Friday, January 28, 2011

Chocolate Nut Clusters

Smooth, melt-in-the-mouth, with crisp roasted almonds, once you make these, you will be making them again and again.

My first foray into chocolate making was a class at a local store during valentines day last year. All I did after that was make some dipped strawberries. Then this year as Christmas and New Year came by, I thought of making some nut clusters. You can also put these into a chocolate mould or you can spread it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and make chocolate bark instead.

The type of chocolate you use will depend on how sweet you like your chocolate to be. If you like it really sweet, use milk chocolate, else try a mixture of milk and dark or bittersweet, semi sweet, unsweetened. I use half semisweet and half bittersweet with a sprinkling of 70% cocoa, unsweetened Callebaut chocolate. The high cocoa percentage gives it true chocolate taste. The portion below makes about 20 clusters. If you like them extra nutty, use a 1/4 cup extra almonds. These can be made with walnuts, pecans, peanuts or cashew nuts as well. You can add some raisins (at the end without roasting) as well to make a fruit and nut cluster.

Ingredients:

1/4 pound semisweet chocolate
1/4 pound bittersweet chocolate
1 inch cube 70% cocoa unsweetened chocolate
1 cup almonds

In a heavy bottomed pan or wok, dry roast the almonds. The nutty almond flavor truly comes through this way. Cut the almonds into 2. They are soft when they are warm. 

If using a block of chocolate, break into approx 1 cm chunks. Put these in a microwavable bowl and melt by zapping them 30 seconds at a time. Zap - stir - zap - stir till it is melted. It took me about 2 minutes 10 seconds on full power using chocolate chunks. Mix the nuts with the chocolate and using a spoon drop them on a plastic plate or on a baking tray lined with parchment. Anything else will cause the chocolate to stick. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to harden. If using moulds follow the same procedure, only make sure the top of the mould is smooth else they will not stay stable. 
To serve just place them on a platter. If you are gifting them, place them in a box with tissues or foil wrap them as in picture.  Enjoy and get complimented on your chocolate making skills!

10 comments:

VineelaSiva said...

Wow very simpla,tasty an healthy choclates.Love it.

Umm Mymoonah said...

Yummy and lovely clusters, would love to have a bite

Priya said...

Omg, cute and delicious clusters, feel like munching some..

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Well who can resist these chocolaty crunchy rich bite?? Very tempting. liked ur first click .

Deepa
Hamaree Rasoi

Prathibha said...

They look superb...love to pop them up

Archana said...

My kids are chocolate fans. They will worship you for this!

aipi said...

Yumm..sinful treats n perfect munchies!

US Masala

Leena said...

WOW delicious and healthy way to eat chocolate...

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

wow, can I have them please, look mouth watering.

Sumathi said...

Delicious and yummy .. First time here , you have a cool space. Glad to follow you .

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