Friday, November 03, 2006

Easiest chocolate candy

We all have our faults. My greatest—by my own estimation—could be severe impatience. The problem is that when something takes, oh, 10 seconds or so, I would rather just skip it.

Some people might call that lazy. “Impatience” has a better ring, no?

This brings me to one of my favorite new food gifts. This Gourmet recipe is fantastic for impatient people. I adapt it to whatever dried fruits and nuts I have in my freezer, and throw together a lovely gift (or snack) in about 10 minutes.

Fruit and Nut Chocolate Chunks
1 1/4 lb fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), broken into small pieces Vegetable oil for greasing pan
2/3 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup salted roasted shelled pistachios (3 oz)
2/3 cup salted roasted cashews (3 oz)

Melt chocolate in top of a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.

While chocolate is melting, line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang, then lightly oil foil.

Remove chocolate from heat and stir in fruit and nuts, then spread evenly in baking pan. Freeze until firm, about 20 minutes. Lift candy in foil from pan using overhang and transfer to a cutting board. Peel off foil and cut candy with a long heavy knife into 36 pieces.

Tips and notes:
· There is no need to use vegetable oil. Just line your pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper. The candy will lift right out.
· Place the candy (without the plastic wrap) on a cutting board, and use a sharp knife to break it into chunks. Gourmet cut these pieces into beautifully symmetrical squares, but I like it broken into different sized pieces for a rustic look.
· Use whatever nuts and dried fruits you have. I’ve made this a few times, and I always use dried blueberries and pistachios to add color. I never add raisins, because I don’t like the flavor.
· My favorite combination of nuts, and what I used this time, is hazelnuts, pistachios and pecans.
· I used really good chocolate the first time I made this. Recently, I made it with Hershey’s dark chocolate chips and I don’t think anyone would know the difference.


Blogger Second Chance Art said...

I love your blog! Very professional - do you take your own pictures? I'm not much of a reader/writer - but enjoyed looking at your blog. :)

6:56 PM  

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