Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Naughty Valentine’s Day Chocolates


Ah Valentine's Day... now that everyone has stuffed their face with pancakes, it's time for some chocolate. Last week I put together a list of romantic restaurants in Dublin for you but if edible gifts are more your thing, here's a super easy one for you. As chocolate is a well known aphrodisiac, it will make a perfect present for your other half this Sunday!




For these little treats, I've been inspired by French ‘mendiants’ which are chocolate discs topped with dried fruits and nuts, usually served at Christmas. They’re a great petits fours but I thought I’d give them a little naughty twist for Valentine’s. 



For this recipe I used Ó Conaill 70% dark chocolate to keep it Irish.  I remember when I was training in Ballymaloe last year, I loved going for a delicious hot chocolate from them at the Midleton Farmers market to warm myself up. 

Now, I chose some toppings that I thought would be perfect for the occasion and I've even given them a name:
  • 'I love your ginger beard’ (named after Mr. FFID’s beard)- That’s the one you top with crystallised ginger, because hey, ginger is an aphrodisiac, don’t you know?
  • ‘Violets are blue… poems are hard’ - I find dark chocolate and crystallised violets a divine combination
  • ’Some like it hot’ - Chili is another aphrodisiac so I've combined chili flakes with sea salt flakes
  • ‘Pretty in pink’ - Pink peppercorns have a great colour and add a spicy little kick to the dark chocolate
  • ‘More than eye 'popping' candy’ - Top your chocolates with some popping candy to surprise your loved one!
Now here is the very simple method for making my naughty Valentine’s Day chocolates.

Naughty Valentine’s Chocolates

Ingredients

250g quality dark chocolate 

Suggested toppings:

sea salt flakes
chili flakes
popping candy
crystallised violets
chopped crystallised ginger 
pink peppercorns 
Shredded nougat or pop corn

Method

Have a silicon mat lined on a flat baking tray ready. (I used a macaron silicon mat as it has disc shapes)

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a small sauce pan filled with water on a medium heat. (The bowl shouldn’t touch the water)

When the water is boiling, turn off the heat and stir the chocolate, allowing it to gently melt completely. 

Spoon small blobs of chocolate on the silicon mat, you can use the back of the spoon to form the little discs. Gently shake the mat against the table to allow the chocolate to flatten evenly.

Sprinkle with the toppings of your choice.

Place in the fridge until it is set and then peel them off the mat.

Offer your naughty Valentine’s Day chocolates to someone lovely, or just keep them for yourself!


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