“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher

Friday, June 11, 2010

Quick and Decadent Chocolate Cups

What do you do when you want to put together a quick yet decadent after dinner treat for your guests? Start with some good quality semi-sweet or darker chocolate, add a healthy handful of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and coconut. Then top with sea salt. The great thing about these mini chocolate cups is that the possibilities are endless. You can use macadamia nuts, pecans, almonds, pine nuts or hazelnuts. Pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds are options. And for dried fruit–raisins, currants, apricots, pineapple, cherries, blueberries would work well. Whatever you’re in the mood for and have on hand will work and they can be made and ready in about 30 minutes without a lot of fuss.

Mini Chocolate Cups with Fruit and Nuts

3.5 - 4 oz. good quality semi-sweet chocolate (60-65% cacao content) or slightly darker (I used Lindt 70% Intense Dark)

1 t coconut oil

1 T chopped walnuts*

1 T hulled sunflower seeds*

1 T dried cherries, chopped in half

1 T shredded coconut

coarse sea salt

Very gently melt the chocolate with the coconut oil over a double boiler, or rest a glass or ceramic dish with the chocolate into a pot of simmering water. Continue to stir gently until the chocolate is ¾ of the way melted, then remove the chocolate from the heat and stir until it is completely melted (I do this to prevent the chocolate from overheating and separating and the residual heat in the bowl is usually enough to complete the melting process). Add the nuts, seeds, fruit, and coconut and stir well. Drop teaspoons full of the mixture into mini muffin pans that are lined with small paper pastry cups. Let them set for a few minutes, then sprinkle with a little sea salt. Chill until set in the refrigerator. This recipe makes about 8 chocolates.

That’s it! These are so quick and easy and the perfect size for a bite or two after a meal. And that’s usually all that I need to satisfy me. I’m going to experiment with different nuts, fruits and brands of chocolate since there are a few good ones on the market.

* If you’re using nuts and/or seeds that have been soaked, they should be dried really well (even dehydrated) before adding to the chocolate.

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