoon teaspoon-fulls of mixture into mini muffin pans. You can make the coconut roughs as thick or thin as you like!

5. Refridgerate for ten minutes to solidify chocolate.

6. Lightly twist each coconut rough to loosen from tin. Store in airtight container in fridge. Makes about 40 coconut roughs.

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