I’m a bit of a late starter when it comes to chocolate. I’ve never really liked it. A couple of years ago I was given a lovely box of artisan chocolates with flavours such as Earl Grey, chilli and cardamon – I’ve been hooked ever since, but it has to be the dark stuff!
So for Easter this year I decided to recreate those chocolate memories. Yes it was a bit fiddly, but I had time to play so I made five different kinds of chocolates using a silicone chocolate mould from Lakeland with 30 indentations in one tray. This gave me the chance to experiment with flavours and decoration.
200g dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa) I used Green & Blacks organic cooking chocolate
Freeze-dried raspberries (available in baking and cake decorating shops)
1 large fresh orange
Orange blossom water
Pink Himalayan Salt
The toffee for the toffee crunch needs to be made in advance – see recipe below. The method for the rest is the same:
Gently melt all the chocolate, broken into pieces, in a glass bowl over a pan of hot water on a very low heat.
Add the specific flavour for each chocolate (see order below) and then spoon the chocolate into each mould, and using a warm knife remove any excess chocolate.
Line a small baking tray with baking parchment or silicone. Spread out 100g of flaked almonds or crushed hazelnuts, walnuts – whatever takes your fancy. Melt 100g of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice in a heavy based pan until it turns golden or reaches 300C on a sugar thermometer – take care it will be very hot! Drizzle the hot toffee over the nuts. Leave to cool, break into chunks and put in a strong plastic bag. Now you can smash it into small pieces with a rolling pin.
- Toffee Crunch
Place small shards of toffee into 5 moulds, add the melted dark chocolate to each.
- Raspberry Perfects
Add 8-10 pieces of freeze dried raspberries into 5 moulds. Spoon the melted dark chocolate into each. Next time I think I’ll add rose water to make these extra-perfect!
- Salted Milk Chocolates
Put enough melted chocolate for 5 moulds into a separate bowl, stir through a tablespoon of cream and through 3 grinds of salt, then spoon quickly into the moulds.
- Chocolate Orange
To the remaining chocolate add the zest of 1 orange and 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water and stir through with 2 tablespoons of cream. Spoon into the moulds.
- Orange Whiskey Creams
Finally add 50ml of whiskey to the remaining chocolate and stir through 2 tablespoons of cream – stirring quickly and ensuring the heat is turned up slightly. Fill as many remaining moulds as you have left. By this time the mixture was becoming more truffle-like in consistency. Before serving dust these with cocoa powder. These ones also were delicious served straight from the freezer.
Leave the chocolates for 12-24 hours in the fridge. Enjoy!