Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Celebrating Friends/COCOA BLOCKS
I have a lot of friends. (I know....who would have thought?) But, I do! And I'm so thankful for them. AND, I love making small treats for them at Christmastime.
My bloggy friend Carmen had these wonderful bookmarks posted on her crafty blog many weeks ago. I knew the moment I saw her pictures that it was the perfect little something for my friends. So, I asked her how to make them. She must have had quite a few questions of a similar vein, as she was led to do her first video training post on this very topic! Carmen, thank you so much--it worked!! And now that I've folded 150 or so, I think I can do this blindfolded!
Daughter CJ learned to make the star boxes from one of her origami books. They make just the right opening for a deep, dark, delicious browniful cocoa block!
This is the first of several recipe posts this month. Here's how to make COCOA BLOCKS:
1/2 cup (4 oz) heavy cream
14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
3 cups (18 oz) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (chopped chocolate bars or chips)
3/4 cup (4 oz) unsweetened baking chocolate
wooden sticks, optional
Line an 8"x8" pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Heat the cream and condensed milk over low heat until steaming. Remove from heat and add the chocolate; allow it to gently melt. After about 10 minutes, return the chocolate mixture to low heat to completely melt the chocolate. Whisk vigorously until the mixture is thick and shiny. Add a few drops of flavoring oil, if you like--hazelnut, coffee or vanilla.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the pan; shake the pan gently to level. Sprinkle with cocoa, if desired. Set aside overnight to slowly set up.
Run a knife around the edge of the pan and turn chocolate out onto a clean cutting surface. Slice into 1-1/4" cubes. Heat a knife in hot water and wipe dry before each cut, for smoothest cuts. If you wish, stick a wooden stick into the center of each block.
Roll in cocoa or crushed peppermint candy, if desired. Wrap in waxed paper, parchment, or plastic wrap to store.
Take small nibbles. But, probably best, swirl the cocoa block in one cup of warm milk for a delicious hot chocolate!
Yield: about 3 dozen blocks.
Recipe from King Arthur Flour