Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Today is...National Chocolate Covered Anything Day!

No, I did not make this one up! It is officially National Chocolate Covered Anything Day! I know that some of us may wish to celebrate this a bit differently than others ("Chocolate Covered Anything" conjures up interesting visual images!). The most important thing is to simply celebrate this day, and celebrate it safely (watch out for that hot, melted chocolate!).

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This Chocolate Covered ANYTHING recipe from sounds simply amazing! This is my kind of "Chocolate Covered Anything" (and the brandy-spiked chocolate certainly helps that sentiment!)!

Chocolate Fondue with Candied Orange Peel, Raspberries, and Almond Macaroons

Gourmet February 2007

Yield: Makes 2 servings
Active time: 1 1/4 hr
Total time: 2 1/4 hr

Note: The perfect date dessert is one that's interactive: Candied strips of orange peel, fresh raspberries, and crisp almond cookies are all flavorful enough to stand up to a silky dark-chocolate fondue spiked with a shot of warming brandy.


For candied peel:
2 navel oranges
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water

For almond macaroons:
Butter for greasing baking sheet
1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds (1 1/4 oz)
1/2 cup pure almond paste (5 oz; not marzipan)
1 large egg white
1/8 teaspoon salt

For fondue:
3 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (no more than 64% cacao if marked)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Cognac or other brandy

Special equipment: a pastry brush; a small fondue pot with tea candle or a small warmed bowl (fill with hot water to warm, then dry); wooden picks or skewers

Accompaniment: 1/2 pint raspberries


Make candied peel:
Cut off a 1/2-inch slice from top and bottom of each orange to expose fruit, then score orange peel from top to bottom at 1/3-inch intervals, cutting through pith, with a sharp knife. Pull off each strip of peel, including pith, with your fingers and put in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan. (Reserve fruit for another use.) Fill pan with water, then add 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered, 10 minutes, then drain peels in a sieve. Repeat procedure with more cold water and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, then set peels aside. (If peels are not very tender, repeat procedure a third time.)

Put a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper on a baking sheet and set baking sheet on a rack.

Bring granulated sugar and water (1/4 cup) to a boil in cleaned saucepan over moderately high heat, stirring and brushing any crystals from side of pan with pastry brush dipped in cold water until sugar is dissolved.

Add peels to syrup in pan and cook, stirring frequently, until most of syrup is absorbed by peels, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer peels to lined baking sheet, separating strips. Let dry until only slightly sticky, at least 1 hour. make macaroons: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Butter a large baking sheet and put almonds in a shallow bowl.

Blend together almond paste, egg white, and salt in a food processor until smooth, then transfer dough to a small bowl or a sheet of wax paper. Transfer slightly rounded teaspoonfuls of dough, a few at a time, to almonds and turn to coat completely, then transfer to baking sheet as coated, arranging balls about 1 inch apart.

Bake until tops are pale golden and undersides are golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Make fondue:
Finely chop chocolate (preferably in a food processor) and transfer to a small bowl.

Bring cream, butter, and Cognac to a simmer in a 1/2- to 1-quart saucepan over moderate heat. Remove from heat and add chocolate, stirring until melted and smooth. Transfer to fondue pot and set over candle flame or to small warmed bowl (chocolate will stay warm enough for dipping for about 20 minutes without candle).

Arrange raspberries, orange peel, and macaroons on a plate (use wooden picks for raspberries) and serve with fondue.

Cooks' notes:
·Orange peel can be dried up to 8 hours and can be kept in a sealed plastic bag at room temperature 2 days.
·Macaroons can be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
·Chocolate can be chopped 1 day ahead and kept, covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature.
·If leaving chocolate fondue over candle for any length of time, stir occasionally to avoid scorching.

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