Tuesday, 5 August 2014

How to Eat an Afghan

(please note this is a bowl of chocolate mousse, not an Afghan)
The first time I offered my American brother in law an Afghan he nearly choked on his cup of Joe. Perhaps not the most PC biscuit name – AFGHAN. Nevertheless, they’re a kiwi classic, just like barbecued lambs tails at a docking after match.

The humble kiwi Afghan is a buttery chocolate and cornflake biscuit, held together with chocolate icing and crowned with half a walnut. My mum’s friend Sue, was the Afghan baking champion of Ashley Clinton. Bags babysit my sister and I would shout if the offer arose; knowing full well her biscuit tins would runneth over with palm sized crumbly chocolate morsels. Twas a sad day when Sue joined Weight Watchers (not that she needed to) and went on a baking hiatus…

Forever on the path of self-improvement, when I came across, Better-for-you-Afghans in the May issue of Taste magazine, I made them. Then never one to do as I’m told I decided to make them again and make them even BETTER for me. So I replaced the naughty dairy fat butter*** with the most-healthy-fat-du-jour coconut oil**. And my Afghans were delicious and gone in 24 hours.

For Better-Better-For-You-Afghans you will need:

185g coconut oil (dig out of jar and mash into a ¼ cup/60ml & a ½ cup/125ml and that’ll do ya)
½ cup unrefined sugar
¼ cup raw cacao powder
1 ½ cup white spelt flower
½ cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup cacao nibs
1 cup cornflakes
  • Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F. Grease and line a baking tray.
  • Beat together slightly softened coconut oil and sugar (yes this will look odd)
  • Sift in cacao powder, spelt flour and rice flour and combine.
  • Stir through cacao nibs and cornflakes gently so’s you don’t smash em up completely.
  • Grab a spoon and roll, as best you can, golf ball sized balls, plop onto tray and press ever so lightly with a fork.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. The biscuits at this point will be soft but will firm up once on a cooling rack.
  • Throw your walnut halves into they oven to toast until golden. I kept my boys nut free on this occasion.
Le Icing:
  • 50g coconut oil
  • Good quality dark chocolate (I used the pour and cross your fingers technique for this, but 100g should do it. Alternatively, enough Dutch cocoa to make a dark icing works mixed with coconut oil).
  • Warm coconut oil and chocolate together over a double boiler or in the microwave, cool, then slap a big blob on each biscuit and plonk a walnut on top if you choose and allow to set.
Voila the edible Afghan. And possibly the worst food styling pic seen on a blog this year.
** Coconut Oil – Fat per 100g Total: 100g, of which 88g is saturated

***Butter – Fat per 100g: Total: 81.4g,of which 49.1g is saturated

Just like cutting salt from your diet 20 years ago was the cure all, Coconut Oil is the current day equivalent it seems. Testimonials claiming it will tidy up poor immune function, obesity and even cancer seem to be only that, back up scientific evidence is lacking.

However, Miranda Kerr eats a teaspoon on her toast every morning and rocks an enviable thigh gap. And if you don't want to eat it, you can use your Coconut Oil as a moisturizer and an exfloliant. A Mumsnetter recently purported Coconut oil to be a plaque reducing mouthwash. It took me a few days to pluck up the courage to try it. Tell the truth I thought I’d gag swilling warm oil around in my mouth even if I was dreaming of being on a tropical island at the same time. End results: my teeth felt smooth but the basin was jolly OILY. Would not do again.

If you want to read more about the benefits and non-benefits of consuming Coconut Oil you can read this stuff written by people with PhD after their names.

Jump over to honestmum.com for her Healthy Quick & Simple Oat & Coconut cookies. 

Happy Baking!
Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com


  1. Very good recipe! Will be truing it out!
    PS: I run a #Fridayfoodie linky on my blog if you fancy linking up you can join in here http://romanianmum.com/2014/08/ice-cream-round-up.html

    1. Thanks Otilia, I will definitely check it out.

  2. Oh wow, this looks delicious! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays

    1. Yep! Pays not to eat three in a row if you can help it!

  3. Wow - these look great! #TastyTuesdays

    1. They are tasty! Traditionally the icing should look like a blob on top, mine got a bit melty. Am about to make another batch using coconut oil and cocoa for the icing, maybe with a dash of unrefined sugar or honey? Will taste first. I'm nuts for anything chocolate!


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