Monday, 23 February 2015

Chocolate Temptations

Here are a couple of little treats you might like to try for that 'special someone' this Valentine's Day. (OK, so I’m a little bit slow posting them here, but they’re good anytime!)

Chocolate Liqueur Truffles

Ultra rich and smooth, and wonderful after a special occasion dinner or even gift (but don’t keep them out of the fridge for too long).

For 12-15 truffles:
150g dark chocolate
2 Tbsp rum, brandy or orange liqueur
2 Tbsp butter
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup cocoa

Break chocolate into squares and put in a round microwave-proof or heat-proof glass container with the spirit or liqueur of your choice. Microwave uncovered on Defrost (30%) power for 3-4 minutes, or in a bowl over boiling water until the chocolate has melted enough to be mixed smoothly with the liqueur.

Stir in the butter and egg yolk until well combined. (The melted chocolate will melt the butter.) Refrigerate until firm enough to shape into walnut-sized balls, then drop a few at a time into the cocoa in a bowl, and rotate gently until coated. Lift out with a spoon and put on a flat plate or in small cases

Refrigerate or freeze in a covered container until required. Serve chilled.


Chocolate Dipped Delights

Chocolate dipped foods always look enticing and are quick and easy to do! Try coating (or partly coating) dried apricots, Brazil and other nuts, grapes and strawberries.

Warm broken squares of dark, milk, or white chocolate in a small microwave bowl, in 30 second bursts, at medium (50%) power, stopping as soon as the chocolate is smooth and semi-liquid when stirred. Thin melted chocolate with very small amounts of Kremelta (Copha) only if necessary, since too much will make the chocolate very runny, and slow down setting. (Add a piece the size of a green pea, then more if needed.) If you want the chocolate to set particularly fast, chill the foods to be dipped first (ensure they are dry before dipping though).

After dipping, hold the food above the container of melted chocolate to catch drips, then cool on a Teflon non-stick liner or a piece of plastic. Refrigerate or stand in a cool place until set. Chocolate dipped strawberries and grapes should be eaten within a few hours but nuts and dried fruits may be refrigerated in a covered container for some weeks.

Photography: LindsayKeats

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