Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for spiced chocolate coins | Vegan food and drink

Joseph P Kennedy (the father of ex-president John F Kennedy) famously said: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” But here we are, closing in on the end of 2020, it’s been tough for most of us – and there’s nowhere to go. So, rather than writing a recipe requiring you to step up to the plate (pun intended), here is a high-impact but very low-effort recipe. Something you can make almost effortlessly as a “well done, you” for getting through, a treat to give to friends, or a gift to send loved ones in the run-up to Christmas.

Spiced chocolate coins

These are the perfect thing to make the evening before you need them. If you can’t get hold of the toppings suggested, decorate with whatever odds and ends you have to hand. To gift, wrap in paper or place in a cardboard box, or store in an airtight box, but not in the fridge. So long as they’re airtight, they should keep for at least a week and up to a fortnight.

Prep 5 min
Cook 15 min
Makes About 20 coins

200g 70% cocoa dark chocolate (and suitable for vegans)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
1 pinch ground cloves
1 tbsp light muscovado sugar
1 tbsp chopped hazelnuts or pistachios
, to top
1 tbsp honeycomb pieces
, to top
1 tbsp dried rose petals
, to top
1 tbsp dried cranberries
, to top

Line an oven tray with non-stick baking paper. Break the chocolate into small pieces, put it in a bowl with the spices and sugar, and melt using your preferred method – either in short bursts in a microwave, or in a heatproof bowl set over, but not touching, a pan of very hot water. Either way, you want the chocolate to be barely melted, so keep a very careful eye on it and take it off the heat while there are still a few solid pieces remaining, then stir until they, too, melt in the residual heat.

Using a tablespoon, spoon the melted chocolate into round coins on to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper – you can make them as small or big as you like, but I prefer them to be quite dainty and no more than a couple of bites.

While the chocolate is still liquid, sprinkle on the toppings, adding just a small pinch to each coin, then leave to set at room temperature, not in the fridge. This may take a little while, but will ensure that the chocolate doesn’t bloom (ie, develop a white coat).

Once the coins are completely set, gently lift them off the paper and put in gift boxes, sealed containers or jars.

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