The crunching and munching will be joyful, and you can make believe you’re in a eucalypt forest filled with cuddly marsupials absentmindedly chewing their bodyweight in gum leaves. Puffed rice cereal gives these pops their crunch and variations on the recipe are easy – try a white choc version, or add peanut butter to the mix, and freeze-dried fruit pieces for a pop of extra flavour.
You’ll find your friends clinging to these little cuties just as tightly as a koala clings to a gum tree!
- 300 g (10½ oz) good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 ½ tbsp coconut oil
- 2 cups (80 g) puffed rice cereal
- ½ cup (45 g) desiccated coconut
- 16 ice cream sticks
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) good-quality white chocolate, chopped
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- black oil-based or powdered chocolate colouring
- 32 white chocolate melts
- 32 natural almonds
- 32 sugar flower decorations
- 8 gummy spearmint leaves, halved
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time: 1 hour 30 minutes
1. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil using either the microwave or double-boiler method. Stir until combined. Remove from the heat and mix in the puffed rice and coconut.
2. Spoon the filling into 16 mini silicone popsicle moulds, about 4 x 7 cm (1½ x 2¾ inches) each. Gently tap on the bench to remove air pockets. Insert an ice cream stick into each mould and use the back of a spoon to further compact the filling into the mould. Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes or until very firm.
3. For the decoration, melt the white chocolate and coconut oil using either the microwave or double-boiler method. Tint with black chocolate colouring until a grey colour is achieved. Transfer into a deep jug or glass for ease of dipping.
4. Unmould the crunch pops. Use the melted chocolate to attach two white chocolate melts to the top of each crunch pop to make ears, and also add an almond ‘nose’ and ‘arm’.
5. One by one, dip the crunch pops into the melted chocolate until covered. Gently tap off the excess chocolate and place on a sheet of baking paper. Before the chocolate hardens, decorate the ears with sugar flowers and attach the spearmint gummy halves just below the nose. Allow to set completely at room temperature (at least 1 hour).
6. Once the chocolate has completely set, use a black food pen or black food paint and a thin brush to draw each koala’s eyes. Next, colour in the nose and draw in a tiny smile, as well as some claws.
• I used Cadbury White Chocolate Melts for the ears.
• You can buy sugar flowers from supermarkets or cake decorating stores. You could also use pink marshmallows, cut to size.
• I used Edible Art Paint and a thin brush to add the final details to the koalas.
• To make nut-free crunch pops, replace the natural almonds with jellybeans that have been cut in half lengthways.
• Store the crunch pops in an airtight container. They will keep at room temperature for 1 week or in the fridge for 2 weeks, and can be frozen for 2 months. Serve straight from the refrigerator or at room temperature.
Recipe and image from Bake Australia Great by Katherine Sabbath (Murdoch Book, $39.99)