These Chocolate Clusters are the easiest desserts you will ever make. Aside from buying one already made, that is. I was encouraged by the very inspiring blogger, Clotilde at Chocolate and Zucchini to use up those bits of dried fruits and nuts I have cluttering up the shelves and refrigerator, as well as an exorbitant amount of dark chocolate, which really didn't need using up. In fact, more had to be bought. Spring cleaning comes at a price I guess. But, so worth it.
All you need is a handful of dried fruit and one of nuts, some puffed grain, throw into the melted chocolate, and voila. Well, you do stir things together and drop from a spoon into those cute little mini foil cups. When doing next, and yes, I will, I'll be using a bittersweet chocolate, rather than the unsweetened dark, or else add a bit of sugar. I really like dark, fairly unsweetened chocolate, but this was over the top just a wee bit. The real test though, was the kids did eat them. Usually they like things much sweeter. Recipe after the jump...
Check her post for more details and ideas, but basically, use whatever dried fruit and nut combination you have available and suits your taste. Various spices can be added for further creativity. I used the dried bananas that are usually on hand, because when bananas ripen around here that is the primary way I deal with them.
Banana Almond Chocolate Clusters
- 250 grams (9 ounces) good-quality dark semi-sweet chocolate
- 80 grams (a slightly rounded 1/2 cup) whole unblanched almonds, toasted
- 80 grams (a scant 1/2 cup) dried bananas (or fruit of choice)
- 60 grams (1 cup) puffed rice (or other puffed grain)
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, plus a little more for sprinkling, if desired
You can drop them onto waxed paper or into mini foil cups.
Melt the chopped chocolate in a double boiler, or bowl set over a pan of simmering water, without letting the bowl touch the water. Clotilde also advises, if you have a candy thermometer, the chocolate temperature to shoot for is 31-32°C (88-90°F); if you don't have one, don't worry about it.While it's melting, roughly chop the fruits and nuts. Next, stir all the ingredients into the chocolate, combining well, and use two small spoons to scoot the drops into your cups or onto the paper. Set aside in a cool place, though not in the refrigerator, until firm. Enjoy!