Feelin' nutty

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

(Day 12  of the blogging blitz. If you’ve just joined us, I’m on a mission to get that ol’ blogging mojo back by attempting to post daily for 30 days. 

G’day all.

We’ve just returned from a short trip away to a nearby island. I’ll tell you more about the island in another post, but today I want to talk about chocolate. This fruit and nut chocolate slice to be precise.

When we were away, we were served a chocolate dessert with a dragon fruit sauce. This dessert looked a lot like rocky road but contained fruit (sultanas and raisins) and some kind of puffed cereal. The chocolate base was quite dense, almost a thick fudge or ganache, but not too sweet. It was quite a perfectly balanced dessert which everyone in the family enjoyed, even the two fussiest members. Mr. Kitchen Hand isn’t a fan of the overly sweet or weirdly textured and MC Junior dislikes anything too rich or cloying.

Of course, when I got home, I set about trying to find a recipe for this dessert-that-pleased-all. I found a recipe on the Lucky Nuts site (oh stop smirking) that looked promising. Of course, I had to do some tweaking, because I needed to use what I already had on hand and because I didn’t want to add coffee to the mix.

The end result is absolutely delicious. The texture isn’t the same as the slice we had on the island though. This one is packed with more bits. Also, the chocolate binder seems lighter on this slice, the one we ate was definitely denser. I’m not quite sure how to achieve that texture since I find chocolate a bit tricky to fiddle with. Well, I’ll just have to keep trying then won’t I? If you have any suggestions, do send them my way.

Chocolate, nut, ginger and pretzel slice
(Think of this as a guide and jazz it up however you fancy. Recipe adapted from this site)

1 cup slivered almonds (toasted until light brown)
1/4 cup crystallised ginger (chopped)
1/4 cup walnuts (broken into pieces)
small handful mini salted pretzels (about 1/4 cup, broken into pieces)
1/4 cup currants (substitute with raisins if needed)
200g dark chocolate - chopped (use only the kind you’d be happy to eat in its “natural” state)
1/4 pouring cream (the kind for making whipped cream)
50g butter (I used salted because I like the contrast)

Line a small baking pan or tin (I used a loaf tin) with baking paper, leaving some overhang to make it easier to pull the slice out when set.

Place all the dry ingredients (except chocolate) in a bowl and mix well.

Melt the chocolate, pouring cream and butter together. This can be done either in a microwave safe jug or in a pan over simmering water. I went the microwave route but you need to work in short bursts (30 seconds at a time) to prevent burning. After every “zap” remove the jug and stir the ingredients well. I ended up cooking the mixture for 45 seconds, then 30 seconds. This timing will vary depending on your microwave.

 Stir the mixture until all the chocolate and butter is melted and the mixture looks shiny. If it looks grainy, it may have become overcooked. Do not put it back in the microwave. Keep stirring and hope for the best. After that, consult Dr. Google for help.

Pour the warm chocolate mixture into the nut mixture and stir until thoroughly mixed and all the bits are coated. Transfer this mixture to the prepared tin, smooth the top and tap the tin on the counter to settle the mixture.

Refrigerate for a few hours until set. Slice thinly to serve.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

1 comment:

grace said...

the ginger is a surprising and delicious twist!