Thursday, February 14, 2008


Home made pistachio ice cream bon bons.

I admit it. I have been playing with chocolate lately. It all started around the holidays when I decided to make some chocolate covered apples for small gifts. It ended up being quite the project. After a simple trial run I decided to crank it up. I first dipped the apples in hot caramel. Once that was set I went for the second dip in rich, creamy milk chocolate. The next trial added yet another layer. After the caramel I rolled the apples in malt crunchies. You can get these at any candy making or hobby store. They are the same candy that's inside a malted milk ball or, if you are in Europe, the candy called Maltesers, only in granular, pebble like form. They came out quite delicious, I must say.

Malt crunchies you can stir in or add to your chocolate concoctions.

I then graduated to the pistachio ice cream bon bons pictured above. They are easy. Just use a melon baller to scoop the ice cream into mini muffin paper liners. Place them right back into the freezer. Melt your chocolate and cover them in a thick layer and pop them back in the cold. It doesn't take long for them to set and are best eaten, like everything else, when fresh.

Most cookbooks and recipes will tell you that chocolate must be melted in a double boiler. You can actually melt it much more quickly and conveniently in a microwave oven. The trick is to chop up the chocolate into fine bits before placing them in the microwaveable bowl. For half cup microwave on high, uncovered, for about a minute. It may not look fully melted but stir it up and it will be. If not, continue on in 30 second increments. The chocolate is much easier to work with than the caramel, which is truly like molten lava.

Maltesers candy in the familiar red pack.

While on the subject of maltesers, which I became a huge fan of in my travels, you can now get these Stateside. No more quarterly shipments from the UK for me! I actually found them in the international foods aisle at my local Shaw's Supermarket. Once you try these you will never settle for the American made kind again. The chocolate is not that waxy stuff they use here but a much better quality, creamier consistency. You will instantly notice the difference.

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