As I sit here and type this from the sandy shores of Koh Samui, I feel a million miles away from the other sandy shores I left behind just a few days ago. On the morning we left I got so carried away shooting the photos for this post that I had to resort to the throw-it-all-in-and-hope-for-the-best packing method – not ideal but thankfully I don’t seem to have forgotten anything yet.
I had A LOT of fun putting together this blog post for the Sweet Adventures “Nuts about Sweets” Blog Hop. I’m not sure why this one more so than others but I’m pretty sure that several blocks of creamy Lindt chocolate may have something to do with it.
I also enjoyed the fact that they were easier to make than I expected and turned out exactly as I hoped they would (which my fellow bloggers will appreciate is not always the case!) I may have inadvertently tempered the chocolate – I say this because there were no white spots and the chocolate had a nice ‘snap’ to it – but there certainly weren’t any thermometers in sight. If you have the time and inclination, you can read about different methods of tempering chocolate here.
It was also lots of fun working with so many different ingredients and coming up with new flavour combinations in a kind of eeny-meeny-miney-mo fashion. And finally, the fact that we were leaving on holiday and had to finish as many of the creamy, crunchy, colourful chocolate thins as possible before we left may have also been a contributing factor.
I will definitely be making these to serve with coffee and cheese at our next dinner party as they can be made in advance and it’s an easy way to cater for lots of different tastes. Whilst I’m more of a chocolate and nut minus the fruit person myself, the dried fruit added nice little pops of colour for presentation and I actually really enjoyed the fruit and nut combos too. By definition these chocolates are very thin and will melt fairly quickly so you want to make sure you keep them in the fridge right up until you serve them. They would also be a great edible gift layered in boxes or cellophane bags between sheets of tissue paper.
What combination takes your fancy?
Chocolate, Fruit & Nut Thins (Makes 15-20)
INGREDIENTS100g good quality dark, milk or white chocolate (I used Lindt and the dark was 80% cocoa) Your choice of toppings such as: dried fruit, nuts, sprinkles, honeycomb, cocoa nibs, coffee beans (small quantities broken or chopped into small pieces) Extra chocolate in a contrasting colour to decorate (optional)
Start by chopping and setting aside all of of your toppings and lining a tray or chopping board with baking parchment. If you wish you can draw around a cookie cutter or jam jar lid which will help you make thins of a similar size. They won’t spread so you can space them fairly close together. Make sure you turn over the baking parchment when you are finished so the pen or pencil is facing down.
Break the chocolate up into pieces and melt in a glass bowl over a saucepan 1/4 filled with water over a medium heat (make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water and that no water gets into the chocolate as it will seize). Once the chocolate starts to melt you can turn it down to a low heat and once fully melted turn it off. This will take 5-10 minutes.
Drop a teaspoonful of melted chocolate into the centre of one of your pre drawn circles and spread in a circular motion using the back of the spoon. Try to spread the mixture evenly so that the edges aren’t super thin as this will make them easier to peel off the baking parchment later.
Repeat the steps above and once you have 5 or 6 thins carefully place your chosen toppings on top of the chocolate circles.
If your bowl of chocolate starts to firm up turn the heat back on for a few seconds (it is easier to spread when fully melted) but don’t leave the heat on the whole time as the chocolate may start to burn and get lumpy.
Repeat the steps above until you have used all of the chocolate in the bowl. If you are using extra chocolate in a contrasting colour to decorate, melt this in a clean bowl and use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over the top of your chocolate thins in a flicking motion.
Place the tray of thins in the fridge to chill for at least 1-2 hours and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Note: If using vanilla you will need the seeds of half a vanilla bean per 100g of chocolate. Scoop out the seeds and stir them into the bowl of fully melted chocolate before making your thins.
This post is part of the Sweet Adventures “Nuts about Sweets” Blog Hop hosted by Nic from Dining with a Stud. If you’d like to join the hop, click here for instructions. To see other entries in the hop, click on the thumbnail images below. Learn more about the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop here.