Friday, July 6, 2007
I've become fascinated, over the last year or two, with dipping various things in chocolate. It started with a friend at my old job (her name is also Gina) that brought in these no-bake cookies. She frosted one Ritz cracker with marshmallow fluff, one with a thin layer of peanut butter, and made a sandwich out of them. Then you dip the "cookie" in melted Hershey bar chocolate, and cool them on parchment paper in the fridge. They are UH. MAY. ZING. Do not deviate from Hershey bars, she warned me. Nothing else works.
Well, of course I experimented. You know how I am. I mean, in the Garden of Eden, the addition of a snake using his forked devil-tongue to talk me into anything that I know I shouldn't do would have been completely superfluous -- because I would have gone STRAIGHT for that tree the moment I was told not to. Also, I had chocolate chips at home that I needed to use up. But the chips dry too hard and have an unpleasant "crunch" that spoils the cookie... and if you add a little milk, you end up with what is basically bechamel sauce, and it will never totally dry (though it's great on ice cream... or cheesecake). So for anyone but the expert candy maker, I say, USE HERSHEY BARS. Be ye warned.
Also, when you are melting chocolate, use a double-boiler method. It is really easy to burn the chocolate, so use indirect heat, or microwave for a few seconds, and just keep stirring until it all melts together. Don't keep nuking it, or if using a double-boiler, take it OFF the heat.
So what I've done here is take the chili-coated dried mango slices that they sell at Trader Joe's, and dip half of those in chocolate, and cool them on parchment paper (they will not stick, and then you can put them all in a tupperware container). Have you had chili spice with chocolate? It is really wonderful. They are paired a lot in Latino cooking, and these "tongues" are not too hot -- just savory. I call them "devil tongues" because, well, that's what they look like, because they're a little bit spicy, and in honor of the little voice in my head that tells me to dip things in chocolate.