This is another recipe for homemade dark chocolates, which were part of J’s special gift. These are one of the simplest types of chocolates to make, although it still involves tempering chocolate. You can make these morsels without tempering,
however tempering tends to create better results – the chocolate adheres to the fruit/nuts better, and will not cause what people call “feet”.
Again there are no specific quantities given in this recipe, just guidelines. Feel free to play around with different types of dried fruit, nuts and seeds. I used a mixture of sultanas (raisins), dried apricots, almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. The relative amounts will depend on how many clusters you want to make. The ideal consistency is to have just enough chocolate to coat the fruit/nuts/seeds.
CHOCOLATE FRUIT AND NUT CLUSTERS
- dark (semi-sweet/bitter) chocolate*
- mixture of dried fruit, roasted nuts and seeds roughly chopped
* I used 85% Alter Eco chocolate
- chocolate (candy) thermometer
1. Gently heat 2.5 cm (1 inch) water in a saucepan. Place ⅔ of the dark (semi-sweet/bitter) chocolate into a bowl and set over the simmering water (over very low heat), make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
2. Stir chocolate until melted and the thermometer reads 43°C (110°F), then immediately remove from the saucepan. Wipe the bottom of the bowl dry, and add remaining chocolate and stir until the mixture reaches 28°C (82°F).
3. Place the bowl back onto the pan of barely simmering water, and heat the dark chocolate, stirring continuously until the mixture reaches 31-32°C (88-90°F). The chocolate is now tempered and ready to be used.
4. Stir in enough chopped fruit, nuts and seeds so that the bits are well coated in melted chocolate, and there’s very little “loose” chocolate.
5. Take spoonfuls of the mixture and drop onto a baking tray (pan/sheet), lined with parchment/waxed (greaseproof) paper. Allow to set before popping into your mouth and enjoying!