I've written before (here and here) that I dig making food stuff and giving it away as presents. After coming back from Riebeek Kasteel this weekend (more to come on that by the way) I went to pick up Elvis. The Pom had been looking after him for the weekend. Well, she proceeded to tell me that my little guy had taken ownership of her and chased her puppy out the house. Her house. The poor thing had to stay somewhere else for two nights! Jeez, I had a good giraffe (laugh) at that. I did feel a bit bad though so I knocked up a little something as a thank you gift. Let's dive straight in...
Stuff you'll need to make about 12 big cookies:
- 200g of really good quality dark chocolate (nothing less than 70% please)
- 1oog of mixed, dried fruit roughly chopped. (Just use your favourite here. I went for cranberries, crimson raisins and mango)
- 100g - 120g of mixed nuts (Again, use what you like. For me it was pistachios and cashews)
- A red chilli de-seeded and finely chopped
Okay, what to do:
1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius. Meanwhile, break up your chocolate and place in a bowl that will fit on top of your smallest pot.
2. Pour some water (not much) in the pot, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Place bowl of chocolate on top of pot, being careful not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Slowly melt the chocolate until it looks shiny and is completely smooth. I should mention now that you will be tasting the chocolate. It just looks so ridiculously good.
3. Meanwhile, place your nuts and chilli in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Once they are cooled, chop roughly and mix with fruit.
4. Remove one handful of fruit and nut mixture and put aside. Pour the chocolate into the rest of the fruit and nuts and stir to combine.
5. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and pour on the chocolate mix. Use a spoon to spread it out sprinkle on the remaining nuts and fruit. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight if possible.
6. Remove from fridge and break into chunky pieces. You want this to look rustic guys.
To package this I bought a cardboard box and some ribbon. I lined the inside with tissue paper and wrapped up the chocolate pieces. I reckon the whole thing cost about R5. How cool is that as a gift idea? Personal. Funky. Easy. Cheap. Winner. Look, they're not going to feature on too many diets but bloody hell they taste good. Eat them as they are or break them over some ice cream.
P.S. If you - like me - love chilli, split the 200g chocolate into 100g dark Lindt and 100 dark Lindt with chilli ALREADY IN IT. See what I did there? Yip, that's for you.