Monday, April 5, 2010

the last piece

back to work today....catching up....and trying to figure out the EXACT dates that i'll be in the uk. it is rather odd to think that there was a time when i thought i should have...i don't know....maybe about 6 weeks notice for an international trip? those days are long gone. now i'm pretty happy if i get more than 2 weeks notice. hopefully, i'll know for certain by tomorrow so that i can get things sorted for the trip. in between the working today, i was doing my usual snacking and i realized that today would be the day that i would eat the last piece of my salty spicy chocolate pecan "crack" (see top pic). it is funny how people from completely different social spheres have called my home made dark chocolate goodiness as "crack".

it is rather decadent and does get one a bit worked up with all of those strong flavors going on. i'm not light handed with the cayenne, the salt, butter, and sugar. i had made this latest batch around 7am a while ago....on a day off. i remember being rather annoyed with myself for being wide awake and restless at 7am that i decided to make this latest batch so that JS would have something to nosh on while traveling back to kansas city. the foodie hunter does some odd things on her days off doesn't she?

it all starts with my roasting the nuts until my place smells like a holiday. while the nuts are roasting, i create a heated mixture of melted butter (strauss), brown sugar, bourbon vanilla, and well as chop up some dark chocolate. i prefer chopping blocks of chocolate with a cleaver btw.

then once the nuts smell thoroughly roasted,

i spoon the hot nuts to the buttery sugary spicy mixture and listen to the nuts sizzle.

i rather enjoy this part. then i take the nuts out with a slotted spoon and set them out to dry on some parchment paper.....
and get to the business of melting the chocolate. i make an ad hoc double-boiler with a pot of water and a stainless steel mixing bowl. i wait for the water to simmer for a bit, add the bowl of chocolate with more cayenne on top,

wait and stir until the melting begins,

then i turn the heat off. i continue to stir the chocolate until it is smooth.

i find that the heat from the water (despite turning the heat off) will still melt the chocolate. i think this makes it easier to work with the chocolate and i don't have to be as diligent about the higher heat/evaporation that occurs that turns it into a thick frosting.

once the chocolate is melted, i add about half of the candied pecans to the chocolate, stir. then pour it out onto a chilled sheet.....

then add the rest of the nuts and a very generous helping of maldon sea salt.

volia....this candy covers many basis with the salty and sweet undertones in addition to the not-subtle spiciness, delicious dark chocolate and crunchy sweetened nuts.

while i had made this for JS, i had quite a few leftovers and knew i shouldn't eat ALL of the leftovers by myself. so i ended up dropping off a good chunk of it off at one of my local sanctuaries. i heard later on that it was a hit. i also, of course, saved a few pieces for me as well and was almost sorrowful at consuming the last piece today. yet i am comforted by knowing that i'll be making different sort of chocolatey treats over the next couple of weeks. i have a couple of ideas that i'd like to play with....and may let you know if they turn out ok.


Blip said...

Damn, Foodie. Sometimes I think I love you, sometimes I think I hate you.

foodie hunter said...

heya blip! hahahahaha. :) i hope all is going well in espaƱa.