Though probably not the most popular candy bar out there, the Almond Joy™ is held near and dear by coconut-lovers. Our Halloween take is made with premium ingredients and is less sweet, so it has won over those who normally shy away from corner-store treats.
We’re assuming that you already have basic tools lying around (like a rubber spatula, bowls, and measuring cups), so here’s the special equipment you’ll need:
What to buy: Professional pastry chefs use a type of chocolate known as couverture, which sets up nicely because it contains more cocoa butter than regular chocolate. The only trick is, you need to temper it. For this recipe, we used E. Guittard 38 percent Cacao Milk Chocolate Wafers; they can be found at specialty grocery stores and online.
From experience we can say it’s best to avoid tempering chocolate on a hot day. If you can’t, be sure to work in an air-conditioned space. Chocolate behaves best in a room-temperature environment (mid-60s to low 70s). Once your chocolate is in temper, it stays there for only a short time, so have everything ready to go and work quickly.
This recipe was featured as part of our Chocolate Desserts photo gallery.| by Aida Mollenkamp
- 1Line a baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper; set aside.
- 2Combine coconut and corn syrup in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade. Pulse until coconut is finely ground and mixture holds shape when squeezed into a ball, about 30 (1-second) pulses.
- 3Divide coconut mixture into 27 (2-teaspoon) portions. Work each portion between hands until it is compact and smooth. Shape each portion into a 2-1/2-inch-long, 1-inch-wide rectangle (when forming filling, it helps to rinse hands often with water).
- 4Set rectangles on the baking sheet and place in the freezer until firm, at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, temper chocolate.
For the chocolate coating:
- 1To temper chocolate, fill a large bowl with 2 inches of cold water, add 3 to 4 ice cubes, and set aside.
- 2Bring a medium saucepan filled with 1 to 2 inches of water to a simmer over high heat; once simmering, turn off heat. Place 18 ounces of the chocolate in a dry heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over the saucepan and stir until chocolate is completely melted and reaches 118°F. (Make sure chocolate does not come in contact with water or exceed 120°F. If either happens, start over, as the chocolate is no longer usable.)
- 3Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Add remaining 6 ounces chocolate and stir until all chocolate is melted and cools to 80°F. To speed the cooling process, after all chocolate has melted place the bowl over the reserved cold-water bath.
- 4Return the bowl to the saucepan and stir until chocolate reaches 86°F; immediately remove from heat. Do not remove the thermometer from the bowl; check the temperature periodically to make sure it stays between 85°F and 87°F. (Chocolate must remain in this temperature range while dipping or it will not set up properly.) Keep the saucepan over low heat and use it to reheat chocolate as necessary.
- 5To test if chocolate is properly tempered, spread a thin layer on parchment paper and place it in the refrigerator for 3 minutes to set. If chocolate hardens smooth and without streaks, it is properly tempered. (If it is not properly tempered, you need to repeat the process.)
- 6Remove coconut pieces from the freezer. With a dinner fork, individually dip almonds into tempered chocolate, tapping the fork several times on the edge of the bowl. Scrape the bottom of the fork against the edge of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate. Place two almonds on each coconut piece with pointed ends facing inward. Once finished, return the baking sheet to the freezer until chocolate is set, at least 10 minutes. (Monitor melted chocolate to make sure it stays in temper.)
- 7Once chocolate almonds are set, remove coconut fillings from the freezer and individually dip them into tempered chocolate with a dinner or dipping fork. Tap the fork several times on the edge of the bowl, and scrape the bottom of the fork against the edge of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate.
- 8Place Almond Jays on the baking sheet by tilting the fork so the edge of each candy bar touches the parchment-lined pan, then smoothly pull the fork out. Repeat until all candy bars have been dipped. Let sit at room temperature until completely set, at least 20 minutes.
- 9Trim any excess chocolate from edges of candy bars and place Almond Jays in an airtight container. Almond Jays will last up to three weeks in the refrigerator or up to two months in the freezer. Let come to room temperature before serving.