In the previous blog, I gave you an instant home recipe for a chocolate dip you can make without fuss or bother right at home. There are much finer recipes but they all call for professional gear and professional patience. It can take several hours to prepare certain gourmet chocolates at the exact temper and mix needed for gourmet-level tournament and competition perfection. Whether you use my home brew or a more professional chocolate dip, here are a few interesting things you can dip in chocolate. They each cool differently, but you will get best results by laying them onto a 3/4 inch thick marble tile for perfect cooling.
WHOLE DRIED FRUITS
Hold the dried fruit by one end -- the smaller end is best -- and dip into the melted chocolate to cover 1/4 to 1/3 of the fruit, up to a maximum of 1/2 the total mass of the dried frut...except, of course, in the case of the raisins. They will be totally immersed, mixed fished out of the chocolate with a granny fork, then set out to cool on waxed paper. Many of the larger dried fruits can be skewered with a fondue stick which can be obtained just about anywhere, then cooled and served kabob-style, by merely planting the fondue sticker point-down into a large flat hard styrofoam sheet, available at any craft and hobby or most fabric shops.
Here are just a few ideas for chocolate-dipped dried fruits:
White Sweet Potato Tempura
Orange Sweet Potato Tempura
Corn on the Cob
...and best of all:
Hot Raw Peppers -- both green and red work ... the hotter, the better!!!
You'll want to refrigerate the dried fruits both before and after dipping. Best if eaten within a few days, but they will keep for quite a while if refrigerated properly. The vegetables, with the exception of the raw hot peppers, must be eaten within a few minutes of preparation.
Pretzels -- large, small, twists, straights -- they all work. My personal favorite is peanut-butter filled pretzel chunks.
Nuts of all types, whole, chopped or buttered. My favorite for dipping is the Cashew.
Chocolate Chip Cookies (should be 1/3 dipped for best effect).
Peanut Butter Cookies.
Actually, any cookie, including sauerkraut and celery flavored.
Any non-chocolate candy bar.
Any cake or baked item, such as a croissant, bear-claw or scone.
Any pie of any kind.
Pickles. Yes, pickles. Both sour and sweet work better than you'd think they will.
Cheese both hard and soft (for soft, roll into ball and dip and remove with granny fork or tongs).
Cotton Candy or any other form of straight whipped sugar.
Licorice -- red and black both work well.
Just kidding about the chapstick ... but not about the anchovies.