On Friday evening we celebrated my dear friend Jennifer’s 39th birthday by having dinner at our house and going to see Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.
We made a chicken/chorizo/rice dish – sort of like Paella, with some local ingredients (check out this recipe for an idea of what we made – we used chorizo for our dinner, the recipe uses sausage, but you can use either) and a green salad with our homemade dressing.
Who can forget dessert? When I think of Alice in Wonderland , besides the rabbit holes and the Queen-of-Hearts, I can’t help but imagine delicious pastries, tarts, cakes, and pies with afternoon tea. Alice just wouldn’t be the same without something sweet and delightful. Oh, and champagne.
So I made a recipe from The Nourishing Gourmet’s web site, Mounds Candy Bar, for the finale to our meal.
I was looking for something relatively simple since I had a very busy day ahead before our dinner and night out. This recipe definitely suited our needs: it had to have chocolate, be easy to prepare, and be absolutely delicious. And of course, I wanted it to be healthy.
This dessert was not only full of chocolate, but also coconut and almonds, and wonderfully satisfying for the sweet I was craving. It definitely tastes like a fancy treat you’d buy in a candy shop. It’s much more like a truffle than a candy bar.
Here’s the recipe from The Nourishing Gourmet:
“Mounds” Candy Bars
Makes 12, large
- 1 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup of honey – I wanted to use raw, but I just used what we had on hand, which was conventional honey
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 36 almonds, left whole or chopped
1. Melt the coconut oil and honey over low heat until just melted. Whisk to combine. Add the almond extract and coconut flakes.
2. Now take out your muffin tins (you will need a 12 compartment muffin tin). In each compartment, place three almonds, or divide the chopped almonds). Then, divide the coconut mixture, making sure you get an even mixture of coconut flakes and coconut oil. Place in a freezer (make sure it’s on a flat surface), and freeze until hard (about 30 minutes).
Ingredients for chocolate sauce to pour over coconut mixture:
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder (not dutch cocoa, I used Dagoba)
- 1/4 cup of honey, or more if you want it sweeter
- 1 cup of coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3. Combine these ingredients in a 2 cup glass measuring glass and place in a pot of simmering water. Heat until everything is just melted, and remove from heat. Either whisk briskly, or use a hand blender to combine well (the hand blender is the easiest way to do this).
4. Take out the frozen coconut flakes mixture, and divide your chocolate mixture over it (about two tablespoons per muffin compartment).
The truffles, as Jennifer’s husband called them (and that is SO appropriate) turned out great and everyone loved them. They were exceedingly rich and decadent, and a perfect prelude to our movie.
As we often do for special occasions, we donned our finest apparel in honor of Alice, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and of course…the amazing Tim Burton. Anyone who knows me understands my innate love of clothes and dressing up…I don’t need much of an excuse to do it. Jennifer and I wore our aprons, petticoats, and striped stockings (my apron is one that Jennifer made for me a couple of Christmases ago). Alice and Tim would be proud!
In this photo, Erin and I are giving out kisses to the birthday girl.
We’re old pros at this; we’ve been doing it for years! We’ve got enough crazy clothes in our collective closets to open our own boutique. My friend Jennifer did own a hair salon with a clothing store in it for nearly 10 years. What can I say, we’re just young at heart, have an eye for the unique, and like to have fun!
As we expected, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland delivered all the wonderful sights and sounds his productions are well-known for and loved – lush backgrounds, gorgeous costumes, and resplendent macabre themes – which are spooky but not too dark. This movie was definitely suitable for children (although maybe not the really young ones, perhaps under 6), and all the kids in our group enjoyed the show.
And…if you’re wondering whether the kids liked it, here’s my son enjoying his “Mounds Truffle” Saturday morning, after breakfast.
Probably the best measure of whether a dessert is good or not is to find out if it receives approval from children. At our house, not only do we believe in staying in our pajamas on the weekends until at least noon, we also think dessert is good any time of the day (especially when it’s good for you!).