Sunday, January 22, 2012

chocolate craving

Sometimes you just want something decadent, something melt-in-your-mouth delicious, something to soothe the inner chocoholic.

Granted, there are some good inexpensive chocolate bars out there.  I am kind of hooked on the ones from Dollar General - but they are on the thin side and they don't have that high-end chocolate flavor.

Now, unless you're living in the Miami area and can duck over to Wilton Manors to The Pink Submarine for some of Dawn's incredible Gourmet Chocolates, or if you have a serious discount card to one of the high-end chocolate makers, you're going to have to learn to make something on your own.

By far the best, easiest, most delicious thing I've ever had homemade chocolate-wise is Brigadeiro.  This tasty truffle-like treat is a favorite from Brazil - and after you discover how easy it is to make at home - it will be a favorite among all your friends and family.  If you let them sample it, of course.

Now, don't confuse this with real gourmet chocolate (and you really should "Like" The Pink Submarine I mentioned earlier - they're good people and their stuff is delicious)... it tastes incredibly close to gourmet, but it's as simple as can be!  The hardest part is waiting for it to cool.

You'll need a saucepan, a plate and (optional) mini muffin cups for the finished product.

One or more of the following on plates to roll the chocolate balls in after shaping:  powdered sugar, cocoa powder, ground nuts, sprinkles, crushed vanilla wafers... or you can skip this bit and just leave them plain.  They are tasty either way!

3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon butter
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

Stir together all the ingredients in the saucepan over medium heat.  Stir constantly.  Seriously, keep stirring, otherwise it will scorch on the bottom and the whole thing will be ruined and not chocolatey at all.  Continue stirring until the mixture thickens - it will pull away from the sides of the pan as you stir and seem to come together into a thick mass.  This usually takes about 10 minutes or so.  Then, take the pan off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.  If you don't mind getting another dish dirty, you can pour it into a buttered, glass pie pan or baking dish to help speed the cooling process.  Make sure it is cooled all the way by checking the center.  If you check the center with your finger, make sure to sample what you've tested - it's only fair.  Once it's cool enough to handle, butter up your hands and form the chocolate into small balls.  These can be left plain or rolled in your choice of topping.  If you prefer sweeter things, you might want to roll them in regular granulated sugar.  Depending on how big you make the balls, you should get around 20 out of this recipe.  Arrange on the plate.  Rearrange them on the plate after you sample a couple more.  Hey, that one doesn't fit the new arrangement, better eat it, too.  You can put them in the cute little mini-muffin cups for individual serving if you're taking them to some sort of social function, but if you're just going to hide them from family... I mean, share them with family... loosely cover the plate with saran and pop them in the fridge.

~insert chastisement from the awesome chocolate diva @ The Pink Submarine about refrigerating fine chocolate~ 

But really, I've already said this isn't to be confused with those luscious morsels, so refrigeration in this case is just fine.  Or you could eat them all.  Not that I'd do that or anything.

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