04 January 2007
Last time we talked about those New Year's festivities, with their lovely bite-sized nibbles and its air of abandon. Undoubtedly some of you are regretting all those many glasses of Champagne that made the beginning of 2007, well, less than pleasant. But we never got around to talking about dessert, and this one is a good one. I mean, it's even seasonably black and gold, though these little bites would be good for any season.
These are like chocolate-dipped macaroons in reverse- a crunchy coconut shell with a luscious dollop of ganache filling. This is a recipe I love because they are fast and simple to make yet come out looking professionally elegant and tasting great. The first time I made them, to my delighted surprise, they looked just like the photo in the cookbook (I mean, when does that ever happen?). The tiny tartlets are eaten just as easily, only leaving you with the problem that you probably won't have any leftovers to snack on the next day.
from Gale Gand
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg whites
2 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
8 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup cream
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Stir together the sugar, egg whites, and coconut. Grease very well 24 mini-muffin cups, silicone molds, or tartlet pans. Place a dollop of coconut mixture in each cup and gently press up the sides of the muffin cups. Bake the coconut shells 12-25 minutes, until golden. Run a knife around the edges of the shells and let cool completely in the pans, then carefully remove them (they will stick a bit).
Chop the chocolate and place it in a medium bowl. In a saucepan, heat the cream to a simmer, then pour over the chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth. Using a pastry bag or a spoon, place a bit of chocolate in each coconut shell.
You can use the coconut scraps that will inevitably have broken off some of your shells for garnish, or garnish with some toasted almonds.