Ka’u Coffee Festival Triple C Recipe Contest

What do you get when you mix a lot of butter, a little sugar, and some of the world’s best coffee together over scorching heat? Sugar splash burns on your belly from cooking in a swim suit?

No! I mean yes, but more importantly you get the grand prize winning recipe at the Ka’u Coffee Festival’s Triple C Recipe Contest. I’m super excited to report to you all that my Coco Mocha Roca won first place candy and the overall best recipe prizes last weekend in Pahala.

You may remember that my Ka’u Coffee Brigadeiros won first place candy last year, but were edged out of the grand prize by Chelsea Lynn Kauionalani Rosario with her biscotti recipe. 

The Triple C Recipe Contest is only one part of the Ka’u Coffee Festival which is going on through May 5, 2013. I went to the ho’olaulea in Pahala on Saturday for unlimited coffee tastings, ono food, and of course great, live music. More on that event later.

If you have never been, or it has been awhile since you visited Ka’u, this is the perfect opportunity to check it out. Not only does this district of the Big Island offer views for days of the greenest ranch land and the bluest seas, but it’s hard to beat the down-home, country vibe that oozes around every bend in the road. 

Before attempting to make the recipe below, you will definitely need a candy thermometer. Hope you like it!

Coco Mocha Roca

makes about 30 two inch pieces

1 cup Hawaiian cane sugar
1 cup butter, plus more greasing pan

3 TBL finely ground Ka’u coffee, divided
1 ½ cups roasted & salted Big Island macadamia nuts, chopped and divided

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup shredded coconut

Butter a 9×11 pan.
In a saucepan over medium high heat melt sugar, butter, and 2 TBL Ka’u coffee grounds and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn heat down to medium, stirring constantly for about 12 minutes or until a candy thermometer reads 300 degrees. Do not allow it to go ever 320 degrees.
Mix 1 cup of mac nuts in with sugar mixture.  Carefully spread mixture in pan with a wooden spoon, taking care to spread as evenly as possible. You may need 2 spoons to accomplish this since it is so hot. 
Sprinkle the chocolate chips and the remaining Ka’u coffee over all. Allow chocolate to melt for a minute or so, then spread it out evenly with the wooden spoon. Top with remaining mac nuts and coconut, pressing down a little so it sticks to the chocolate. Allow to cool completely before cutting into 2 inch squares with a sharp knife. Enjoy!

PS: If it is a very humid day, the sugar/butter part of this recipe may not set, so choose your day wisely. 


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