Thursday, November 30, 2006


Frankly, I think I've spoiled my family for the store bought-overly sweet-milk chocolate. I melt my own dark and semi sweet blend. And in case you're wondering, brand does matter. I will not use anything but Ghirardelli. I've tried, in the interest of economy, but there is a difference in taste. I also do all my melting in a metal bowl in a warm but off oven or in an uncovered crockpot. I tried to speed the process in a microwave at times and always ended up with a tightened inedible glob.

Here is a simple recipe you can do with your kids:
You'll need: Whole toasted and unsalted almonds
Chocolate chips or chocolate baking bars (broken into pieces)
Cocoa powder (I use Ghirardelli sweet ground chocolate, but you could use any sweetened or unsweetened cocoa according to taste)
Melt 1/2 cup of your favorite chocolate in a bowl. I use a warm oven, but you can also melt in an uncovered crockpot or a baby food warmer. The container you are melting in should be warm, but not hot to the touch. The important thing here is to avoid any moisture being introduced during the process because it makes the chocolate tighten (see above). While it is melting, pour 1/4 cup of cocoa into a plastic container that has an airtight lid. When the chocolate is smooth and glossy, stir in about 1 cup of almonds (I'm guessing the 2:1 ratio, it might be 3:1, but who complains about having leftover melted chocolate?). Spoon the coated almonds into the cocoa container, shut the lid tight and hand it to the kids to shake to their hearts content! The harder they shake, the better the cocoa powder will coat the pieces. Store in a cool place.
Of course, you can use any substitution you want for coating as long as it won't bruise. Leftover chocolate can be used to dip strawberries, cookies, pretzels or fingers.

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