Here is my take on homemade Mounds bars — or Bounty if you live outside of US. These beauties are double-coated with crunchy melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolate, they are vegan, low-carb, sugar-free, paleo, so extremely easy and healthy! You don’t even need molds for making these bars.
Tips for making the bars
Don’t worry about complicated instructions for tempering chocolate. If you follow the directions above, you actually do the tempering. Quickly and without any thermometers or other hassle! This short-cut tempering should be sufficient for personal use.
Tempering brings several benefits. Chocolate won’t melt in your hands when you eat the bar — it will melt in your mouth instead. Tempering also ensures the delicious sounding and feeling crunch when you take a bite of the bar. Whenever I make something chocolate-coated, that crunch is the most important thing to me. Last but not least, tempering also ensures even color and shiny surface. But like I said, don’t worry about any complicated methods, just follow the simple directions above.
At least for me, the single best piece of advice what comes to tempering the chocolate, is to avoid heating the chocolate too much. If the chocolate is too hot, the texture will be uneven and burned after the chocolate has set. If the tempering fails anyway for some reason and the color of the chocolate coating is uneven, don’t worry, the bars are still delicious! And the uneven surface actually looks decorated and fun 🙂
Dipping the bars in chocolate is done easiest by holding a bar with two forks while dipping it in the melted chocolate. The excess chocolate will run between the tines.
In case you don’t have time for dipping the bars two times, one time is better than nothing, of course. Simply omit the steps 12 and 13 from the above directions. Yes, and you need altogether only 4 oz (115 g) dark chocolate. Alternatively, you can melt 6 oz (170 g) of the chopped chocolate, take the melted chocolate from the heat and add the rest of the chopped chocolate (2 oz = 60 g). Stir until all the chocolate is melted. You can dip the bars once and drizzle the rest of the chocolate over the bars. That’s faster than dipping the bars two times.
|Nutrition information||Protein||Fat||Net carbs||kcal|
|In total:||33.1 g||252.9 g||51.4 g||2623 kcal|
|Per bar if 8 bars in total:||4.1 g||31.6 g||6.4 g||328 kcal|
|Per bar if 12 bars in total:||2.8 g||21.1 g||4.3 g||219 kcal|
|Per bar if 16 bars in total:||2.1 g||15.8 g||3.2 g||164 kcal|
|Per bar if 20 bars in total:||1.7 g||12.6 g||2.6 g||131 kcal|
|Per bar if 24 bars in total:||1.4 g||10.5 g||2.1 g||109 kcal|
My experiences when developing the recipe
I made some experiments with homemade Mounds bars a few years ago. I have a Swedish low-carb cookbook which I don’t consider that great, except what comes to the recipe for Mounds bars — or Bounty, as the brand is in Sweden. The recipe calls among others for erythritol crystals and heavy cream. I wanted to make a dairy-free version, actually completely vegan version. So, I decided to use only coconut milk. I also wanted to use powdered sweetener instead of crystals, because it was important to me to ensure that the sweetener dissolves in the mixture and doesn’t feel gritty or crystallized. And naturally, I persisted in keeping the recipe as simple as possible.
Basically, I started the developing of my homemade Mounds bars from the scratch. I was wondering the amounts of ingredients and just decided to start my research by wildly trying out something. I took a saucepan and combined 1/3 cup (80 ml) coconut oil, 1/3 cup (80 ml) coconut milk and 1/3 cup (80 ml) Zsweet sweetener. I heated the mixture until the coconut oil had melted. Then I added 1 1/2 cup (360 ml) shredded coconut and mixed well. I refrigerated the mixture for a couple of hours, after which I grabbed small handfuls of the mixture and formed bars. Then I dipped the bars in melted dark chocolate and refrigerated them until they were firm and the chocolate had set. The bars were delicious, but they could have been sweeter. Well, my husband and my toddler loved the bars and the batch was soon eaten up.
I still wanted to try out different measures. I increased the amount of sweetener and the shredded coconut. Well, in the end less shredded coconut was better. I tried different ratios of coconut oil and coconut milk, but the original amounts brought the best results.
Then it suddenly hit me that forming bars with hands was actually really laborious. I wanted to simplify the process. I lined a small ceramic baking dish with plastic foil and poured the mixture in there. I pressed the mixture evenly and tightly, covered the dish and refrigerated it for overnight. On the next day I took the dish, took a sharp knife and cut the solid mixture into nice, even bars. All the bars still needed was the chocolate coating. I dipped the bars once in the melted chocolate.
Ceramic baking dish, however, wasn’t the best dish for the bars. I couldn’t remove the mixture or the plastic foil easily, so I had to do the cutting when the mixture was still in the dish because I simply couldn’t get it out otherwise. I switched to a silicone loaf pan and that worked perfectly. Removing the mixture was easy as pie — I just turned the pan upside down and the chilled, solid mixture popped out onto parchment paper where I cut the mixture into bars.
As an extreme chocolate lover, I decided to add another coating of chocolate for the final touch. Yum!
Tips for variations
Well, the Mounds bar is the Mounds bar, how would you vary the recipe except to Mounds Island Orange bar? Then add grated zest (with no white pith!) of 1 large organic orange to the mixture of the coconut oil, coconut milk and the sweetener. Add 2 teaspoons orange flavor to the melted chocolate before coating the bars with it.
Another delicious variation is to add 1 tablespoon organic cocoa powder for a real coconutty chocolatey treat.
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract gives a delicious hint of vanilla flavor.
For an easy-to-eat and the cutest treat, make the bars as pops!
I’m so thrilled about the coming St. Patrick’s Day, so I made a variation with 1 teaspoon spirulina powder in the filling. What an exciting surprise! No artificial colors needed, the spirulina does the job.
You can pour the coconut mixture in shamrock lollipop molds, refrigerate for a few hours, remove the lollipops and then dip them in melted chocolate.
Well, I’m planning more exciting recipes for St. Paddy’s… Stay tuned!
Update March 5th, 2013: Tip for the pops, how to make pretty round shapes: Instead of rolling the mixture into balls (which results easily to rough round shapes and grainy surface), you can scoop the molten coconut mixture into half sphere mold and press tight into the mold. Freeze for 1–2 hours. Remove the solid mixture from the mold. Glue two half spheres together with melted chocolate. Insert a small lollipop stick or a cocktail stick to the ball. Dip the ball in melted chocolate. Decorate, if you like.
I used this method for the pops, see the photos above.