Shorey and I have been making chocolate desserts together since she was four years old. She likes chocolate in any form, from chocolate mousse to chocolate cookies, cakes, or truffles. These treats are great to make for the holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions.
We make our treats in very small paper baking cups with a 2-1/2 tablespoon capacity; the bottom is 1 inch in diameter and the top is 2 inches. Of course, they can be made in larger paper or aluminum cups, but I find the small ones are quite enough for desserts, snacks, or treats.
Melting the chocolate in the microwave oven is foolproof and easy. Break the chocolate into ½-inch pieces and microwave it for 1 minute, then wait a few minutes before processing it further. Microwaving it for more than a minute to start will scorch the chocolate.
— Jacques Pépin
• ON-DEMAND: Listen to Faith, Jacques and Shorey talk about this recipe on The Faith Middleton Food Schmooze® and watch Jacques and Shorey make this dish on Sur la Table’s website. •
Excerpted from A Grandfather’s Lessons: In the Kitchen with Shorey by Jacques Pépin. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Copyright ©2017 by Jacques Pépin. Photographs ©2017 by Tom Hopkins.
The recipe can be varied; for example, although we use dark chocolate, you could try it with white or milk chocolate. Or, instead of pistachios, almonds, and hazelnuts, you might want walnuts, pecans, macadamias, and/or peanuts. Rather than strawberries and raspberries, you can use blueberries or blackberries, as well as dried apricots, cranberries, or cherries.
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate broken or cut into ½-inch pieces
- 8 raspberries
- 3 ripe strawberries cut into wedges
- 1 tablespoon (about) unsalted pistachio nuts
- 12 almonds
- 12 hazelnuts
- 1 or 2 sprigs mint
- Put the chocolate in a microwavable bowl, place it in the microwave, and microwave for 1 minute. Let rest for 30 seconds, then microwave for another minute. The chocolate should be melted by then, but if it isn’t, process it in 30-second increments, stirring after each increment, until it is totally melted and smooth.
- Arrange twelve tiny frilled paper cups (see headnote) on a plate and pour about a good tablespoon of the chocolate into each cup. While the chocolate is still melted, arrange the berries, nuts, and mint on top of it in whatever manner you prefer—berries only or nuts only in some of the cups—and push down on them lightly to embed them in the chocolate. Refrigerate the cups for 45 minutes to 1 hour to set.
- Peel the paper cups off the hardened chocolate and arrange the treats on a dessert plate. Keep refrigerated until serving time.
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