The title of this post should be “how to play Willy Wonka in your own kitchen”, which is a long way of saying that making your own chocolate goodies at home is super-simple!
Last Saturday afternoon, I taught a chocolate making class at Common Market Co-op, it was the second year in a row for this very popular and sell-out class. After providing a brief introduction to the nutritional benefits of chocolate (it’s a plant! its uses are medicinal!), I shared some of my favorite recipes for easy homemade treats. I’m not saying to abandon buying chocolate confections from local artisan chocolatiers; however, I’d like to inspire everyone to play in your kitchen and make your own chocolates.
One of the easiest recipes that I shared really has no recipe. This is the non-recipe that I’m sharing here today. Chocolate Dipped Mango. Two main ingredients - chocolate and dried mango slices - and then whatever else you want to add (more about that in a moment). This technique of dipping dried mango slices into melted chocolate is straightforward. Choose a quality dark chocolate to melt (I prefer Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels) and melt in a double-boiler (or in the microwave, if you want). Dip slices of dried mango into the chocolate, let the excess drip off back into the bowl, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all chocolate is used, then chill the baking sheet to solidify the chocolate. My class participants had the option of “decorating” their chocolates with pepitas and cacao nibs, to make the chocolate dipped mango slices extra-special and festive. In the past, I’ve used granola (or a crumbled granola bar) to decorate my chocolate dipped mango slices - it’s another delicious option!
I urge you to think beyond mango to other dried fruits for dipping. One of my current favorites is to dip pitted dates in chocolate and roll in toasted sesame seeds. Yum! Chocolate dipped apricots are also wonderful, a classic pairing. Or you could dip pretzel rods and roll in crushed nuts or seeds. Experiment and make your kitchen into your own “chocolate laboratory”!
My goal is to get everyone cooking more and making their own food. Relying heavily on quality ingredients and less on packaged products is really crucial for overall health. Knowing what’s in your food is important!
Wishing you a relaxing weekend, full of delicious food, health & wellness.