Anna Jones is a very bright young cook and food writer who has worked with many celebrated chefs, from Antonio Carluccio to Yotam Ottolenghi. She earned her stripes at Le Caprice in London and has cooked in Spain and the Chianti fields of Tuscany. She has written two books A Modern Way to Eat and A Modern Way to Cook. Below is her recipe for Salted Almond Chocolate Bars - delicious on a wintry afternoon...
200 g almonds
3 tbsp runny honey or agave syrup
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
the seeds from 1 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
150 g unsweetened desiccated coconut
200 g dark chocolate (70%)
Fill and boil a kettle and get all your ingredients together. Line a small square tin or baking tray with baking parchment. Put the almonds into the bowl of a food processor and blitz for 5 minutes, until the nuts are beginning to turn into a soft butter. Add the honey or agave syrup, the coconut oil, vanilla and a good pinch of salt and blitz to combine. Add the desiccated coconut and blitz again until you have a scruffy dough-like mixture. Tip the dough into the lined baking tray and use clean wet hands to even it out into a square about 2cm thick. Put the baking tray into the freezer for a couple of minutes. Break the chocolate into a bowl that will comfortably sit on top of one of your pans. Put the pan on the heat, add a couple of centimetres of boiling water and bring to a gentle simmer. Place the bowl on top of the pan and let the chocolate melt, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the simmering water. Take the almond mixture out of the freezer and cut it into 24 bars. I do this by making six vertical slices and four horizontal ones. Pop them back into the freezer to chill. Once the chocolate has melted, take it off the heat and allow it to cool and thicken, stirring occasionally. Cooling the chocolate a little is important, so that the bars will be thickly coated. Line a second baking tray with parchment. Take the frozen bars out of the fridge and dip them into the chocolate, using two forks to turn them, then lay them on the parchment. Once you have coated all the bars, put them into the fridge to set. These bars can be stacked in a container and kept in the fridge for up to a month. They also freeze really well.
Images and recipe from cook, stylist and writer Anna Jones.