One of my favorite films is Chocolat. If you have not seen it, you must do so right away. It is a delightful movie about a mysterious woman, Vianne, (Juliette Binoche) and her daughter arriving in a small French town and opening a chocolate shop right as Lent begins. As you can imagine, this creates quite a stir in this very old, very traditional village. What also creates a stir is the arrival of a band of gypsies led by Roux (Johnny Depp). By the end of the film, you may not have laughed or you might not have cried, but you will definitely be craving good chocolate.
One of the touching parts of the film is Vianne’s gift for guessing just the right confection for each town person. When she does, she confidently proclaims, “It’s your favorite.” I think about that when I find a new chocolate delight or something yummy that melts in my mouth.
Over the weekend, I created a new favorite. I certainly cannot claim the status of chocolatier, but I threw together this very easy recipe with some quality ingredients, and voila! My new favorite!
1 small bag bittersweet (60%) Ghirardelli chocolate chips
Dried fruit of choice (I used cranberries and cherries)
Homemade sugar-salt walnuts (recipe below)
Homemade candied ginger (see blogpost for candied gingerhttp://wp.me/p29WzP-vT)
Sugar-salt walnuts: In a pan, on medium heat, warm nuts to release their oils which give them a good flavor. Melt a third stick of butter in the pan with the nuts and toss in a scant handful of brown sugar. The butter sugar mixture should make a nice thick glaze that coats the nuts. Turn off the heat and shake a bit of sea salt over nuts. Stir with spoon. Add additional sea salt to taste. Let cool.
Melt chocolate chips in sauce pan on low-medium heat so it doesn’t burn. Stir with wooden spoon regularly.
Remove from heat and stir in dried fruit, walnuts, and chopped candied ginger. I like more “stuff” in my chocolate so I just keep adding until there’s enough chocolate to coat and keep it together.
Cover a plate or small cookie sheet with aluminum foil or wax paper. Spread mixture onto it and place in fridge until cool and set. Break into pieces and store in a Mason jar or another airtight container in fridge.
Perhaps it won’t be your favorite, but I think you’ll agree it’s pretty darn good! The best thing about it is that you can pretty much add any dried fruit, nut, herb/spice combination and create something delicious.