Monday, September 24, 2012

Chocolate for Sharing

Last week my chocolate order arrived. I can't economically buy Callebaut chocolate locally so I source it online from a Victorian distributor. This means I buy in bulk, two or three times a year. Six kilos of extremely high quality chocolate of various cocoa contents and a kilo of cocoa powder landing on my doorstep is very dangerous. It is perhaps even more dangerous because its arrival coincided with the arrival of another recent purchase, a copy of Nigel Slater's Real Fast Desserts.

I have drawn the line at three chocolate creations for the week, because anyone who knows me, knows that self-control is not my strong point when it comes to chocolate. Fortunately visited friends on Sunday for a BBQ, so I used this as a bit of an excuse to pull out some of the chocolate. On the menu was: Chocolate Almonds from Nigel Slater's book, Oreo Truffles and a favourite from my childhood, Chocolate Crackles.

Chocolate Almonds
This really is as easy as it sounds.

2-3 handfuls of shelled almonds
100g dark chocolate (I used Callebaut 54%, any darker and Hubby complains)
2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder (I used Callebaut dutch-processed)
  1. Dry fry almonds until they are fragrant
  2. Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over simmering water.
  3. Spread cocoa over a piece of grease-proof paper.
  4. Dunk each almond in the chocolate, thoroughly coating, then roll it in the cocoa. Place on a piece of grease-proof paper to set.

I only coated half of my almonds in cocoa as Hubby really does complain if he can taste cocoa. The rest were all mine. Slater says "you'll wish you had made more", and he was so right but so wrong. These were ridiculously easy to eat, and if I had made double, I would have eaten double, in the same amount of time.

Cheat's Chocolate Crackles
This is yet another very easy recipe that the chocaholic should approach with caution. When I was a kid I loved chocolate crackles, until I went to someone's birthday party and tasted the overly sweet, copha-filled monstrosities that I later discovered followed the traditional recipe. This is how my mum makes chocolate crackles, and as far as I'm concerned it is the only way to make them.

200g milk chocolate (I used Callebaut 34%)
Cornflakes (yes, cornflakes, the volume varies and I never measure)
  1. Line a 12-cup muffin tray (or 24-cup mini muffin tray) with paper liners.
  2. Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over simmering water. 
  3. Add a handful of cornflakes to the melted chocolate, lightly crushing as you add them. Mix.
  4. Continue adding cornflakes, a handful at a time, until all cornflakes are coated and no melted chocolate remains in the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Spoon mixture into the paper liners (you may need more or less liners depending on how much of the cornflakes you used).
  6. Refrigerate until set hard.

You may be saying "eeewww", but trust me, these are the best! Maybe it has to do with the slight saltiness of the cornflakes, or the more structured texture as opposed to a rice-bubble version (you could of course use rice bubbles if you prefer), but no matter how old I get, I still adore these and love that my girls are now old enough for me to make them for them as a treat.

Oreo Truffles
These were the last, and most evil chocolatey treat I made on the weekend. I was first introduced to these tasty morsels a few years ago at a kids birthday party and could not believe that the combination of ingredients could create something so rich and adult-tasting.

2 x 150g packets Oreo biscuits
170g cream cheese (I used Light Philadelphia)
200g milk chocolate (I used Callebaut 34%)
  1. Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over simmering water. Turn off heat but keep melted chocolate over the pan of hot water. Line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.
  2. Break up Oreo biscuits into a food processor, then whiz until finely crumbed.
  3. Add cream cheese and whiz again until combined.
  4. Roll teaspoon sized portions of the Oreo mix into balls and coat in melted chocolate. Use two forks to remove the balls from the chocolate without deforming the shape too much.
  5. Set the balls on grease-proof paper and refrigerate until cold.

I took these to a BBQ on Sunday night, and they were a massive hit. It's always fun getting people to guess what's in these, as unless you've had them before, it's very hard to pick. This batch made 37 truffles, but only about 30 of them made it to the BBQ.

While I had a fun weekend in the kitchen, with no real baking involved, I think I need a self-imposed ban on chocolate this week. My baby and my behind will thank me later.


  1. is there any Callebaut left? You've made gorgeous treats with it Pam, maybe you need to buy more. ;-) Love the almonds, thank you - never tried that before!

    1. Haha, there is a little left Celia. I got a flavoured bud sampler I'm dying to play with too but I really shouldn't eat anymore chocolate this week.