Excerpts of Erynn

a blog about… nothing in particular and everything at once

Chocomergency Strategies February 9, 2010

Filed under: recipes,tips — Erynn Sprouse @ 12:42 pm
Tags: , , ,

Being an unappologetic chocoholic foodie (and possibly a food snob), a plain ol’ Hershey bar just won’t cut it when a chocolate emergency strikes. The foodie side wants new, different & beyond yummy. The cranky mom side wants chocolate NOW. My solution is simple: gussy up some chocolate chips. I try to keep a bag of Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips on hand for chocomergencies. They’re larger than the usual, ultra creamy & melt well. Here are some of my favorite tactics/ strategies. Each recipe or tip or strategy (whatever you want to call it) makes 1 serving and no, you don’t have to share.

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Basic strategy #1: Melt & mix
(BTW, credit for this idea goes to my brother in law, Steve)

2 servings of chocolate chips (32 chips or about 1/4 cup)
Mix ins (choose one… or more… it’s your party):
~1 teaspoon peanut butter
~1 teaspoon strawberry preserves
~1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
~1 tablespoon marshmallow creme or 1 lg marshmallow (might have to heat the marshmallow a little)

Put the chocolate chips into a small microwave safe dish (I like to use a coffee mug) & heat ’em till melty. We’ve all read a million times that cooking times will vary depending on your microwave, and it’s still true. In MY microwave (that I think might be older than I am), 45 seconds on high, a good stir and 30 more seconds plus another good stir does the trick. The thing to remember when microwaving chocolate is that less is best. If you over heat it, it gets all blecky. You’ll want to stir in the middle of heating, too… helps ensure even melting. Once the chocolate is all melted, mix in your mix in(s). Spread it onto a piece of waxed paper (or foil or butter wrapper or plate or…) and stick it in the freezer. How long it needs to cool depends on what you mixed in and/or your level of chocomergency. For a code red chocomergency, eat it all melty or go for the marshmallow mix in; it’s done immediately. It end up kind of like a chocolate nougat. The strawberry jelly mixture doesn’t ever really get hard. After about 45 minutes in the freezer, it has a fondant-like texture. The others are hard in about 5 minutes.
Other mix ins I want to try: shredded coconut & a bit of coconut milk (probably won’t harden all the way), cayenne pepper, dried cranberries, candied pecans, orange juice concentrate (also probably won’t harden all the way), crushed candy cane (I can’t be the only one who still has those hanging around)… the sky’s the limit!

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Basic strategy #2: Melt & dip

2 servings of chocolate chips (32 chips or about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon whipping cream or half & half (optional)
Dippers:
~apple wedges
~dried apricots
~dried pineapple
~bananas
~marshmallows
~bacon (yes… bacon. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it)

Again, melt the chocolate chips. If you’re using the cream/ half & half, stir it in well. Congratulations! You’ve just made fondue. Dip away. If you’re NOT using the cream/ half & half, dip your dippers & lay them out on waxed paper to harden… or just eat it. It’s still your party. FYI: if I dip each bite (double dipping is allowed since it’s just you and we already agreed you don’t have to share), this makes enough for 1 small apple or one small banana. Don’t know how much of the others off the top of my head. But hey… if you run out of melted chocolate… well… that’s a chocomergency of its own and totally justifies making more.

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Now, it won’t surprise you when I tell you this isn’t health food, but this is a healthier way to kill a chocolate craving than downing a Snickers or a bag of M&Ms. First of all, you know what’s going in it. You’re choosing the ingredients and have the opportunity to choose organic or all natural or… whatever. Second, it’s lower calorie wise. A Snickers bar packs 280 calories & 14 grams of fat. A bag of M&Ms will run you 240 calories & 10 grams of fat. Obviously, with these strategies, a lot will depend on what you mix in or dip, but the melted chocolate on its own is almost saintly in comparison with M&Ms & Snickers. Two servings of Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips runs 140 calories & 7 grams of fat. Make it healthier still by opting for Ghiradelli’s semi-sweet at 70 calories & 5 grams of fat for 32 chocolate chips.

So, next time the Chocomonster strikes, fight him off with style and some gussied up chocolate chips. Turns out, it’s kinda fun.

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