<singing> “Sometimes you feel like a nut! … ” </singing>
I wasn’t going to share this recipe — I ended up having to improvise wildly along the way —
but two days later the results have been received rather well,
so here we are!
Recipe adapted from I Wash… You Dry.
For the biscuit layer
165 g cold butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 + 3/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp lemon or lime juice*
For the coconut layer
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 cups desiccated coconut
1 tsp coconut essence
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup icing mixture
1/2 cup whole unsalted roasted (or raw) almonds
For the chocolate layer
440 g (2 Cadbury blocks) milk or dark chocolate
20 g butter
3 tbsp icing mixture
- For the biscuit layer…
Preheat the oven to 167° C and make sure you have two shelves in. Butter two 2L Pyrex baking dishes (or one large slice tin) and line the bottom and sides with baking paper. Set aside.
- Dice the butter into very small cubes.
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the crust (no need to sift the flour) and mix with your hands, rubbing the butter into the flour until there are no more chunks of butter and it’s the texture of damp sand.
- Split the biscuit mixture between the two baking dishes (or dump it all into one tin) and press it in very firmly to form a flat, hard layer.
- Bake the biscuit for about half an hour, or until it’s dry and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly (in the baking dishes) while you prepare the coconut filling. Leave the oven on!
- For the coconut layer…
Grab a large bowl (possibly the same large bowl). Sift in the icing mixture, add the rest of the ingredients for the coconut layer (except the almonds), and stir with a wooden spoon until fully combined.**
- Divide the coconut mixture between the two baking dishes (or dump it all into the single tin), and use your fingertips to spread it out and then press it into a single flat later, all the way to the edges.***
- Bake the coconut layer for about 20 minutes — keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get too golden.
(This is maybe a tiny bit too golden.)
- Remove from the oven and leave in the baking dish on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes.
- Grab your almonds and press them into the still-soft coconut later at about 2cm intervals.
- Leave the whole thing (in the baking dishes — on a cooling rack, or even in the fridge if you’re in a rush) to cool completely.
- For the chocolate layer…
When the coconut layer has completely cooled, break up the chocolate into a medium-sized metal bowl, place the metal bowl over a small saucepan full of water, and heat — stirring constantly — on a medium-hot stove. (Congrats! You made a double boiler!)
- When the chocolate is mostly melted, sift in the icing mixture and add the butter.
- Keep stirring until the chocolate and butter are completely melted (and don’t worry if it starts to thicken a bit with the icing mixture).
- Pour the chocolate out of the saucepan onto the cooled coconut/almond layer, and — working quickly — spread it out with a spatula to form a smooth, even layer (again, all the way to the edges). The almonds might not stay exactly in place — but congratulations if they do!
- Leave the whole thing to cool, either at room temperature or in the fridge — ideally overnight.
- When the whole thing has set (and maybe you’ve had an overnight nap), grab a large, sharp knife and cut the slice into pieces about 2cm by 2cm.
- For the most satisfying biscuit+chewy+crunch texture, serve at room temperature. Or you can transfer the cut slices to an airtight container lined with baking paper, and store at room temperature or in the fridge (for about a week, I guess).
*You could just use water if you don’t want to crack open a citrus for the occasion. Or you could use the rest of the lemon or lime in a gin + tonic…
** You’re aiming for a consistency a bit like a wet dough — not crumbly, not runny, slightly sticky. If it’s too dry, add a bit of milk or water. If it’s too wet, add some more coconut (or some flour if you don’t have any more coconut). I found 1 tin condensed milk + 3 cups desiccated coconut worked just fine.
***It might seem at first like you’re never going to get a smooth layer out of this thing! But working with your fingertips it will eventually soften up and start sticking to the biscuit base/itself.