Saturday, October 22, 2005
SHF...too late...but here it is...with additional info...
Well, at least her is the photos. I made chocolate discs with a kick (have a little cayenne with your cacao!) and chocolate covered dried, sugared, ginger. They were both good and simple!
Ok, I just knew that someone would ask for a recipe! Claire has inquired, and so now I must try to recall exactly what I did here. I didn't follow any particular recipe. Instead, I went online and found out how to temper chocolate so that it would be firm and glossy at room temperature. This is the article that I followed to temper my chocolate. I used three different types of dark chocolate: Ghiradelli's, Scharffen Berger, and a Swiss chocolate that I found at my Trader Joe's.
I know that working with chocolate in this state (vs. baking with it) is not exactly my forte, so I didn't try anything heroic. Instead, I looked for simple ways to embellish the chocolate. I found dried, sugared ginger chunks at my Trader Joe's. They were excellent, with an extreme flavor: sweet and quite spicy. I suggest slicing these into small pieces and double coating the pieces in the tempered chocolate.
The second way I made them was inspired in part by a food exhibition at our Orange County fairgrounds several months ago called Zesty Best. Every kind of spicy food you can imagine was there, and for a mere $7 a person, you could sample ALL of it! I bought some amazing ruby red strawberry bar-b-que sauce made by Carlsbad Gourmet. It, like all of the other products present, had a kick.
So, I thought, chocolate and spice is the perfect pair. When you eat chocolate with spice in it, initially you can't taste the spice at all. After the chocolate flavor begins to fade from your tongue, the heat begins to rise. So, I gradually added cayenne pepper to some of the remaining tempered chocolate until I was at a level of heat that I liked (this will definitely vary from person to person...I loved them but a coworker of mine said her tongue was still burning ten minutes later). I used a mini muffin pan to make my little wafers, gently tapping the chocolate flat after spooning it in the cups. I put the tray in the refrigerator in speed up the setting process. After removing, I found that if I twisted my pan a little bit and pushed on the bottom of the cups (imagine an ice cube tray), the chocolates popped right out. Sprinkle them with a little cayenne for beauty and you have the perfect treat for those unsuspecting coworkers. Kidding, kidding (sort of).
Sorry for the imperfect directions, but sometimes, that's the only way to do something! I just have to approach it with an open mind and GO! For an equally interesting blend, check out Ilva's chocolate creation. Hopefully, next time I'll be a little more organized like she is with an actual recipe!