Here's another installment of "How Not To Fail". For those of you who are on Google+, you may have seen my post about this week's culinary aspirations - namely trying my hand at Heidi's No-Bake Chocolate Cake. It's pretty much mini cake-shaped truffle, and it seemed simple enough.
So our HNTF Tip: If the chocolate you buy doesn't list what percent cacao it is, it definitely isn't 70% or better. That's the kind of thing a chocolate like to brag about. It's also, it turns out, what makes the no-bake cake keep its shape. However, if you give this recipe a shot with an inferior chocolate, you end up with an accidental, ooey, gooey, rich, delicious fruit dip, as Marissa and I discovered.
[Postscript: Marissa gave it another go a few days later with a 63% cacao chocolate and it held up just fine. So 70% might not be necessary - but a dark, rich chocolate is.]
Our intention was to have a co-op cooking day, tag team some recipes, play with plating and styling and get some new material for our blogs. It was a win-win - especially for me. Marissa has the cutest little kitchen, with huge windows everywhere. So we got together in the evening, and flush with tequila and limeade, set to work: my no-bake cake and her Coconut Brigaderios, a traditional Brazilian candy. We left everything to chill in her fridge and the next morning was pajamas and photo time.
It was a blast! I've always considered the life of a food-blogger to be a solo one - the lone wolf chef/photog/writer/web designer stalking elusive cuisine in the night - but I have to admit: having a little culinary pack for a night was really nice. Having another foodie in the room to bounce ideas off of (and having someone who doesn't think it's weird that you can spend 30 minutes taking pictures of a ball of goo or that only ugly things deserve to be eaten) kind of rules.
Hop on over to Kitchen Antics!, now at it's new Blogger home, for Marissa's Coconut Brigaderios recipe!
AND we came up with an awesome idea! Food blog FOOD FIGHTS! Does it make you curious? Is your brain tingling in anticipation? Yes? Then my work here is done.
The Accidental Fruit Dip
8 oz milk chocolate, broken up into easily melted chunks
8 oz heavy cream
3 cinnamon sticks
a pinch of salt
cocoa powder for garnish
Soften the chocolate in a double broiler over a low heat. Meanwhile, set the cream on a low heat. Once the cream begin to simmer, put in the cinnamon sticks (or whatever you want to flavor the cream with). Let it slowly heat up. Once the cream is very hot (but not boiling), remove the cinnamon sticks and add in the chocolate.
Slowly and steadily stir the chocolate into the cream until the two are incorporated. It's going to seem like it won't work for a while, but don't worry. When I read the recipe, and saw "slowly and steadily stir", I thought it was one of those moments where a food writer makes everything sound much easier than it actually is. But this time, I promise, it will come together.
Once incorporated, toss in the salt and stir it in. Pour into a serving dish and let it cool to room temperature if you want, or serve warm. The cooler it is, the more thickly it will cover your fruit, so it's just a matter of preference. You can also cover and chill it overnight if you want to make it ahead of time. A thin skin may form, but gently stirring the dip will reincorporate it.
Garnish with cocoa powder and serve with apple slices, cherries, or another fruit you fancy!