I really struggled with what to call these coconut caramel patties. They’re not particularly similar to any ‘traditional’ products available in the UK, except a ‘Bounty’ perhaps, and I have spent the last few days wracking my brains to figure out how to christen these things. In a moment of frustration I collapsed on the sofa, exclaiming; ‘They aren’t anything; they’re just delicious!”. Eventually I found this recipe for chocolate covered mint patties by the insanely talented Emily at This Rawsome Vegan Life, and I’m not quite exactly what the heck a ‘pattie’ is, but they looked like the closest thing I am going to get with these, so patties it is.
Whatever they are; they’re gosh damned delicious. You’ve got plenty of fresh, creamy coconut, topped with a generous layer of date caramel, smothered in a super thick layer of rich, raw chocolate. I topped mine with some Coconut Merchant toasted coconut chips (which are just about the most addictive thing on the planet!), and a drizzle of raw chocolate. These things look and taste impressive, but they are quite honestly one of the simplest recipes around; all you need is a blender or food processor for the dates, and you’re good to go. If you don’t fancy using dates for the caramel layer, or if you want to make these ridiculously simply, you could even substitute the date caramel for some coconut jam, which is like silky smooth, caramel (who knew you could get so many amazing things out of the not-so humble coconut?!).
The recipe for these delicious patties is actually adapted from an old recipe on my blog, that I was originally planning on updating the photos for, but I added some tweaks and I think a whole new, drastically improved recipe was born, that deserves a whole new post of it’s own. I do like to make my recipes again to iron out any niggles in the future, and so I can retake older photos, but despite the fact that the style (and quality!) of some of the photos of my older recipes bothers me, it is quite nice to have some to look back on to see my progress.
I originally started taking photos to post on Instagram of food to practise my photography when I got a new camera in February, because it is a nice way to get to grips with your camera, as it gives you a good reason to take photos everyday. I was actually always more in love with nature photography, but have since completely, utterly fallen in love with the art that is food styling and photography, and was given photography lessons with an eccentric old man who specialises in fabulous, arty nature shots as a Christmas present, which I finally got around to doing this week!
I really though I had actually started to understand what I was doing, until I met Derek. He started the day by looking deep into our eyes, and proclaiming that you must have a ‘theme’ in your mind when you go to take a photo, “a theme such as tranquility, which you must feel deep in your belly”, apparently. I think the over-riding theme in the majority of my photos is definitely ‘hungry’, and I certainly feel that in my belly!
He kept laughing at my woeful knowledge of my camera menu (and the fact that until the other day I was taking my photos in JPEG format), and spent the whole day bellowing at myself and my boyfriend to ‘GET LOW!’ whilst taking arty, angled photos of railings and rusty boat cleats. It was certainly quite a different experience to taking photos of chocolate biscuits and puddings!
Despite the hilarity of the day, I definitely learnt a few cool new tricks to help my take more interesting shots of buildings (and railings!). So what were the rather unique Derek’s top tips for getting the perfect shot?
• The most important thing is to GET LOW. This means you must put your camera on the floor, lie down, hang over the edge of a pier close to the water; literally whatever it takes to get as low as possible, as this gives you must more interesting angles in your photos.
• You must have diagonal lines in your photo, that draw the eye in towards subject of the photo, which must always be slightly off-centre.
• Leave your lens cap off when you go out; that way you will never miss a shot. Also, always leave your camera on when you go out because it uses much more battery turning itself off an on.
• Take photos in RAW; they require a small amount of post-processing, but you will ultimately have more control over the final ‘look’ of your photo.
• It is always better to take an under-exposed photo than an over-exposed photo, because the detail can always be brought out later in the editing process.
He also spent quite a lot of the day giving us advice on which pubs in Bristol to frequent and avoid, so if you would like any of Derek’s special pub tips, please let me know!
As always, tag @rawberryfields in the caption of your photos if you want me to see any of your recreations, it always makes my day when I see the scrumptious things you make! Happy Sunday!
- 1½ cups (150g) unsweetened desiccated coconut
- 150g coconut cream
- 1-2 Tbsp liquid coconut butter (OR coconut oil)
- 3-4 Tbsp maple syrup OR liquid sweetener of choice
- 1 cup (roughly 200g) Medjool dates (preferably soaked for an hour before)
- 60 g almond butter
- 2 Tbsp liquid coconut oil
- 1-2 Tbsp warm water
- 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 160g liquid cacao butter
- 10-11 Tbsp cacao powder
- 6 Tbsp maple syrup OR to taste
- Coconut Merchant toasted coconut chips
- In a large bowl, mix the desiccated coconut, maple syrup and the coconut cream until they are well combined.
- Add the liquid coconut butter and mix until a sticky mixture is formed.
- Line a tray with greaseproof paper. Roll the coconut mixture into 10 even sized balls.
- Press the balls flat with the palm of your hand, and then shape and squish them into cookie shapes, with nice smooth surfaces and edges.
- Place in the freezer while you make the date caramel.
- Place all the ingredients EXCEPT the water in a food processor or blender and combine until a sticky paste is formed.
- Add 1 spoonful of water to the processor and blend. If needed, add the second spoonful.
- Place 1 large tablespoon of the caramel in the centre of each pattie.
- Fill a small bowl with some lukewarm water. Dip your fingers into the water and shake off any excess drops. This makes it easier to flatten and smooth the caramel over the pattie.
- Smooth caramel over the cookies and place bake into the freezer while you make the chocolate.
- Mix the cacao powder into the cacao butter until a smooth, creamy chocolatey mixture is formed.
- Stir in the maple syrup until well combined.
- Remove the coconut cookies from the freezer, and coat each cookie in chocolate.
- Gently press some toasted coconut chips on the top of each cookie, and drizzle the remaining chocolate over to decorate.
- Place the cookies back on the baking tray, and place the tray back in the freezer for 10 minutes before serving.
If you want to know more about the ingredients used in this recipe, please visit my ‘Raw Pantry’ page!