She Has a Bad Temper

by Kelly on May 13, 2010

The she in the sentence would be me. But I’m not referring to my general demeanor (although I will admit that when pushed on a topic I feel passionate about I can be a bit hotheaded), I’m talking about my chocolate making abilities. While I like to think I have some talents in the kitchen, tempering chocolate is something I’ve struggled with.  I blame it on the fact that the first time I tried I had a stroke of beginner’s luck.  My chocolate set up perfectly. I got cocky and wondered what the fuss was about.

Big mistake.  It was never that easy again.  I’ve ‘ruined’ a fair amount of things in the process (I use the word ruin loosely because though the results were not always perfect, they were generally still edible and even delicious.), but I’ve never stopped trying.  Instead, I’ve tried to take note of what might have gone wrong, to form hypotheses about where my errors might lie.  And mostly I’ve just been patient and hopeful that eventually I would get it right.

And this weekend I finally did.  I was hypervigilant with my chocolate, babying it until it reached the temperatures recommended by Making Artisan Chocolates.   I spent so much time taking it in and out of the microwave to monitor the temperature that it is amazing there was any change at all.  I also allowed myself to have a little faith.  Sometimes I am guilty of being doubtful of recipes, of worrying the second something doesn’t seem to set up right or take longer than expected.  But this time I trusted that Andrew Garrison Shotts knew what he was doing and that if I followed his lead I soon would too.

crispy crunchy

And it’s a good thing because I was able to make the most delicious treats out of the chocolate – Dark Chocolate Cherry Crispy Crunchies.  Once you master your temper the rest of this recipe is easy and worth discovering because it is infinitely customizable.  The original from Making Artisan Chocolates featured white chocolate, candied orange peel, almonds, pistachios, and Rice Krispies.  However, I’m not generally a fan of white chocolate (with the exception of White Chocolate Strawberry Scones and White Chocolate Challah Pudding) so I opted to use dark chocolate instead and also swapped out the candied orange peel for dried tart cherries.  The result was a deliciously tart and chocolately treat.  But if that flavor combo is not for you, use your favorite kinds of dried fruits, chocolate, and nuts.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Crispy Crunchies
Adapted from Making Artisan Chocolates
Yields 35 pieces

Ingredients:
-9 ounces dark chocolate, tempered
-3/4 ounce cocoa butter, tempered
-7 ounces almonds, toasted, finely chopped
-1 3/4 ounces pistachios, shelled, finely chopped
-3 1/2 ounces dried tart cherries, chopped
-3/4 ounce Rice Krispies

Method:

In a bowl, combine the tempered dark chocolate and tempered cocoa butter until well incorporated. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Fold into the chocolate mixture. Using a small ice cream scoop or pair of tablespoons, drop scoops of the mixture onto parchment paper. Allow to set up for 20 minutes and serve or store in an airtight plastic container.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

krissy @ thefoodaddicts.com May 14, 2010 at 1:11 am

wow, what a great chocolate treat! this is definitely another great way to utilize rice krispies.. in a more adult way, perhaps.

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Lauren May 14, 2010 at 6:23 am

I have struggled with the same difficulties when it comes to tempering chocolate – so frustrating! It sounds like your efforts paid off – these treats sound delicious! I love dark chocolate and dried cherries together, and the nuts must be the perfect flavor and texture accompaniment.

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Jessica @ How Sweet May 14, 2010 at 6:39 am

I have a very short temper…so this may not be for me! But they do look delicious.

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Shannon May 14, 2010 at 8:50 am

i’m in love with tart cherries, so this sounds awesome. haven’t tried tempering yet though… someday 🙂

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ashlee May 14, 2010 at 10:57 am

thanks for the bday wishes! the t-shirt is from the jr. department in kohl’s! 🙂

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Cara May 14, 2010 at 11:27 am

yum! love anything with chocolate and cherries!

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CaSaundra May 15, 2010 at 9:36 am

I love discovering gourmet sounding/looking/tasting food or treats–I think this would definitely qualify!

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Kerstin May 15, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Tempering chocolate is intimidating and something I’ve struggled with too. It’s definitely worth mastering for this recipe though – the cherry and pistachio combo sounds amazing!

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Teresa May 16, 2010 at 12:52 am

Kelly, you are so right about tempering chocolate. You know I’m a chocoholic and I’ve had my share of disappointments with my own attempts at tempering. It is a learned methodology, but once mastered you feel so accomplished. So, congratulations my friend. Tempering is indeed a difficult process to learn.

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Bethany May 16, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Oh delicious! I generally don’t like dried fruit with chocolate but I do make an exception for cherries. Congrats on the tempering — never an easy feat, but the results are gorgeous!

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sophia May 16, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Tempering chocolate sounds SO easy…you just melt, right? NOT. I tried it once. Just know that I spit out a lot of expletives when I ruined all the expensive chocolate I bought!

These treats sound absolutely addictive and delightful, though. Oh you. Tantalizing me by waving that in my face like that! I could just lick the screen!

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Carolyn Jung May 17, 2010 at 2:20 am

Oooh, dark chocolates married with cherries? What’s not to like! 😉

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Jennifer @ Maple n Cornbread May 17, 2010 at 10:02 am

These look SO good! My mom loves this kind of combo!

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Elina May 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm

These sounds kind of like the Ellie Krieger cherry almond choc clusters that I LOVE. Love the addition of rice crispie cereal and pistachios. I bet they were delicious… good thing you didn’t give up on making chocolates 🙂

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Kelly May 17, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Elina – Thanks for reminding me. I knew you made something similar. I am not usually a huge rice krispie fan, but I love, love love them in this recipe. They add a great crunch and make these taste a bit like a grownup crunch bar.

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Sues May 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm

This looks like an amazing recipe. I’m the same way as you when it comes to tempering chocolate. I get impatient… and bored! But you’ve proven practice makes perfect so I’ll definitely keep trying 🙂

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Mo May 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Oh my, does that look good! Now you have me craving chocolate like nobody’s biznaz!

I don’t think I will attempt this though with the disasters I’ve had lately.

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