The chocolate bars I nabbed is by Frey - dark variety with 72% cocoa content. Wow, that's the highest I've used for cooking. Why I got it? It was on sale at the local Migros grocery near my sister's place when I visited her in Geneva a few months ago. You know me, I love value for money that means anything on sale!
Unlike some 70% chocolate I had before, this one is very deeply dark brown almost black actually. I savoured a small bite of it that showed it had smoothness, just the right amount of sugar and creaminess, a hint of coffee, with a little bitterness in the finish. Although I couldn't really tell how it would compare to one of those single-estate-organic-super-high-end types that your get from uber cool chocolate boutiques. All I can say is I like its smell, colour, and taste. Now let's see how it would fare when cooked.
I wanted to make something uncomplicated that would show the real qualities of chocolate. First thing that came to mind was chocolate truffles which I thought was perfect but then I've already posted one and for SHF, too! So out came this recipe from my burgeoning clippings from the BBC GoodFood magazine. It looks simple enough until I read closely about 'finely chopped' and 'crushed'. Turned out it requires more elbow grease. Oh well, things I have to do to have my sugar fix. :) The recipe originally asked for dried apricots but I bet any dried or candied fruit would be lovely in it. Things like cherries, pineapples, cranberries, even crystallised ginger! I did not include any chopped nuts because I thought there's too many things in it already. Maybe next time I'll lose the ground almond and put in the nuts. The chocolate itself had to be sufficiently chilled after melting to make it easy enough to mold into a log. Once you've done that the rolling on the crushed biscuits is easy peasy.
How did it taste? Well, the honey had a definite influence on it so other honey flavours would give it a different slant (even golden syrup would be interesting). Despite the number of distractions on this log (did I say I'm making something uncomplicated?), the chocolate still shone through. Dark, very slightly bitter, at the same time meltingly smooth in the mouth. Such a nice change from the gritty chocolates my husband brought home last Christmas.
250 g dark chocolate or combination of milk and dark chocolates
100 g butter
3 Tbsp clear honey
100 g ground almonds
100 g dried or candied fruits (apricots, cherries, etc.) - finely chopped
50 g toasted nuts (optional) - finely chopped
100 g amaretti biscuits - crushed
- Melt chocolate, butter and honey in a heatproof bowl over simmering water in a saucepan.
- Remove from heat and add almonds, toasted nuts (if using), and dried fruits.
- Cool completely and chill in fridge for about 1-2 hours until it is of dough-like consistency.
- Shape into a log (about 2 inches thick) and roll on crushed amaretti biscuits.
- Wrap in greaseproof paper and again tightly in foil.
Chill overnight in fridge.
- Before serving slice into rounds with sharp knife.