If this was the script for a Rom-Com, Bergamotte would be the under-appreciated and bitter hero, who turns out to be just the right match for popular but cloying Date. Or maybe it's an action movie where they team up to save me when i've been taken hostage by the evil OSM-syndicate (Offices Snack Machine). —Lise
Start by brewing an extremely strong cup tea. Strain it to remove the tealeaves. In a small pot mix maple syrup, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla pod and tea. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium high heat. Quickly stir in the shredded coconut and remove from heat immediately. Let it cool to room temperature. This step has to purposes: Boiling the cacao powder brings out more chocolate flavour, Mixing in the coconut partially reconstitutes it, so the final bar is more moist and chewy.
Add dates and coconut mixture to a food processor, and blitz until it's smooth, and there are no visible pieces of date left. If using, add the cacao nips for the last 10 sec, so they are left mostly whole, for an extra crunch.
Cover an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper, tin foil or similar. press datemixture into the pan in an even layer. Cut into bars 4 inches long and 1,5 inches wide. this will be easier if the mix is allowed to firm up in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Cover the bars with melted, tempered chocolate and sprinkle with more screwed coconut. Or simply toss the bars in extra coconut. To make it easy to stuff one in my purse each morning I wrap them individually in parchment paper.
I keep them in the fridge, and they still taste totally fresh after a monthI like to wrap these bars individually in parchment paper so it easy to put in my purse for a wonderful snack. WARNING: Do not keep in office fridge, they will drive your co-workers to a life of food-snatching related crime.