December 18, 2014

EAT: fig and pistachio salted dark chocolate

 

I have about 5-6 different dark chocolate bars sitting at home at any given point in time.  You just never know when you're going to crave a square of bittersweet chocolate.  And when you do, you need some variety!  Although equally delicious, everyone knows a chocolate toffee bar is completely different than a coconut caramel one - right?  I guess what I'm trying to say is that chocolate is good.  And you can never have too much laying around.  And if you feel the same way that I do, you should try making your own chocolate bars!

It's as easy as it looks.  There are so many different topping combinations you can try.  For mine, I used dried figs, pistachios and sea salt.  Partly because I love all those ingredients and partly because I already had them stocked in the house.  Use whatcha got! 

I learned a lot about chocolate when making these, namely TEMPERING.  More on tempering in the instructions, but if you're taking this route you'll need a chocolate thermometer for the method below.  This is a good route to take if you'll be gifting these for the holidays as it allows the chocolate to sit out at room temperature and not melt as easily.

Recipe and Instructions (via the one and only David Lebovitz)

Ingredients:

- Dark chocolate (I used 70% cocoa and roughly 4 oz which made about 4 small bars)
- Dried figs, sliced
- Pistachios, shelled and halved or kept whole
- Sea salt

- Chocolate molds.  I used a silicone popsicle mold and a wide ice cube mold for mine.  You can use any plastic container if you don't have an actual chocolate bar mold.


Instructions:

- Melt the chocolate in a clean metal bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.  If you are tempering your chocolate, follow the directions here to temper the chocolate.  Tempering your chocolate keeps it from forming that chalky finish on the chocolate.  It also keeps it from melting too quickly and allows you to leave it out at room temperature vs. the fridge.

-  Once the chocolate is melted (and tempered if you are taking that route), remove the bowl from the pan.  Pour or spoon the chocolate into the molds.  After pouring, tap the molds on the counter a few time to smooth out the chocolate and remove any bubbles.

- Top with the figs and pistachios.  Sprinkle with sea salt.

- Put the bars in the refrigerator until firm.  If you tempered your chocolate it should only take about 5 minutes.  Tempered bars can be stored at room temperature for up to one month.  Regular melted chocolate can be stored in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

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