Category: Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Candied Grapefruit Peels

Chocolate Dipped Candied Grapefruit Peel

A few weeks ago, I was tasked with making an assortment of chocolate bars for a family anniversary party (more on that adventure coming soon!) For one of my recipes, I made a dark chocolate bar with chunks of candied grapefruit peel. Well, I ended up with a lot of extra candied citrus peel, so I decided to put it to good use!

This recipe is somewhat time-consuming (mostly due to lots of boiling and air-drying) but it’s actually super easy. The hardest part is waiting 2-3 days for the peels to dry, because if you’re anything like me, you’ll be itching to taste-test! (Side note: Be sure to plan ahead. Drying takes time, so you’ll want to candy your grapefruit peels at least a few days before you plan to dip them in chocolate.)

These chocolate-dipped candied grapefruit peels would be perfect for holiday gifting! They ship well and will last for weeks at room temperature when stored in an airtight container, so they’re also perfect for mailing to out-of-town friends and family.

Just be sure to make a few extras to keep for yourself–they’re pretty hard to resist.

Chocolate Dipped Candied Grapefruit Peel

Candied Grapefruit Peel Variations

I used grapefruit peels, since I had candied them for a previous recipe. However, this recipe would work equally well with oranges, lemons, or limes.

I used Belgian dark chocolate from Santa Barbara Chocolate. However, you could also substitute white or milk chocolate in place of the dark–they would all be just as delicious! Just be sure to use a high-quality chocolate (not chocolate chips meant for baking) as good-tasting (and properly tempered) chocolate makes all the difference in this simple recipe.

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Chocolate-Dipped Salted Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Seed Brittle

I made a batch of this chocolate-dipped salted pumpkin seed brittle candy a few weeks ago. Turns out, it was such a huge hit with friends and co-workers (a few weeks have passed, and people are still mentioning it to me!) that I decided to post the recipe so that others can try their hand at making pumpkin seed brittle at home.

This autumn treat is the perfect blend of crunchy, sweet, and salty. I started by making a lightly salted pumpkin seed brittle (a twist on traditional nut brittle). Then, I cracked it into pieces. I dipped the pieces in Belgian dark chocolate from Santa Barbara Chocolate and finished each one with a sprinkle of crushed pepitas.

The result? A sweet and crunchy pumpkin seed brittle, perfect for sharing the flavors of fall!

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Exploring the Art of Chocolatemaking

I’ve always loved chocolatemaking. In August, I enrolled in the Professional Chocolatier Program offered by Ecole Chocolat. This intensive three-month certificate course is designed for aspiring chocolatiers with an interest in sharpening their skills and laying the groundwork for a future chocolate business.

The first few weeks of the program, we focused on perfecting the basic techniques of chocolatemaking. This included learning how to properly temper chocolate, both by hand and by seeding:

chocolate school

learning to temper chocolate by seeding

learning to temper chocolate

tempering tests

melted chocolate

Then, we conducted a chocolate tasting. Learning to taste chocolates is an essential part of the chocolatemaking process. Chocolates sampled during the tasting exercise included everything from high-end coverture to cheaper chocolate bars available at any corner drugstore. It was fascinating to compare and contrast the flavors, and to learn to recognize the different textures, flavor notes, and aromas:

chocolates for tasting

chocolate tasting plate

chocolate tasting plate

chocolate tasting plate

A good chunk of the program has focused on recipe development and hands-on chocolatemaking. During this portion, I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with a variety of recipes, perfecting different types of bon bons as well as different enrobing and finishing techniques. Some of the recipes I created during this portion of the program included…

Dark Chocolate Truffles with Red Wine and Espresso
A classic dark chocolate ganache enhanced with the flavors of red wine and espresso, rolled into balls and dusted with cocoa powder.

red wine and espresso truffles

red wine and espresso truffles

Dark Chocolate Bon Bon with Dark Chocolate-Blood Orange Ganache
A dark chocolate ganache enhanced with the flavor of blood orange, piped into shell molds of dark chocolate and decorated with a splatter of orange cocoa butter.

cocoa butter splatter art

chocolate bon bons with blood orange ganache

chocolate bon bons with blood orange ganache

chocolate bon bons with blood orange ganache

chocolate bon bons with blood orange ganache

chocolate bon bons with blood orange ganache

chocolate bon bons with blood orange ganache

Orange Pate de Fruits with Milk-Chocolate Cinnamon Ganache and Candied Orange Peel
A classic orange pate de fruits layered with milk chocolate-cinnamon ganache, enrobed in milk chocolate and topped with a homemade candied orange peel.

candied orange peels

orange pate de fruits with milk chocolate ganache

orange pate de fruits with milk chocolate ganache

orange pate de fruits with milk chocolate ganache

orange pate de fruits with milk chocolate ganache

orange pate de fruits with milk chocolate ganache

orange pate de fruits with milk chocolate ganache

Dark Chocolate Spiced Rum Caramels with Welsh Sea Salt
Spiced rum caramels enrobed in dark chocolate, topped with Halen Mon Welsh sea salt and finished with a decorative mark imprinted in wet chocolate with an enrobing fork.

caramels with welsh sea salt

caramels with welsh sea salt

caramels with welsh sea salt

caramels with welsh sea salt

caramels with welsh sea salt

caramels with welsh sea salt

Hazelnut Gianduja in Dark Chocolate
A dark chocolate and hazelnut gianduja, with the addition of sea salt and vanilla extract, molded in shell molds and finished with a decorative transfer sheet on the bottom.

hazelnut gianduja in dark chocolate

hazelnut gianduja in dark chocolate

hazelnut gianduja in dark chocolate

hazelnut gianduja in dark chocolate

hazelnut gianduja in dark chocolate

hazelnut gianduja in dark chocolate

hazelnut gianduja in dark chocolate

Vanilla Fudge Centers in Milk Chocolate
A classic vanilla fudge center, allowed to caramelize slightly to take on a light caramel flavor, cut into squares and enrobed in milk chocolate, then finished with a decorative transfer sheet.

vanilla fudge in milk chocolate

vanilla fudge centers

applying chocolate transfer sheets

applying transfer sheets

applying transfer sheets

vanilla fudge in milk chocolate

vanilla fudge in milk chocolate

vanilla fudge in milk chocolate

vanilla fudge in milk chocolate

vanilla fudge in milk chocolate

Dark Chocolate-Espresso Bon Bons
A dark chocolate and espresso ganache, molded in shell molds and finished with a decorative transfer sheet on the bottom.

dark chocolate espresso bon bons

dark chocolate espresso bon bons

dark chocolate espresso bon bons

Layered Spiced Rum Caramel and Dark Chocolate Ganache in Dark Chocolate

A chewy caramel flavored with spiced rum, layered with rich dark chocolate ganache and enrobed in dark chocolate.

spiced rum caramels layered with chocolate ganache

spiced rum caramels with chocolate ganache

spiced rum caramels with chocolate ganache

spiced rum caramels with chocolate ganache

Peanut Brittle Clusters in Dark Chocolate

A traditional nut brittle made with sugar, roasted peanuts, and a touch of vanilla extract, enrobed in dark chocolate and finished with a piped drizzle of white chocolate.

preparing peanut clusters for enrobing

freshly enrobed nut clusters

chocolate peanut clusters

chocolate peanut clusters

chocolate peanut clusters

chocolate peanut clusters

Maple Walnut Truffles in Milk Chocolate
A white chocolate and coconut oil-based chocolate truffle center, rolled into balls and enrobed in milk chocolate, then finished with a piped white chocolate drizzle.

maple walnut truffles in milk chocolate

maple walnut truffles in milk chocolate

maple walnut truffles in milk chocolate

maple walnut truffles in milk chocolate

maple walnut truffles in milk chocolate