Chocolate with Francois Coconut Rochers

by Joanne on November 30, 2010

Swimming:  Monday was such a burn out day, I went for a 30 minute swimming workout at the Community College to try to get some energy flowing. Swimming is a tough sport! Just because you can run so many miles doesn’t mean swimming one lap of the pool comes easy! I had to rest after every 25 meters. 


First, I used the kick board to practice my kicking.  Then I tried the one arm stroke where you have one  arm at your side and swim only with the other arm then switch after 10 strokes.  That’s super tiring!  I alternated breathing sides and then tried to swim underwater as long as I could.  That was the extent of my water workout. Doesn’t sound like much but it was.

Ted and I are scheduled for a 30 minute lesson tonight but it’s at 7:30 pm and that’s getting a bit late for my schedule.  We’ll see if I make it.  I sure could use more practice, that’s for sure.  At least when I swim continuously, I don’t get so cold.

Do any of you swim?  How often do you practice?

Running:  A total of 7 running miles outside with a chest and arm weight workout to start.  

Started the run off slow. My legs were heavy and I kept thinking how I really didn’t want to run anymore.  Instead of focusing on my run, I tried to disassociate myself from the activity and let my mind think about other things: Christmas, gifts bought and gifts yet to buy, swimming, going out to dinner…anything but running.  It worked. By the time I refocused, I was ready to speed it up.  The wind was against me on the way home so even though it wasn’t a high mileage run, it was tough due to the wind resistance.   End result: mission accomplished.

The Special of the Day:   Chocolate with Francois Coconut Rochers!

Rocher means “boulder” in French.  That should be the description of these cookies from Francois’ Payard’s book “Chocolate Epiphany”. 

chocolate with Francois

My cookies don’t look like boulders but more like tepees. Still, just as delicious.


This month the Chocolate with Francois group is baking up my choice found on page 45 of Payard’s book.  I cut the recipe in half because all his recipes seem to make so much.


The ingredients for 25 rochers


  • 5 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 4 1/2 cups dried unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2  1/2 TBS Dutch-Processed cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 TBS semi sweet mini chocolate chips

*I used sweetened coconut and regular chocolate chips.


Preheat oven to 400 F with the rack in the center.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and put a bowl of cold water right next to it. You will need it to form your cookies.

Combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer.

Fill a pan about 1/3 full with water and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and HOVER the egg white mixture over the top. DON’T LET IT TOUCH THE HOT WATER – your eggs will cook. 

This is the hardest part:  You need to beat the whites – sugar mixture over the water for about 5 minutes without letting it touch the hot water.  The whites- sugar need to form a meringue. 

Set that bowl aside.   In another bowl, mix the coconut, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips. Now with a silicone spatula (or wooden spoon) *make sure there is NO GREASE on whatever mixing utensil you use, gently fold the coconut mix into the meringue just until combined.

Scoop out mixture, about 1 1/2 to 2” diameter on your baking sheet. Dip fingers in water and pinch the top of the mounds to form pyramid shapes.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until outside of cookie becomes crunchy. Center will remain moist.

Remove to cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container, in a cook, dry place for up to 4 days.


These would make delightful little gift cookies but obviously, I enjoyed a few too many with a hot cup of tea hence, not enough for gifts. I’ll just have to make some more!


Just like Francois promised, crisp outside, moist inside


Hope everyone else enjoyed making this months recipe.  I thought it was definitely one of the easier one.

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  • At 2010.11.30 07:34, Heather said:

    Sounds like quite the workout – swim, run, and weights! Great day!

    • At 2010.11.30 15:59, Joanne said:

      It turned out to be a great day…a few aches and pains but those are a common thing now.

      • At 2010.11.30 10:23, Cherine said:

        Mmm I need one of these right now!

        • At 2010.11.30 16:00, Joanne said:

          Trade ya – one Rocher for a piece of that Tortilla!

          • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Applecrumbles, Applecrumbles. Applecrumbles said: New blog post: – Chocolate with Francois Coconut Rochers […]

            • At 2010.11.30 13:54, Lori (Finding Radiance) said:

              Swimming is really tough for me. I have read some books on it (Immersion swimming), but it is for sure not a sport that comes naturally to me. When I did the triathlon last year, my only goal was to get through the swim without drowning LOL!

              • At 2010.11.30 16:01, Joanne said:

                Yep – I get pretty nervous in the deep end. I’m looking down ..way, way down and then I start to swim faster which just results in me getting tired because I’m not regulating my breath. Oh well..sure I’ll get more comfortable over time.

                • At 2010.11.30 14:34, Amanda @ baking w/o a box said:

                  Those look exquisite! Just reading the swimming recap tired me out. I haven’t been swimming at ages but I took many float breaks. Great job!

                  • At 2010.11.30 16:01, Joanne said:

                    we’re suppose to go again tonight. UGG!

                    • At 2010.11.30 20:06, Sandy said:

                      Joanne, these came out beautifully-and your photos are outstanding. And I’m impressed by your exercise routine…makes me feel a bit guilty as I munch on this Rocher !

                      • At 2010.11.30 20:49, Julie said:

                        Joanne – These look beautiful with the cup of tea. Great choice this month! We enjoyed them.

                        • At 2010.11.30 21:31, Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog said:

                          I know very well that feeling. I can run kilometers but when the swimming-season in summer begin – hundreds of meters is hard.

                          You need to warm up – like running 10 mins minimum and you can have your rhythm (slow) when you begin. Sprinting quickly and you’ll end exhausted.

                          This chocolaty-stuff is ideal swimming after mmmmm 🙂



                          • At 2010.12.01 03:21, Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear said:

                            Last year I planned to start swimming , I even bought a brand new sporty swimsuit but never got around to actually going… I don’t like swimming much but I figured it would be great exercise anyway.

                            • At 2010.12.01 20:47, Peggy said:

                              Joanne, good for you on the swimming! My husband and I just learned how to swim about two years ago and it has been a struggle for us, but it relaxes us so much to have a swim workout every now and then. We used to go twice per week, but we have gotten lazy lately. We intend to start back. It is quite a workout on your upper body, as well as good for your legs and rear end. I’m sure those cookies are great! I gave up on the Francois recipes. Just too time consuming. Have a great week!

                              • At 2010.12.02 01:36, Monet said:

                                This recipe does look simple and delicious. You did such a great job presenting them too! I love seeing cookies next to cups of warm drinks! My husband swims, and I know that he is always exhausted after a good workout. Swimming is hard stuff! Thank you for sharing! Have a great Thursday.

                                • At 2010.12.02 16:56, Leslie said:

                                  I haven’t written my post yet, but I made these yesterday and they were amazing!!! Great pick! And thanks for choosing something easy for us this month.

                                  One thing I noticed in the recipe above is you left out the paragraph about putting the hot egg whites and sugar on the mixer to whip until cool. 🙂

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